A lot of parents I have talked too find the Summer Holidays a difficult time to be a parent, trying to entertain kids that are full of energy and who like to complain they are bored, especially when it is raining outside and they are not allowed to sit in front of the TV or play the XBox constantly. We are always trying to find new ways to entertain our two kids, and my wife came up with this fantastic idea the other day.
Last summer I purchased some Lego minifigure and brick silicon ice cube trays from Amazon and to be honest they have hardly been used. So my wife decided to re-purpose them as plaster-of-paris moulds to make some little plaster minifigures for the kids to paint. You can pick up a bag of plaster-of-paris very cheaply from a nearby hobby store, or online. Quite simply, follow the instructions on the packet to make the plaster, pour it into the moulds and let it set, again consulting the guidelines on the packet to see how long it takes to dry.
Once the plaster is dry, (it is probably best to leave it overnight) remove the figures from the mould very carefully. The plaster is quite soft, even when set, and can be quite brittle, so take your time and be sure not to snap off their heads or their legs. Once you have liberated all of the little plaster dudes from their mould, use a small bit of fine sandpaper, or a fine file to carefully removes any unwanted edges and then it is time to start painting.
We used some acrylic modelling paints I had in the house, and these worked really well. They are thick enough to give a good strong colour, where we found that water colours soaked into the plaster more and gave a much weaker colour. I would advise a small thin brush to get into all the gaps, and put plenty of newspaper down so you don’t get paint everywhere…
Once you are set up, lets the kids go wild. They could paint their plaster minifigures in the style of one of their favourite Lego figures, or make up their own designs. Evie, my 5 year old daughter even suggested that these plaster minifgures would make great statues for use in stop frame animations.
However you decide to paint your figures this is a fun little project that the whole family can join in with.
If you decide to do this, please send us some photos of your creations to firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope you and your kids enjoy this little time filler and look forward to seeing your creations soon!