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Peeps on parade: Cottage Grove students have fun with candy dioramas

Jacob Arcand's entry in the school Peep contest is a wrestling match that he made with his father's help. Bulletin photo by Judy Spooner

While a waning winter has yet to morph into spring-like weather, fifth-graders needed something fun to do.

There is so much material to cover in fifth grade, said Pine Hill fifth-grade teachers Missy Lidtke, Pat Oslund and Melissa Rahn, that it's good for kids to take a break. Eight years ago, creativity with Peeps filled the need and they have been doing it every year since.

Dioramas made with Peeps, the marshmallow treat that started as yellow chicks at Easter and grew to include Peeps for every season and holiday, are very popular. About 20 national daily newspapers hold Peep diorama contests at Easter.

To keep things in perspective, students are given a Peep by their teachers and told they have a week to come up with a diorama. Teachers tell them not to spend a lot of money and use items they already have at home.

They already have an advantage in that, for four years, they have looked at past Peep projects. They know that cardboard boxes with the fronts cut out are a good place to start.

Jacob Arcand took the advice to heart. Since he watches wrestling three times a week, sometimes with his dad, he thought a wrestling match might be a good idea.

"I already have a lot of wrestling stuff," he said.

His dad built some bleachers, they spray-painted the peeps to add more colors, he said, as he straightened up the wrestlers in the ring, the only Peeps not glued in place.

Carley Capistrant wanted to do something different. As she looked at the various colors of Peep ducks, chicks and bunnies at the store, it reminded her of a rainbow, which spawned Rainbow Peeps.

Jocelyn Veary thought about keeping Peeps entertained and built a Peep Park for their amusement. The main park feature is a roller coaster full of Peeps having a good time.

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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