I'm not sure of the health and safety issues in USA, but in Australia
there are some guidelines with plaster use, due to asthma attacks and
allergic reactions etc.
So a good alternative, especially with kindies, is to use buckets of
damp sand for them to dig their hands in - they can chop and change
their minds as many times as they like with this because you can just
pat it down again for another go.
When the student is satisfied with their 'pose', they can leave the
bucket and do something else, and you can after class has finished,
mix up the plaster and pour it into all the sand moulds in one go.
Once the plaster is set you can take them out and you have some
wonderfully textured versions of hands. Of course, if the child
prefers their texture smooth, a very soft sandpaper will easily (and
safely for the child) achieve this.
As a tip for mixing, treat the plaster a bit like pancake mix - add
the paster very slowly to tepid water until it is about the same
consistency as batter. Even though it seems very runny it will set
hard pretty quickly- but slowly enough for you to fill a number of
moulds. And I would only mix about a litre's worth at a time.
Hope this helps, and good luck with your hands!
>Does anyone have a recommendation on how to use plaster of paris with a
>class? I would like to make molds of their hands but I had a bad experience
>when I used it
>with the 7th graders. I made a huge batch and it hardened before I got it
>out of the bucket.
>It was a mess. My niece has one she did in pre-school and my sister loved
>it. NO clue on how
>to organize something like this???
Dr. Linda Knight
Lecturer, Art Education
Faculty of Teacher Education
University of Canberra
phone: + 61 (0)2 6201 2491
fax: + 61 (0)2 6201 2263