Monday, December 10, 2018

The Poo in the Pizza Box

     My teaching life often overflows into my home life, so I hope you won't be surprised when I tell you that I spent an evening a couple of weeks ago making fake poop in my kitchen. Not so I could gross my students out. If I'd wanted to do that I would have created the little rolls and balls out of chocolate and then eaten them as part of my demonstration.
     The poop I made was in response to the fact that fake scat (that's what scientists call it) is very expensive.

      This little bucket is $64.00.

     So, after shopping around a bit, it seemed like a no-brainer that I should make poop as a craft project. In fact, I'm considering putting my results on Pinterest. I have this feeling there are other teachers out there who would like to save money on their poop purchases.
     I couldn't find any recipes for this on-line. In fact, googling the words poop, scat or fake animal poo recipe yields some interesting results. But, nothing I found useful, so I created my own recipe.
     I know you are dying to try this yourself, so here it is: one part cocoa powder, one part finely ground oatmeal, one part wet coffee grounds (give them a whirl in your blender to make a black slurry) and two parts craft glue. Add more glue as needed to create a playdough-like consistency. Your add-ins will include steel cut oatmeal, seeds, hair and finely ground grass, depending on the animal.
     I used the resulting mixture to form examples of rabbit, racoon, deer, coyote and bear scat. For mouse scat, I just found some of the real stuff in an outbuilding. All of this was baked in an oven until dry, then glued into a pizza box, which adds to the anticipation since all kids will immediately clamor for a slice of pizza as soon as they see the box and you can then open the lid dramatically and offer it to them.

     If you've read this far, without being totally grossed out, then here's a fun game for you:

Name That Scat

   Answers: raccoon, mouse, deer, rabbit, bear, coyote.

Now, next time you go outside you'll know what animal has walked your way.

If you see the second one from the bottom and it's still steaming, leave quickly and quietly.