Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Geo board and popcorn experiments

I will be doing lots of kid stuff this week with both children home for school holidays.  We spent all morning making and playing with a geoboard (I got the idea from these wonderful people).  I have been meaning to do this for awhile so we went and dug an old piece of chipboard out of the crawlspace (we have access from the basement) to use.  I divided the board up into three spaces with a Sharpie and then the kids drew their own dot patterns while I did a grid in the middle.  I didn't have enough nails so not all the dots got covered.  I have to say, don't use chipboard for this!  It was too hard for the kids to do any of the hammering and that was going to be part of the activity.  I would look for some old pine next time so the kids could hammer as well.  The kids really had a ball playing with this for ages.

The other thing we did this morning was popcorn experiments.  I figured that if the popcorn pops in a paper bag why wouldn't it pop in a covered bowl?  Well, I will have to look into the science behind it now as it didn't pop very well at all.  Then we tried a covered plate.  Then a plate with no cover.  You can see our dismal results.  I did get more popped corn than this photo shows but the kids had already retrieved most of it.  They really enjoyed watching it pop and ping all over the microwave though!  I haven't given up on my experimenting in this arena though.  Can oven bags go in the microwave?  I will have to check...

Berry lovely

Take some dead branches (I have been saving them from our autumn pruning)....

Grab a bowlful of mini pom poms and willing children....

Use tacky glue to stick them on said dead branches and voila!  I really like how these turned out.   They look super cute in person and will be decorating a table somewhere for me for awhile.  I kind of wanted just red, orange and yellow pom poms for a more authentic berry look (but really how authentic are pom poms going to look??) but Michael's didn't have them.  So I bought fall themed ones and added red and white ones to it.  They still look cute.

Although, I have to say, the kids tired of it pretty quickly and I was left to do a lot on my own (not that I mind) while they made Christmas cards instead.  I think scrunched up bits of tissue paper might have been easier for them to handle and they might have stuck with it longer.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Basket case

Remember those little baskets I found at the thrift store for mere cents?  Well, I finally found time to bestow some mod podge love on them and have turned them into stationery organising central.  I just stuck strips of scrapbooking paper around the rim and am now using the one on the right as my Christmas card organising centre (in there I have cards, stickers, mailing labels, stamps, a pen, sticky tape, scissors and also some writing paper that I needed a place for).  The left one is holding all my leftover note cards and envelopes.  I need to start writing letters again!  Maybe I will search for ideas of how to use up copious numbers of envelopes instead....

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Carrots on the windowsill

Have you ever done this with your kids?  My Mum used to do this for me and my siblings when we were young and we loved it.  I just remembered it the other day when I was cutting the tops off carrots whilst making dinner. All you do is take the top, put it in a little bowl (or on a saucer or whatever) with some cotton wool and keep the cotton wool moist.  It doesn't take long for the carrot to sprout.  Every morning at breakfast my two ask to check on its progress.  Cheap, easy fun.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Homemade microwave popcorn

This has been a very popular activity around our house for the last couple of days.  Thanks to Maize Hutton, we have been making our very own microwave popcorn and I give it a huge thumbs up for super easy, super yummy and for making Lord A think I can do magic.

Here is a quick rundown of the process (not that you really need it but for all those other visual learners like myself here goes).

Grab a paper bag and some popping corn.  I am recycling a paper bag some takeaway soup came in but you can use any paper bag I would think.  Like Maize Hutton did, I will probably buy some lunch bags and make a bunch for the freezer.

Throw a handful into the bag (I worked out that two tablespoons in the bag was right for my microwave).

Fold over the open end a couple of times (you can tape this end shut if you want but this bag was big enough that nothing was going to be falling out).

Pop it in the microwave and put it on for about 2 mins (longer than 2 minutes and they start to burn - trust me).

Declare yourself a magician to the under 5 set and throw some melted butter and salt over them in a bowl.


Monster in the house

I had this cute little milk bottle that I thought I would recycle by cutting little windows and doors into it (as per the idea here at Filth Wizardry) and maybe we could make a cute little mouse from pom poms or something to live inside after the kids decorate it with stickers and Sharpies and so on.

Lord A had other ideas.


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