Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bath Paints

We love painting in the bath. Our wall is white and just begging for some colour. And the kids have so much fun scribbling and swirling with paint brushes or their fingers. We have tried a few different types of bath paints. The first was the Crayola bath paint, and sure it was fun, but it was also expensive. It was the same with the other two brands we tried, so we decided to make our own bath paint.
We used Johnson's head-to-toe body wash and corn starch. Add in food colouring or Kool-Aid or Duncan Hines Frosting Creations mixes for colours and scents. For this batch we tested out the Duncan Hines Frosting Creation mixes that we just bought, though we normally just stick to food colouring.

About 1 or 2 teaspoons of corn starch should be good, depending on how much you want to make. We stick to small batches because they never get through it all. 

Add the body wash next and mix it in until it reaches the consistency that you like.

Then add the food colouring, Kool-Aid or Duncan Hines Frosting Creations mix. Stir together.

Finished! If you make this in advance, just stir it together before you begin painting with it, because it might settle. 

Then let the painting begin! I let them do this before bath time so they can get as dirty as they want and then it all washes away :) 

Bean loves watching it drip, drip, drip!

Just keep in mind that this is soap, so it is slippery. Please use caution. We added a towel to the bottom of the tub after they were finished with the floor mural. Munchkin is very clumsy and we didn't want any accidents. 

Bean said she wanted a tree so I painted one and then she wanted to do shapes, but she lost interest. 

One minute a work of art...

The next, a completely clean wall. This took less than 3 minutes to wash off. Bean used a wet scrubby and rubbed it off. Afterwards I filled up the tub and gave them a bath before bed :)

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Oobleck (AKA Goo)

Goo is so fun to make! To make Oobleck you need cornstarch and water, food colouring is optional. You also need a bowl to mix it in. A 16 ounce box of cornstarch is enough for 2-3 servings. We used about 8 ounces, but I eyeballed it. I added liquid food colouring to the water before I mixed the cornstarch in. This is the part where you can add as much water as you want, but the goal is that you want it to move fluidly like a liquid but feel and act like a solid. The basic ratio is 1/2 cup water for every 1 cup of cornstarch. We used extra water last time, so we used less water this time.
This is an interesting science experiment for older kids, but my kids just enjoyed getting their hands dirty :)

Bean stirred with a spoon until the cornstarch was all mixed in and then started using her hands to explore the weird texture. 

Then we left the blue batch in the bowl and poured the pink batch onto a plate. The blue batch had a normal water to cornstarch ratio, the pink batch had less water in it, to see how different they were. 

Bean decided to add ducks to her pink "pond" :) She was amazed that some slid around by themselves, while others stayed where they were. 

Then Bean poured some of the blue goo onto the plate... because she always mixes colours... but this time the colours didn't blend together! They stayed separate despite her best efforts to mix them. 

Munchkin kept tipping the bowl over to try and dump it out, but the goo refused to leave its bowl. So instead he kept tipping it to watch it slide down and would feel the bumpy grooves it made. 

They were amazed that it looked wet but didn't feel wet. 

And it stores up easily. We saved it to play with later that day but I wouldn't recommend keeping it for too long. I don't know how long it would stay good for. Just don't pour it down the drain! Either throw it in the trash or dump it in the garden or compost bin (after all it is just cornstarch and water).

Oobleck is easy to clean up too. Soap and water will get rid of it on hands or surfaces. We found out that when it dripped on the coffee table and floor that it "dried" up and could be picked up and added back to the bowl. The best part was watching the fallen pieces ooze back into the mother batch. It completely amazed Munchkin and Bean :)

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Painting: Butterflies

So we began this project knowing that Grammy would be visiting and wanted to show her the butterflies we have been making. We explored caterpillars and butterflies earlier in the day using penne and bow-tie dyed pasta. Now we wanted to make butterflies using paint. And our feet!
Use any paint you want. We used Crayola paint that we had from an art kit from Christmas. We poured it into Melissa and Doug spill proof paint cups because otherwise they would have dumped the paint out (the faster to mix it together with). We used paper from our easel pad and layered them on one of the larger lids from our sensory bins. We also covered the carpet in several layers of newspapers, to try and keep the paint off the floor. It almost worked :)

