"The weather outside is frightful..."
Here in central Illinois, we've had rain, rain and more rain! No fun snowmen to build, no sledding, just a big, muddy mess. So, we've turned to indoor activities to keep us (me, mainly) sane. One of my "rules" is to have a kid project at least twice a week - that way, when I need a few minutes of kid-free time to finish up one of my projects, I can promise them that we'll soon be doing something fun that's just for them! Making flubber turned out to be a spectacular success!! Even my kids agreed - the oldest said, "This was a super fun project, Mommy. I just love gross play dough."
(This is what we called the Flubber we made using a recipe I found here.) Gross play dough indeed - it is hard to believe that we started with two completely liquid mixtures, added them together . . . and initially got this:
. . . which quickly took over the entire bowl . . .
. . . and finally ended up as this rubbery, squishy, moldable but oozing pile of awesome! They loved it - the little one doesn't speak much English (at least as I interpret), but he played with it for nearly an hour.
So, here are my tips for the recipe:
I found that the original recipe would have made a HUGE amount of one color. So, I took the original recipe and divided it by 3, to make 3 different colors. Here's text of the recipe (in case my cool graphic is too small to read!):
These three colors fit into one 32 oz yogurt tub for storage. I also accidentally bought Elmer's Glue-All for one of my bottles of glue (you'll need about 2 and 1/3 big bottles), instead of regular Elmer's. The batch made with straight Glue-All was way more watery, but I could still pick up the blob and knead it, there was just lots of water left in the bowl.
I used glass bowls and plastic forks because I wasn't sure what the magic behind this little project would do to my "real" dishware and cutlery. The kids thought this was so fun, I'm sure we'll be making more and more! I've got to find a way to buy Elmer's by the gallon! The yogurt container keeps it nice and gross...er, I mean fresh. Bonus - when you flip it over and squish it out, it flattens into that nice circle I used as a backdrop for the recipe!
Post by Cameron : Homemade by Cameron
With my family’s first annual ski trip coming up, snow is on our mind here. I spent a few minutes brainstorming and floating around various websites to get some fun snow ideas to incorporate into our busy week. Here are a few fun ideas that are on our winter activity list:
* Watercolor Snowflakes * Using a white crayon, draw simple snowflake shapes onto white paper. Have your kids paint the paper with water colors, and the snowflakes will shine through.
* Cut Snowflakes * What kid isn’t excited at the thought of using scissors? I know, right? So, bring on some snowflakes! We used origami paper for ours because it’s thinner and easier to cut through several layers. String snowflakes together to make some garland; hang them from your dining room light fixture or simply tape them to your windows. Find a very simple snowflake solution here and more advanced snowflake directions here.
* Puffed Snow Art * Mix an equal amount of flour, salt and water for your kids to paint a snowman. As the measurements suggest, this is quite wet….so I highly recommend using thick paper or cardboard. Although it looks a little nasty, it dries puffy and sparkly—just like snow! (We used construction paper, and it worked just fine, but it would look better on thicker paper.)
* Cotton Ball Blizzard * Give each kiddo a straw then lay out some cotton balls on a table or on the floor. Using the straw, blow the cotton snowballs across the table or room. Race to see who can blow their snowball across the table first. Make an obstacle course with plastic cups for the kiddos to blow the snowballs around. Forget blowing bubbles in the milk, my boys are now addicted to seeing what else they can blow across the table. (Good thing their blows aren’t too powerful!)
* Carpet Skating * Heather, a Supermom of two from Chesapeake Beach, MD, shared a great idea for indoor carpet skating. Wearing just socks on your feet, wrap wax paper over the socks and secure with scrunchies. Now skate on your carpet. She explains, “Be careful, it’s really slippery… but super fun!” If you don’t have wax paper handy or if you prefer something less slippery, parchment paper may used in place of wax paper.
* Indoor Snowball Fight * Crumple up a few sheets of white paper to resemble a snow ball, then fight, fight, fight! You may have to set up a few ground rules since this is an indoor snowball fight, but it is sure to bring some giggles!
* Hot Chocolate * No snowball fight is complete without a cup of hot chocolate! Trying to be healthier? Try this homemade recipe.
