Friday, July 31, 2009

* Rainbow Rice Eye Spy Bottle

I used some of our Rainbow Rice as the filler,
(you can also use white rice or bird seed)
then I collected mini-trinkets in a variety of colors
(Stuff that will fit in a bottle: buttons, beads, paper clips,
pom-pons, googly eyes, charms, birthday candle, Polly shoes, etc.)

We sorted them by Rainbow colors and placed them onto colored paper.
Then I photographed them as the "spy cards" to go with each bottle
since I have pre-readers.

The girls helped me fill the bottles
with treasures and rainbow rice.
Each girl's bottle is labeled with her initial.
(prevents a lot of sibling squabbles in our household)

Then I used my favorite Scotch brand
(no they don't pay me, I just love them)
no-heat laminating cards to make them kid-proof.
(I buy them at Walmart in the office products aisle)

NOTE: I super-glued the lids shut 
so we (hopefully) won't end up with rainbow confetti all over my car!!

This is the photo on the "cover" of each girl's
Eye-Spy Rainbow Cards.

Here are some of the RED treasures.

Here are our ORANGE treasures.

Here are our YELLOW treasures.

Here are the GREEN treasures.

Here are some of the BLUE treasures.

PURPLE Treasures.

PINK treasures for two girlie-girls!

Hopefully these bottles will bring many years/miles of entertainment.

What Should You Do With It?
You can play a number of ways...

1. Pick a color and see how many things you can count.

2. Name something like Yellow Star and see who can find it first.

3. Make up a silly story that you have to use objects in (like MadLibs),
Example: "Once upon a time there was a Yellow Star
named Birthday Candle, she had a pet confetti leaf and a big dime."

I'm sure the girls will have fun making up their own games.

Pink and Green Mama,

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Make An Ocean In A Bag

I love simple crafts
that keep the kiddos busy
during "arsenic hour".

By "arsenic hour", I am referring to that
window at our house from 5-6ish
waiting for dad to get home from work,
while dinner is finishing
and mama and babies are tired!

This is one of those random crafts
that just popped into my head
during a recent "arsenic hour"
and it was such a big hit,
I wanted to share it with all of you.

I helped each of my girls make an
Ocean In A Bag.

We grabbed two of our re-used
gallon zip lock bags
(yes I wash and save mine
like my grandma washes and saves bread bags!)

Mom peace-making tip:
I labeled them with a sharpie
so there wouldn't be fighting among the girls
about which one was theirs.

Then, we raided my art room stash
and found foam ocean critter stickers
(dolphins, starfish, fish, etc)
to stick inside AND outside the bag.

Then we added a
small scoop of mini seashells
(also in my stash from making ocean boxes)

Followed by a
scoop of dry sand
from our sand table.

Then we added several pumps of white hand lotion
and a few drops of blue food coloring.

We zipped them shut,
the girls started gently massaging their bags
and viola, instant
ocean in a bag mini habitat
that is also a sensory experience.

You can trace letters/shapes
in the sand goo through the plastic bag.

Be careful not to pop them
(don 't leave too much air)
and sharp shell edges can rip
so, I wouldn't do this on white carpet or a couch!

Kept them busy for the 45 minutes I needed
harmony and peace in our home.

This was a great activity
because BOTH girls (ages 6 and 2.5)
could fully participate in it!

(Mini-Saurus adding shells to her bag)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Make Your Own Very Hungry Caterpillar

Both of my girls LOVE
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
by Eric Carle!

To celebrate the 40th anniversary
of this wonderful
(and Beautifully illustrated!)
children's book
we made our own Hungry Caterpillars
to play with!

We made a big mommy caterpillar
and two mini-baby caterpillars.

I threaded a needle with a double thickness of thread
and the girls helped string on pom-pons
to create caterpillar bodies.
(then I doubled the thread back through the bodies
to make them stronger before knotting them off)

We added button eyes to the bigger mama-pillar,
and left the little ones plain.
(I wonder if elastic thread would have been better?)

Then we went on a hunt in the playroom
to collect all of the food from the story.

I set up both of our copies of the book,
a tray of play food,
and our caterpillars for the girls
and they had a great time
acting out the story for several days.

Mini-Saurus still plays with her mini-caterpillar
at bedtime while we read the book.

I am planning to make a tape recording
of myself reading the book aloud
for our "read aloud" book center
in the family room.

How cute would these be
in a classroom reading center?!

(you can take the teacher out of a school,
but you can't take
the classroom ideas out of the teacher!)

Psst...lean in -- I'll tell you my secret...

(I also have hopes and dreams of making
a felt board set...
it may be one of my homemade
Christmas gifts for the girls this year!)

This bulletin board set
would be so much easier!
You could laminate it and add a piece of velcro
(or felt) to the back of each piece
for instant (ADORABLE) felt board pieces!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rainbow Rice Is Twice As Nice! Make Your Own Colored Rice For A Sensory Box

Children and Rainbows go together like Peas and Carrots.
Why not make your own colored rice to explore a RAINBOW sensory box?
The girls and I continued our Color Wheel themed Rainbow Camp Week with this fun project.
We used food coloring to dye white rice for a new Rainbow Activity Box.

