Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Fizzing Snowman

So I should start by saying I have an unhealthy problem with going grocery shopping. You see my main problem is that I view the grocery store like an extension of the art/craft store, my frequent shopper card probably has me pegged as someone who loves things such as sugar free jello, cheap white vinegar and bulk boxed baking soda. I buy lots of items with the sole intention to craft with them, I never use food coloring in something I'm going to eat but I buy enough to dye the Great lakes. You see there are just so many activities, and such fun to be had with items in your pantry and often if your making art supplies for your child you can be 100% sure they are free from any nasty toxic chemicals. 

One example is this snow play we got up to this week. I'd read a bunch of various ideas of ways to create fake snow through Pinterest and so I thought Id have a go myself. I wanted to create a snow that they could both play with and build with but that would also be a little fun science experiment after they got done playing.  The following post takes you through what you'll need to do to create your own fizzing snow play.

You will need:

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Corn Starch
  • Hand cream or hair conditioner
  • Accessories for the snowman such as beads, buttons, sticks, felt nose, fabric scarf

 Step 1

Begin by making a batch of snow, for one snowman I used,
  • 1 Cup Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Cup Corn Starch
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1 Tbl spoon of hand cream
I stirred the four ingredients listed above together in a bowl (you may need to get your hands in), make sure its consistency sticks when played with. If its too dry add a little more hand cream, too wet add more corn starch.

Step 2

After creating the dough I left it out for the kids to play with. This invitation to build a snowman included a few beads, some different nose options, twigs and a strip of fabric for the scarf.

Step 3

Once they have had enough snow play you can transfer the snowman to a shallow dish or tray - you'll want something that'll catch the liquid so it doesn't go all over your table. 

I gave each child a small squirt bottle filled with Vinegar, now I had to fill this us a couple of times for them - kids love the squeezing and reaction and will have to empty way more vinegar than they need just to ensure all the fizz has gone. You could use a larger bottle but be warned if the vinegar comes out too fast the reaction will be over quicksand you may need a deeper tray! A container and pipette could also work but it may take a really long time.

Have the child squeeze some vinegar over the snowman, if you look at the base of the snowman in the picture below you can see the snowman beginning to fizz.

Pour more on...and yes more fizz.

They can keep adding vinegar until the snowman completely melts away. 

Make sure you have a round 2 snowman ready or even round 3 or 4, and LOTS of vinegar at hand. If your vinegar has come out quickly give the kids a spoon to play in the bubbles, the stirring can help it fizz and foam for a little longer.  

Honestly the kids can never have enough of this fizzy experiment. The magic melting snowman was a big hit here at home with my kids and also with the littles I teach, heres a few pics from the preschool snowmen (they were a little blue because I added a little food coloring).

Looking for more fizzy winter fun check out our Snowcano here

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Play doh Love Bugs

Last year I took this fun invitation to create into my older sons first grade class as a Valentines Day activity. It proved to be a huge hit and my younger son asked that we create some mini kits using similar items for his friends this year on Valentines day so I thought I would dig out some of the older pictures I took and share them here with you.

You will need:

Red play doh the recipe we used can be found here we replaced the lemonade powder for no sugar added red jello but powdered kool-aid packets also work well.

Accessories to decorate with, we went with red, pink and purple for Valentines Day. You can choose  which are age appropriate for your child, for example I might leave the small beads out of the under 3's invitation. Items to include:
  • Straws
  • Pipe cleaners (chenille sticks)
  • Beads (small pony beads or larger wood beads)
  • Goggly Eyes
  • Foam hearts
  • Buttons
  • Jewels

At home I had it laid it all out in a help yourself invitation as photographed above. For the classroom I gave each child a paper plate to work on with their own lump of play doh and then put a selection of items in the middle of each table for them to help themselves.

For my younger son I'm going to bag up a small lump of play doh for each child and included a few of each item in the bag with the play doh. He included a little card reading 'Love Bugs'.

This is such a great invitation because you can just leave the kids to it and they have a blast. Some created multiple monsters, others just one. Some created then smooshed it all down and started again. At the end of the session I took a bunch of photos for prosperity and they each got to take their play doh and parts home in a small bag.

Here are a few of the creations,

6 legged love heart bug by Olive aged 6

Darth Maul love bug by Sam aged 7

Mr and Mrs Strawberry Bugs by Emma aged 6

Mrs Strawberry Bug, "you can tell its Mrs because she's wearing her jewels" by Emma aged 6

Mr Kiss Me Tickle Bug by Dylan aged 5

Pucker up!

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of their creations and if you make your own love bugs give us a shout out or post a picture we'd love to see them. Hope its not too early for a Valentines idea!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

17 Ways Sew a Christmas Softie

You might remember back at the beginning of December we posted our gingerbread cookie cutter craft as part of the sew a softie campaign run by Trixi over at Coloured Buttons. Well various bloggers have been posting throughout December and today I'm posting a 12 5 days until Christmas round up with 17 super easy 'softies' that were created by so many fabulous bloggers as part of this holiday sewing special. And with a  few more days until the big day there is still time to get your kids sewing something special for that someone special.

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a gingerbread cookie cutter softie,

Well here are our cookie cutter Gingerbread instructions if you wanted to check them out again.

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me,

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 

On the fourth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me, lots of ways of sewing a snowman softie,

On the fifth Day of Christmas....oh just give me the awesomely simple sewing plans and lets not drag it out for 12 days!

We hope you enjoy making these as much as we did.

Winter Solstice Candles

Happy Winter Solstice

It is so good to think that from here on out our days are getting longer, every day (well here in the North anyway)  we will be moving closer to summer. Depending on how far north of the equator you live you will be effected by greater or lesser extent. I recently read that ancient people thought during the long dark days of winter the sun was going away for good.  They became concerned that they would have to live in perpetual darkness. No wonder so many religious holidays fall around this time of year and celebrate with lights, the transition to longer days is something to celebrate and light becomes the obvious symbol of hope in the darkness.

So today we are going to be making something I remember making as a child. We will be making orange pomanders. They are incredibly easy to make and smell SO good, often they are just decorated oranges so if you want to leave the candle out and just use them as a room decoration you can and they make your home smell wonderful. But given its the solstice and we've been talking about light we will be adding candles to ours.

You will need:

Glue or as we used glue dots
A small candle

Step 1

Begin by gluing the ribbon around the orange in whichever direction you choose to go. 

Step 2

And this really shows how easy it is, begin sticking the cloves through the orange skin using the spiky end of the clove.

Continue this moving around in a circle. 

Or a line.

The way you choose to decorate with the cloves is completely up to you. Some go for maximum coverage. Others a patterned design.

Step 3

Cut away the skin at the top with a  sharp knife if you are going to add the candle. 

And your done all thats left is for the candle to be lit and the subtle smell of oranges and cloves enjoyed on this Winter Solstice.