* Snow Play * If you have snow, bundle up and build some mini snowmen. Or fill a squeeze bottle with water, add a few drops of food coloring and squirt your name in snow! If you don’t have snow, check out instant snow—this stuff is awesome!
Post by Aimee and Bettijo : www.supermomments.com
Jon Cannell is one artist we love to work with! We thought we would get to know him a little better…
What is your favorite memory from science class when you were in school?
Looking through the microscope. The sense of another world living on that small plate of glass was amazing. It reminded me of looking into space and wondering what else was out there that couldn't be seen by the human eye.
Which is your favorite scientific element?
Carbon. It is the element that is in all known life forms. It is also used to determine the age of organic remains from an archaeological sites (Carbon dating). Pretty cool.
If you weren't an artist, what career do you think you would have?
An architect or a tennis coach.
What are your favorite things to draw?
I love drawing mechanical objects, buildings, robots, space.
What advice do you have for all the young artists out there?
Don't worry about what other people think about your art. Have fun! Experiment and explore. Use materials and surfaces that you aren't used to (various papers, clay, linoleum blocks, pencils, paints, sticks etc...). Keep a sketchbook (or many!). It is fun to go back through your ideas later. Who knows, it may inspire your next masterpiece!
Jon Cannell’s Periodic Table (Periodic Chairs Not Included) $119.00, available exclusively at The Land of Nod.
I have these orange pillar candles I bought on clearance years ago. The scent was discontinued, and I'd really grown to love it. I was sad when they reached the end of their wick, so I held onto them, not wanting to throw them out. I decided I could melt them down, insert a new wick and start over. If you've got a few dwindling pillar candles, here's a little walk-through on how to turn them into new candles.
Let's get started:
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
2. Remove any stickers or labels from the candle and cut it into 1/2" chunks. Make sure to discard the old wick and metal clip.
3. Put the foil pan on a foil-lined cookie sheet for stability and put into the preheated oven.
4. While the wax melts, put a dot of hot glue on the wick clip and adhere to the bottom of the glass jar.
5. Set the timer for 5 minutes. Stir the chunks with the popsicle stick.
6. Repeat every 5 minutes, (heat, stir, heat, stir) until the wax is completely liquefied. The total time will vary depending on the amount of wax to be melted.
Important: don't be tempted to turn the heat up...if the wax gets too hot it can combust. Just keep it slow & steady to avoid any disasters.
7. Once the wax is completely melted, carefully pour it into the waiting glass jar.
9. Once the wax is cool, trim the wick to 1/4".
10. Light your new old candle and enjoy.
Post by Christina Williams : justcallmechris.blogspot.com
Since it’s still early in the new year, I suspect I’m not alone trying to eat healthier? I mean, isn’t it customary each year for Moms everywhere to resolve to eat better and to prepare healthier meals for the family? I’ve invested many hours already this year scouring the internet to find good recipes, and I’ve found many recipes call for small portions of chicken stock. I don’t use bouillon cubes, and much of the canned chicken stock had ingredients I couldn’t pronounce or a lot of sodium, so I went to Plan C which turned out to be so simple and essentially free. (Anyone resolve to save more money this year?)
After I cook and de-bone a chicken, I have been using the carcass to make broth. It’s incredibly simple and especially frugal!
Simply throw the chicken bones into a large crock pot with whatever vegetables you have on hand. I raided my refrigerator vegetable drawer to find onion, celery stalks and baby carrots. I pealed the onion then quartered it. I washed then chopped the celery into large chunks. As for carrots, I dumped the bag in as-was. Then I filled the pot with water.
I cooked the broth on medium-low all day. That night after my boys were in bed I strained the broth then poured it into a gallon pitcher to refrigerate overnight. As the broth cools, fat floats to the top of the pitcher, so the next morning I scraped it off. I poured the remaining broth into one-cup freezer-safe plastic bowls and stored them in our freezer. Now, everytime I make something that calls for a cup of chicken broth, I pull out a bowl.
A couple notes: Any fresh (or dried) herbs you have on hand can be added to the broth before cooking. I didn’t add any salt to my broth, yet it tasted great. If you don’t feel up to cooking an entire chicken, check your local grocer for a rotisserie chicken. Freezer-safe bowls come in all sizes, so freeze your broth into portions that will accommodate your family’s favorite recipes.
Post by Aimee and Bettijo : www.supermomments.com