Astronomical Lunch: Painted Planet Sandwiches
These colorful sandwiches combine art, crafts, an astronomy lesson, and lunch all in one. While they aren’t exactly to scale (I’m afraid an accurate Mercury to Jupiter ratio would be impossible), a set of different sized circle cookie cutters will let kids learn about differences between the planets. They can paint each planet in the likeness of the real thing, or they can imagine and paint their own planets from galaxies far away.
Milk paint on bread is a fun and easy project for kids. You can use this method for more than just planets. Kids may paint polka dots, smiley faces, flowers, animals or anything they like on bread.
To make painted planet sandwiches
You will need:
White sandwich bread
Set of circle cookie cutters*
Paint brushes (cleaned with dish soap and used only for food)
Plastic egg carton (optional)
*Find sets of cutters at the craft store, specialty stores or online. I use my circle set so frequently that it was well worth the purchase. This set from Ateco is a great one. Find gel paste food coloring in the craft store or online.
Use the circle cutters to cut out different size circles for the different planets from sandwich bread and set aside.
Pour a tablespoon of milk into small cups. A plastic egg carton makes a perfect palette for this project. Add a few drops of food coloring to each cup. Stir using the back of a paint brush.
Use the paint brushes to paint on the bread (planets are easy, just swirl together different colors). Be careful not to soak the bread with too much of the milk mixture. For Saturn, use a piece of bread crust or paint a stick of bread for the ring.
Lightly toast the painted bread.
To make sandwiches, use the same cutters to cut out matching sized bread and fillings and assemble the sandwiches.
Meaghan Mountford, author of Sugarlicious: 50 Cute and Clever Treats for Every Occasion, has been creating crafty sweets for 15 years. She is especially fond of decorating cookies, marshmallows and putting sweets on sticks. See more on her blog, the decorated cookie.