Before we could begin, they needed to get some free-style painting out of their system :) 

Then I showed them what to do... They laughed so hard while I painted their feet :) Apparently it was very ticklish. But they quickly learned what to do and did it by themselves. They had so much fun painting their feet and stamping the paper. The right foot is the left wing and the left foot is the right wing. We did each foot one at a time. Once the wings are done, add a body and antennae to the butterfly. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of their finished butterflies :( 

But Bean couldn't just stop at painting her feet. No, she had to paint her legs and knees, too :) Munchkin was perfectly content painting his feet in each of the colours. 

Bean helped Munchkin for a while, deciding that he needed leg paint too.

Then he took over...

And soon they were covered in Christmas colours :)

At the end, I asked Bean if she wanted to paint a picture for our roommates as well. She painted a beard on herself and made a grumpy face, pretending that she was one of them. 

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Bean and I were aiming to make slime, but instead the result was a lump of flubber. It was absolutely perfect! It became flubber instead of slime because Bean was having so much fun mixing it together that the borax hardened it past the slimy point. It was worth it though.
The recipe for slime is:

One bottle of Elmer's school glue (we used the purple glitter glue, but you can use clear or white glue and add food colouring if you desire) 4 ounces or 1/2 cup
1 cup and 1 tablespoon of warm water
1 teaspoon of borax 

I let Bean empty the bottle of glue into the bowl and added 1 tablespoon of warm water. I let Bean mix it together. She poked her finger into it and felt that it was sticky, so she asked for a spoon. 

She enjoyed lifting the spoon up and watching the slippery glue slide off.

Mix the teaspoon of borax into the cup of warm water, stir it and let it sit for a moment before adding it to the bowl of glue. 

At this point the sticky feeling was almost gone, so Bean used her hands to mix it together. Remember, this part should be done quickly because the borax hardens it. She spent a few minutes squeezing, molding and rolling it around before we took it out of the water and borax solution. 

So now we have a ball of flubber! It is still soft, but not very flexible. Bean likes to hold it and press it into the table to flatten it out. It rips easily but will reform when pressed back together. We store it in an airtight glass container. 

We will try the slime recipe again soon and hope for different results. :)

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Nature Sensory Bin

Munchkin and Bean LOVE sensory bins. We try to make one every day and it always provides at least an hour of play. I try not to direct their play, apart from reminding them to keep the dirt in the bin and not to throw the rocks. The CAT construction toys are new, so I did show them how each one worked before I set them up to play. I prepared a bin with sand (which already had rocks mixed into it from our beach bin), a bowl of cut grass and other green leafy clippings as well as a few dandelions and an assortment of add-ins including rocks, sea glass, plastic trees, a mountain, insects, snakes, spiders, lizards and a fire-breathing dragon who lives in the mountain, according to Bean. 
Sensory bins like this one are great for learning new words and also recognizing opposites like "big" and "small" or "tall" and "short" or "rough" and "smooth" or "light" and "heavy". The texture of the sand and the rocks are great for little hands to explore. 
I recently bought Bean a book on the food chain, so she was interested in the "green energy" from the plants. She fed the grass to the lizards and I reminded her that lizards also eat insects, so she fed them flies. The spiders also ate the flies and the snakes ate the lizards. 

Practicing using the construction vehicles. 

Showing Kaede a "smooth" rock.

Checking out the new toys.

Adding the snakes to the bin. She loves pressing them into the soil so that she can see the imprint they leave. 

Tossing rocks into the bin.

Bean built a home for the green lizard. 

Munchkin squeezing the sand. 

Big, small, rough, smooth, light, heavy: words we are using with rocks as examples. 

Bean likes to name the colour as well as the type of insect it is. Like "green mantis" and "black fly". She does the same for the lizards and snakes. 

Munchkin is grouping all of the trees together. 

Everything co-existing. 

Munchkin is driving all of the construction toys into the corner and then trying to stack them.

Bean is pretending one of the rocks is a phone.

And is disappointed that no one is answering.

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