Call it what you will: flint corn, Indian corn, calico corn, maize, harvest corn, primitive corn, decorative corn.... the corn with the pretty colors. This classic symbol of fall can be found everywhere you look October - December, including art rooms and classrooms all across this great land. I have done a dozen different variations of "harvest corn" projects over the years and each time I do, one of my students will ask, "can you eat this kind of corn or is it just for show?". I have to admit that the first time this question was laid on me I really wasn't quite sure. I mean, I assumed that if it was in the corn family it had to be edible but it is also hard as a rock, so is it? It is! Flint corn can be consumed by animals and humans... it is the type of corn used in hominy and polenta. It is harder than sweet corn because its kernels contain a small amount of soft starch surrounded by a larger amount of hard starch, which is why the kernels shrink uniformly when drying and are less prone to dents and spoiling... therefore, the ideal type of corn for autumnal decor.
I am a big fan of pretty corn but I wanted to do something a little different this year. Something a little more modern and less traditional, something with a 3-D pop. Then it hit me... Model Magic! Guys, have you ever used Crayola Model Magic? It is an air dry clay that feels like light, fluffy marshmallows. As you can imagine, the kids go NUTS for this stuff and I have to admit that I love it too. When I was teaching large groups of students, I would plan 4-6 Model Magic projects a year. One of my favorites was this 3-D Egg Carton Dragon project:
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1. Choose a piece of colored card stock for your background (if you want to add anything to your colored background, now is the time to do it). Take 1 long, medium width strip of brown craft paper and cut or tear a few sections into your corn husk pieces. Attach your craft paper husks to your card stock with a glue stick. Start with 3 or 4 pieces... you will add more after you have modeled your corn. Take a small section of Model Magic out of the bag and begin to create your kernels by rolling small balls. Please note that you want to seal the remainder of your model magic so that it does not dry out. Use your glue stick to draw a simple corn shape on your card stock. This will give your kernels something to hold on to when you press them into your paper. Start forming your ear of corn one kernel at a time until it is completely filled in.
2. Time to paint! The best part is that you don't have to wait for you model magic to dry! You can paint it while it is still moist and fluffy and if you want to skip the paint clean up, you can color Model Magic with markers! We are big fans of painting in this house and painting fluffy marshmallow clay increases our love of paint ten fold.
3. After you make one ear of corn you might want to make another! Yes, it is THAT fun.