I wanted to use rubbing alcohol to "set" the food coloring color
with the rice (the same way I dyed the noodles for our sun catcher rainbows)

But, I was running low on rubbing alcohol,
so I substituted with Purelle (alcohol-based hand sanitizer)
It worked perfectly!
4-5 pumps per sandwich bag and 4-5 drops of food coloring.
(I re-used the bags I dyed the noodles in)
I think it actually dried a lot faster!

I found this great idea at the Forester Clan Blog.
They did a much more sophisticated color palette with their rice.

We stuck with our basic 6 colors,
Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet.
my girls aren't big fans of Indigo (navy thanks)

So pretty before we mixed it all together...
NOTE: We let it finish drying in the sunshine and fresh air to get rid of the
alcohol smell - once it was dry there wasn't any smell except for the rice smell.

So far, the princesses are having quite a party in their new confetti Rainbow Land!

Pink and Green Mama,

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Rainbow Camp

Between the Frog Princess' Art camp, VBS, and another little school camp,
the girls and I are passing our summer vacation
with some homegrown fun.
I'm doing little theme camps with them
right here at home.
No, Not ALL DAY activities but a few
art projects, science experiments, fun snacks, games, and books.
It helps to break up the long days
and gives us something different to look forward to...

We had our first little week-long camp at home two weeks ago.

It was...get ready for it...


I know... Big. Shocker.
Me? Rainbows? Come on.

We did all kinds of fun little rainbow projects,
some oldies but goodies
and a few new things thrown into the mix.
WE even recruited a neighborhood friend
to join us for a full day of camp activities!

Here is a peek at some of our activities....

Sorting and Stringing
Fruit Loop Rainbow Necklaces.

I do love my mini quiche trays!

This is a thirsty project if you've been
running around in the backyard for an hour
and you have to sample each color as you work!

Spin Art.
What kid doesn't love spin art?
No machine? No problem?
Lay some paper in your salad spinner,
throw on some washable diluted tempera paint
or liquid watercolors and spin away!

We bought this little machine two years ago
for a birthday party and we still pull it out
regularly (in the garage)
on rainy days, snow days, hot days...
Rainbow camp days!

The girls have been begging to make
Lisa (from 5 Orange Potatoes Fame) 's

We dyed the noodles with food coloring
and a splash of rubbing alcohol in plastic snack bags.
I saved the bags to reuse for other dying projects.

After letting the noodles soak for a couple of hours,
and dry overnight in bowls (sorted by color of course!)
We covered waxed paper with Elmer's school glue,
and started lining up our rainbows.

Big Sister made the big rainbow.
Little Sister made the little rainbow.

This was a fun project because Mini-Saurus
could participate with minimal guidance.

We also tried our hand at making
ornaments/sun catchers.
This fabulous project idea also came from Lisa, need to go check out 5 Orange Potatoes
(I wish she and her girls lived next door to me!)

They looked great wet on the tray.
(plastic wrap underneath so they don't stick)
but the mini squeeze tubes of glitter glue
pulled and left big holes as it shrank and dried.
We had to go back a couple of days later and fill in with
Elmer's galactic glitter glue.

Gorgeous window stars drying.

Mixing food coloring and water
with my glorious mini quiche tray collection!
(anyone recognize this activity from our doctor party?)

We got the pipettes, eye droppers, and test tubes
from Discount School Supply.

Rainbow Monograms
Then we cut out initials with clear contact paper,
and rubbed them onto mom's good water color paper.
They painted with their newly mixed
home-made food coloring water colors.

When the paint was dry in less than an hour,
(we put our wet paintings out in the sun to dry)
we removed the contact paper.

This little "resist" water color project
goes back to my art teacher days,
but I've seen it popping up on a lot of blogs lately.

It's fun and easy,
and your kids will think
you're a rock star if you try it with them!

I'll post some more Rainbow-rific ideas soon!
(wow, that sentence sounds like I need Scooby snacks to go with it)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

* Color My Driveway: DIY Cornstarch Sidewalk Paint

If I had known about this as a kid, my parents would have had the
most colorful driveway in the neighborhood!
DIY sidewalk paint is so fun and easy to make.

We decided to give it a try.

I don't know what took me so long! It was love at first sight.


We mixed up a paste with:
food coloring, and

I used my trusty muffin tin as our palette. The colors were so vivid!
We had a great time.


Helpful Tips if you try this at home:

1. I mixed the cornstarch and food coloring first inside the house.
We carried the muffin pan with the dry powder outdoors,
THEN added the water with a small watering can (to control splashing)
This way we didn't slosh and stain the house on our way outdoors!

2. Make sure you use a good ratio of cornstarch to water.
You'll want it to be a thicker paste not too watery so the color will show up.

The only disappointment was that it dried very opaque and white.
I guess I should have used more food coloring,
but I was worried about the girls staining their clothes or the sidewalk!!

Now it's time to crack out our CRAYOLA chalk rakeand get busy -- Yay Rainbows!

Pink and Green Mama,

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