Sunday, October 28, 2012

Kid Created Scavenger Hunt

Many things make me proud as a mother, but when my children create their own entertainment I am always genuinely so proud.  It might seem simple to some but in this day and age of immediate entertainment of television, video games and tablets children are at risk of losing the skill of entertaining themselves.  Therefore, I spend a lot of "mothering" time trying to ensure that my children don't fall into the electronic abyss.  So when my daughter created this outdoor scavenger hunt for us to participate in the other day all by herself from the idea to the finished product, I was super proud.  She quietly started drawing a map of the yard and natural objects we had to collect at each location.  Then she made copies, made a cardboard mailbox with slots for each of us and the game was ready to go.  It was lots of fun for us all to do and I was beaming throughout the entire game.

What small moments make you proud as a parent?  

Friday, October 19, 2012

Playing Pretend Pet Store

Since most children would love to purchase many different pets, nothing beats playing pretend pet store.  The children can be pet store owners or shop for all the pretend pets they would like.  It also makes excellent use of all those stuffed animals kids have around the house.

This last time the kids played they separated the shop by sorting the stuffed animals grouping them together.  There was a self service feeding station where you could scoop "pet food" (actually colored macaroni from a sensory bin) into pet food bags from Playing Pretend - Animal.  This area was a huge hit and the younger set pretty much scooped "food" the entire time.

The kids hung price tags from many of the pets.  The printable receipts from Playing Pretend - Animal was also lots of fun. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Wax Leaves and More

This is an activity that I used to do as a child.  Until we tried it ourselves I could not remember why we thought it was so great.  As the project progressed I quickly remembered why...

Step 1:  Head outdoors and collect flat, dry leaves.  Oak and maple leaves worked well.  We also collected acorns and some mums.

Step 2:  Heat up some wax in a recycled can.  Put a little water in a small pot.  Put the wax inside the metal can.  Put the metal can in the water.  This is your make shift double boiler.

Step 3 (optional):  Draw on leaves with paint pens.

Step 4:  An adult removes the metal can and carries it to table.  The child uses a paint brush to paint on the waxy coating.  Once dry, the leaves feel very smooth and will be preserved.  We even dipped flowers and acorns in the wax.

STEP 5 (THE SUPER FUN PART THAT I REMEMBERED):  Once the wax has cooled to the touch, start dipping your fingers into the wax.  It feels soooooo good.  My kids of course had to take it a step further and make waxy hands.  When you peel it off in once piece it makes this really cool impression of your hand, the wrinkles in your hand and your skin.

This was a fun Fall activity that we all got involved in.     

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Making Flavored Ice Cubes

A few weeks ago we made some flavored ice cubes.  My son started out with a few different flavors of Kool Aid and added sugar to make it sweet.  He poured the different flavored Kool Aid into ice cube trays and abracadabra flavored ice.  We added it to seltzer and water to create delicious, pretty drinks with much less sugar than soda or a full cup of Kool Aid.  The kids loved adding a variety of flavors to create their own "specialty drinks".   

We also landed up making flavored ice cubes with straight lemon juice and lime juice.  These were also delicious to create a refreshing lemon and/or lime drink with no sugar.  

If you ask my son, he had the most fun mixing up all the different colors of Kool Aid into one pitcher - see the resulting brown Kool Aid?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Slime Jack O'Lanterns

Slime jack o'lanterns are a fun project for the Fall.  Using the Borax recipe for slime we made orange slime or flubber.  Basically squeeze 8 ounces of Elmer's glue into a bowl.  Add orange food coloring.  In a separate jar mix 1/2 cup warm water and 1 tsp. of Borax powder.  Let the child shake the jar to mix the Borax.  Pour the Borax mixture into the glue bowl and start mixing.  Take out the slime and put on a tray or plate.

We used cut up fun foam to make different jack o'lanterns with the slime.  We added some green colored dried pasta for the stem.

Lots of Fall fun!

The activity encourages:
  • science skills (you can discuss liquids to solids)
  • muscle strengthening in the fingers and hands
  • creativity
  • sensory play