Your child 3-5 years

To carve cucurbits? An idea to germinate ...


Carving pumpkins and other cucurbits, this is an original idea to work with our little handymen! The visual artist Annette Lavigne gives us her artist's secrets.

What can we create with our little ones?

  • All you want, cucurbits are a great material with unlimited life ... A bit like wood, but much more brittle and much easier to work for children. This year, the theme of the festival Ci t'as trouille, it is "the fishes". Each child will choose his cucurbitaceae and will be able to create his whale, his siren or his marine monster ...

All pumpkins can be carved?

  • Be careful, the term pumpkin is a bit like "pear". It includes many of these pome plants. The generic term is rather "cucurbits". To work with children, you have to choose non-edible varieties: colocynth or gourds called calabashes, for example. You find them on markets or during events in France. At this moment, it's the season ...

What do we start with?

  • By drying it for 3 to 6 months! Your "brico workshop" will be rather programmed for the spring. Cucurbitaceae must mold from the inside. He will evacuate the water by the shell ... and become hard. If you easily get your finger across, this is not a good candidate!

You say that everything is usable, how?

  • Seeds, small pieces ... once it has dried, there is nothing to throw! Here, inside, there is a kind of cotton wool that I once put in the trash. But toddlers love it! Their imagination is limitless. They stick it on the back of an animal and presto, it makes you a sheep! Their snail will never remain more than a simple shell with antennas. They add small seeds to decorate it ...

But to stick, how do we do it?

  • I use a very effective method: a little fresh clay that I soak in wood glue. Toddlers quickly remember the formula: glue-earth-glue. I tell them: "You have to make a little ball (for a paw for example) or a pudding (for a fin) ..." They plunge the clay pudding in the glue, and they assemble with the other piece, which sucks. With the older ones we paint the sculpture with gouache or acrylic. But toddlers prefer to leave it nature. The side patouille much like them of course!

To know more…

• On www.l-atelier-aux-muses.fr, find Annette Lavigne's children's albums and her sculptures.

Agnes Barboux

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