Today we are taking a break from pretty things to bring you something very special: MUTANT TOYS! This is one of those Halloween ideas that will have you and your kids laughing, a lot. Trust me, you will want to do this project. My kids LOVED it and are still playing with their mutant toys…..I also recently worked on this project with students in our after school STEAM class and it was a huge success!
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This project actually originated years ago when my son was obsessed with octopi and wanted an octopus action figure. Of course there was no such thing, so I made one using a plastic octopus figurine and an old action figure body. Viola! Octoman was born! I found the octopus head again not too long ago and immediately decided this would be a great project for kids, especially now that Halloween is in the air!
And I know every single parent has a bin of toy pieces parts, you may call it the trash can but I call it the art bin. Oh yeah, don’t toss the countless rubber dinosaur party favors you have or the Barbie doll head sans body, or the gazillionth plastic doo dad your kids begged you for at the museum gift shop that is now collecting dust under the bed…turn those toys into treasures!
GLUE GUN SAFETY: I recommend glue guns for kids 7+. Start with low temperature glue guns. One of the hazards of working with glue guns is getting burned, I actually burn myself all the time on the hot glue. I instructed my 7 year old on the proper use of the glue gun, what parts are hot, what is safe to touch, and to stay away from the glue until it’s fully dry. He was able to handle it. If you are working with kids ages 5-6 this is a good low temp glue gun to use.
EXACTO SAFETY: These are only for adult use, period! Never let a child use one!
Halloween Ideas: MUTANT TOYS
- Old toys preferably rubber/plastic ones
- X-ACTO Knife (ADULTS ONLY)
- Low Temp Glue Gun & glue sticks (older kids only) This is a good glue gun for kids ages 5-6.
- Step One Place all the toy parts in a tray or on the table so the kids can sort through them.
- Step Two Use the pieces as is or trim toys to get use certain parts.
- Step Three Use hot glue to assemble the new toy together.
So easy. As in SOOOOO easy.
TIP: ADULTS ONLY should be in charge of slicing and dicing a toy. It’s fun to slice up the toys (okay maybe it’s a little weird) but it adds another level of imagination by taking apart toys and putting them back together in new ways. My son was itching to make his Shider (Shark + Spider)….
Meet the Mutant Toy Squad!
Where’s the STEAM?
Mutant toys also doubles as a fantastic STEAM project! Here are the subjects it covers:
- Mutant toys look like incredible found object art pieces. They are reminiscent of the incredible assemblage pieces by Robert Rauschenberg.
- Ask kids to name their creations and create a display base for each toy. This is a great opportunity to develop a product idea and think about its attributes as well as create a story about the creature.
Leo Sewell. Leo Sewell is a Philadelphia based artist who creates sculpture from found objects. They are incredibly colorful and amazing works of art made from what most people would consider trash! So go ahead and nurture your inner hoarder, you might just make something amazing from cast-off items!
I know I got carried away with this project but it was so.much.fun and my kids couldn’t have agreed more. I loved the way it sparked all of our imaginations and even fostered character creation and storytelling. You can’t help but give life to your new creatures and imagine what adventures they might be about to go on!
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