Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Think!: Halloween Candy Challenge

This week's Think! challenge: Halloween Candy. Create an animal using five pieces of candy, five toothpicks, and two straws.

The Poohsticks gents were joined in this challenge by several of their Busy Farm cousins.

The first question to arise was, "What exactly counts as a piece of candy?" Does a bag of Skittles count as a single piece? (No.) And do the wrappers count as part of the candy? (Sure. Although no one ended up using their wrappers.) It was determined that a "piece of candy" meant any candy encased in its original wrapper, but once the candy was taken out of the wrapper, individual candies each counted as one piece.

In order to encourage them to be thoughtful with their creations (just a little more on this in a future post), I suggested we all vote on the most creative animal. The prize? The winner got to choose an extra piece of Halloween candy.

But who can resist giving each participant a prize? Particularly when there's lots of candy to get rid of, er, to share.

Cal won the prize for the fastest creation. It's a unicorn. Then he helpfully hung over the shoulders of his cousins and brothers to tell them how they should build their animals. Until they told him to knock it off.

Actually, it's not atypical for him to rush through a creative challenge. He needs ideas and time to process them. If we'd done another candy animal challenge (fat chance!**) an hour later, he'd likely have spent quite a bit more time.

Helen tried a few different creations before settling on a spiky snake.

She won the prize for the longest animal. She also got an honorable mention for the most chocolate on her hands. But she's cute, so she can get away with it.

Robyn made a lion attacking a bunny.

That one made me laugh.

Levi unwrapped a lollipop, stuck it in a straw, and said, "Look! I made a candle." When gently reminded that a candle is not an animal, he replied, "I know. I don't want to," and ate his lollipop. He got a prize for being cute.

Joab made a dinosaur. A triceratops, I think. His prize was for the best dinosaur? I don't remember. I just remember wracking my brain trying to think of a good prize, when he saved me by suggesting his own.

Henry got the prize for working the hardest because he was the last one to finish. The picture didn't come out, which is a shame because he had a cool idea too. He made a rhinoceros, and because he had a little candy left, he made a baby rhino too.

Then there was Tolly.

Tolly, Tolly, Tolly. He wanted to make a unicorn. It wasn't working. My fine young perfectionist fussed and moaned. He griped and groaned. He moped and whined and even cried a little.

He couldn't get a toothpick to stick into a lollipop. His other toothpick broke. He couldn't draw a smiley face on the tootsie roll. Everyone else was finishing and his wasn't working. "You don't have to do this," I said. "It's okay, you'll still get a prize," I said. "Please stop whining," I said. "No, I can help but I can't do it for you," I said.

Suddenly, it all came together. He squished a Tootsie roll into the shape of a head, kind of on accident. Oooo. You could see the wheels turning. He finished his animal. Whew! Oh wait. He was suddenly struck by inspiration, took the whole thing apart except for the head and created an entirely new unicorn made of Tootsie rolls.

I gave each child a Smartie and told them to put it on the plate of their favorite creation. They were not allowed to vote for their own. Tolly won. I think Robyn, kind heart, might have voted for him. And even though I loved Robyn's lion and bunny because they made me laugh, I voted for Tolly's too because I wanted to encourage his persistence and his new attitude.

The kids' favorite part was eating their creations and their prizes. My favorite was seeing that there's hardly any candy left in the Halloween bowl and sending the cousins back home to my sister all hopped up on sugar. (Just kidding. Kinda.)

**In case you're wondering why I say "Fat chance" to doing this challenge again before next Halloween, here's why:
Look at those slimy sticky hands. I can hear you shuddering from here.

1 comment:

Think! said...

These are awesome ideas and pictures. I am putting them on Think! shortly! Thanks again for participating! Sorry about the sticky hands:)