We made sugar cube sculptures. What a fun and surprising lesson in building, painting, and dissolving!
- Box of sugar cubes
- Glue bottle
- Sturdy base to glue onto
- Paint in squeezy bottles
Boxes of sugar cubers were harder to find than I thought, but I ultimately found them at our big supermarket (and bought 2!). We used scrap wood for the base, basic Elmer’s school glue, and Nancy Bottles for the paint.
I suggested that we could build a sculpture with the sugar cubes, and presented N with the materials. That’s all she needed to hear before she began to glue the cubes onto the panel.
And stack them up tall.
You can see that this isn’t the strongest structure in the world!! I filled some Nancy Bottles with watered down BioColor paint, which my daughter then squeezed all over the sculpture. Because the water acted as a dissolving agent, if I were to do this again I’d use straight-up paint without the additional water.
It’s looking a little patriotic, no?
And it end up in this beautiful heap of swirly, melting color. Not exactly what I imagined when we started, but it did lead to some wonderful conversations about dissolving. We only used about 1/10 of the sugar cubes to make the sculpture, so why not set up a dissolving experiment with the rest of the cubes?!
The next day N turned the remaining cubes into sugar water in under five minutes. It was quick, but what a great lesson and experience!
What are you or your kids building with?
This post is linked to It’s Playtime, Childhood 101
It reminds me of the tall paintings. But you get to build the sculpture too! How cool!
I didn’t even think of that, Jamie, but you’re right! (For those who don’t know about this, these are by the artist Holton Rower http://holtonrower.com/?page=gallery§ion=painting&category=painting ).
We did this too but with water, super fun, check our experiment out.
We are on the same page!! I love that you used food coloring, keeping the sugar entirely edible (although using paint kept my daughter from eating the sculpture. hee hee). Thanks for sharing the link — I just love all your projects and imagine that your art space must feel a lot like mine. 🙂
You might try using toothpicks as a support structure. I would suggest the grown-up “pre-drill” the holes in the cubes and then let the kids stack away.
Thanks for the suggestion, Julie. It’s a cool idea, but I’m not sure how I’d drill holes in the sugar cubes? Any tips?
I don’t know why I have never worked with sugar cubes! I think it’s time. ps. I like the new header very much=)
Thanks for the feedback, Jill 🙂 Sugar cubes are inexpensive and fun to work with (not to mention tasty!).
JDaniel would have tried to eat these.
Ha!! N had to eat one, too. She wanted more, but I reminded her of a recent sugar induced melt-down, and she stuck to sculpting with the sugar.
Super cute! What a lot of great ideas you have here – I’m going to have to try many of these with my boys. I don’t know if I can find sugar cubes here (I live in Costa Rica), but if so I will definitely do this!
What a great idea! I loved making sculptures with sugar cubes in art class when I was a kid. I never painted them, but adding some color is a good idea. The melting process is great for learning as well. I’ve linked up to your post on my weekly favorites here: http://play2grow.blogspot.com/2011/06/weekly-favorites-for-june-5-2011.html
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