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Every once in a while, a package arrives for me that has been packed using cornstarch beads. Cornstarch beads are biodegradable and non-toxic, so I always save them because they are awesome for creating some really cool and kid-friendly sculptures.
In this post I share how you can make cornstarch bead sculptures with kids.
Note: For more crafts projects your kids will enjoy, see my Arts and Crafts for Kids page.
For this activity, I set the following materials on a tray:
- Basket full of cornstarch beads (we used white ones, but you can also find multi-colored ones)
- Small container with wet sponges
- Cardboard to serve as a base for the kids’ sculptures if desired
Making sculptures with cornstarch beads (aka, Magic Nuudles) is awesome because they are totally non-stick when dry, but become quite sticky when damp. My kids simply had to touch one side of the bead to a damp sponge to moisten it, and then they could stick the beads together. Within seconds, the beads adhered to each other quite well and with very little mess.
Note that you only want to get the cornstarch beads damp, not wet. That is why it is best to touch them to a damp sponge rather than dip them into a bowl of water. If the cornstarch becomes too wet, it will quickly dissolve, leaving you with nothing more than a gooey mess.
My kids quickly got the hang of making sculptures with their cornstarch beads.
Some of their creations were quite abstract.
And others had a more recognizable form.
But most importantly, my kids got to express themselves and engage in the artistic process.
More arts and crafts resources
Popular arts and crafts activities from Gift of Curiosity:
- Painting with strings
- Leaf collages
- Coffee filter chromatography art
- Crystallized snowflakes
- Seed medallions
- Trace the shapes art project
- Corn husk dolls
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