Grandparents Teach, too: Marshmallows much more than s’mores

Jan Sabin, Mary Davis, Jean Hetrick, Cheryl Anderegg, Esther Macalady, Colleen Walker, Fran Darling and Iris Katers. (Journal photo)

Marshmallows have four grams of sugar each which is about one teaspoon of sugar. Four grams may be OK if you only eat just one. However, who eats just one or counts the calories around the campfire?

Marshmallows can also be used for art projects and artsy recipes this time of the year when families have fresh marshmallows for campfires and s’mores.

Marshmallows make a beautiful edible paint. All you’ll need are marshmallows, water, light corn syrup and food coloring to make this fun sweet paint.

It can be used to decorate cookies, fingers, bread, English muffins, paper, and more. Use clean water color brushes for painting.

Easy to make

You will need 1 cup packed marshmallows, ¼ cup water; 2-3 tablespoons light corn syrup, basic food coloring to make many colors, and little dishes. You will also need something to paint. Marshmallows on a sucker stick, toothpick, or popsicle stick work well. You can also use plain cookies like animal crackers, vanilla cookies, or lady fingers. Bread or anything with that kind of a rather firm top will do. If you think the kids have had enough sugar, the marshmallow paint is similar to a puffy paint look on paper

Place the marshmallows in a microwave -safe bowl and heat on medium for 30 seconds. They will puff up a bit. Stir in the water and continue to microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Stir well to let the heat melt the marshmallows fully. Stir until smooth. Stir in light corn syrup to desired consistency.

Divide the marshmallows into little containers and stir in a few drops of food coloring. Experiment with secondary colors like blue (cyan) and red (magenta). You can make some secondary colors. Yellow and red make orange, blue (cyan) and yellow make green., red and blue make purple. Add plain white to lighten them up. Allow the mixtures to cool enough for children to handle.

Very creative

To paint use popsicle sticks. The marshmallow paint may be store in sealed containers several days at room temperature. The paint dries well enough to handle but will remain sticky. Cookies will not be stackable.

Children also enjoy making bouquets of the decorated marshmallow on a stick and placing them on a vase as flowers for a table decoration or a center of a cake.

The icing can also be use on graham crackers for beautiful tile like cookies. It can be used to make decorations on graham cracker v- shaped triangle tents and rainbows on small graham cracker ginger bread houses. Decorated cake doughnuts are also a hit. Older children can use finer brushes for detailed decorations with this sweet edible paint that has many possibilities for creativity on iced cakes and brownies. For more see grandparentsteachtoo.blogspot.com, wnmufm.org/Learning Through the Seasons, Facebook, and Pinterest.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Grandparents Teach, Too is a non-profit organization of elementary and preschool teachers from Marquette, Michigan. The writers include: Jan Sabin, Mary Davis, Jean Hetrick, Cheryl Anderegg, Esther Macalady, Colleen Walker, Fran Darling, and Iris Katers. Their mission since 2009 is to help parents, grandparents, and other caregivers of young children provide fun activities to help prepare young children for school and a life long love of learning. They are supported by Great Start, Parent Awareness of Michigan, the U.P. Association for the Education of Young Children, Northern Michigan School of Education, the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum and the Northern Michigan University Center for Economic Education.