May 28, 2008

Homemade Stepping Stones

We've just embarked on an mission to tart up our garden for the summer. It's a mission with a strict and small budget. I wanted something that the kids could contribute beyond throwing soil around, so we came up with the plan to let them make their own stepping stones.

We picked up a small bag of quick setting concrete from Lowes and a couple of bags of those flower arranging glass nuggets from the Dollar Tree. We mixed up a batch of the concrete, sprayed the inside of a plastic plant pot saucer with Pam cooking spray and plopped it full of concrete. Then we let the kids squish the colourful glass nuggets into the top of it and let it set in the sun.
When they were dry the kids went at them with cheap kiddy paint that we had about the house anyway and I varnished the painted stones for a bit of extra durability and plonked them in the garden as a little path for them to hop about on.

A few days later we did some more with cement rather than concrete so they could make hand prints in a few. I'll post pics of those up when they are finished.

Frosted Flakes Toddlerbots

I'm always amazed by how much recycling mounts up for a family of four. Seeing as there's usually a stash of various shaped empty containers and cardboard in the kitchen waiting to go out to the recycle bin, we usually play with it a bit before it gets there.

We cut face sized holes and in a couple of the gigantic multi bag cereal boxes, turned them inside out, taped them back together and then the kids spent a good 40 minutes to an hour decorating the "robot heads" with paint and stickers. I rolled up a piece of aluminium foil and taped it to the top of each as antenna.

The Ffionator 5000 and Beedasbot were born and a good afternoon of make believe play ensued.

N.B. I realised after I'd cut the peepholes that if I'd done it with the box the right way up then it would look like they had Tony the tiger's miniture body before we turned the boxes inside out for painting.

May 21, 2008

Snail painting

You will need: A big sheet of white paper (we used a strip of butchers block paper), a few different food colourings, a few snails and a bit of patience.

he kids dipped the snails from our back yard in the food colouring and put them down on the paper. After the initial shock the snails began to move about the paper and create art for us. The kids had fun putting leaves and grass around the outside of the paper to try and tempt the snails to go one way or the other. The snails seem completely unharmed by the food colouring and we see the "used ones" happily around the place still with coloured shells days later.

The colourful art now has pride of place on one of our kitchen cabinets. From the trails it looks like the snails have all disapeared into the cupboard. Gross.

Rainbow water

One of the mums I know switched me on to this fun game. We have a load of old plastic tupperware containers that have lost thier lids and some empty water bottles that were going to be recycled, so I got the kids out the back in the yard and filled all the water bottles up from the tap and dropped a couple of drops of food colouring in each. They had great fun pouring the coloured water back and forth mixing the colours and when they ended up with brown water we watered the plants with it. No stained clothes from the tiny amount of food colouring either.

Pancake art

Special weekend breakfasts now involve fruit and "pancake art" for us. To create these fun treats:
  • mix your regular pancake batter making sure that it has no lumps at all.
  • pour into a ziplock baggy and seal.
  • snip a teensy hole in one corner of the ziplock bag.
  • pipe out the batter into the hot pan fairly quickly and in whatever shape your littlies request.

N.B. Remember that all your art work has to be touching for you to be able to pick it up in one and flip it and you have to work quite quickly so that it cooks evenly.

Extra Skills: If you can pipe your name in mirror image and then wait a moment before flooding your drawing with more batter then when you flip the pancake you will have your name embedded in the pancake and slightly darker golden brown than the rest of the pancake.