Thursday, August 16, 2012

{Fizzy Science}

I'm just sharing a ton of pictures here....
 Fizzy science is on our summer bucket list. I gave each of the boys a baking pan with a thick layer of baking soda. Then I used our awesome Learning Resources jumbo test tubes to mix vinegar and food coloring. I provided red, blue, yellow, and green. The test tubes were great because they don't tip over!
 I gave them each two eye droppers, which are always a hit, and let them go for it.
 A was fascinated by the fizzing and very strategically covered every inch of his pan.
 After a while J(6.5) wanted to make different colors. I encouraged him to try a few different things: drip one color and then the other (didn't work), drip them both at the same time (didn't work) and finally to mix the colors in a bowl and then pour it on (that worked).

He had fun trying out different color combinations.

 Towards the end they started dumping and mixing and making messes, which is the fun part anyway.
 They spent about 90 minutes happily playing together at the table. That's a record at our house!

 This is a great sensory activity, especially for little ones. They can safely touch, taste, and smell all of the ingredients.
I didn't get any pictures but eventually their pans were swimming in goo and they had a great time playing in it. The food coloring wasn't strong enough to stain anything and it all washed up really easy. Actually my pans came out sparkling, bonus.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

{Home Depot Workshop}

This was our third workshop and we still love it! If you haven't tried them out yet you really really should. We forgot the boys' aprons this time, bummer. Fortunately their paint is 100% washable.
 This week they made bulletin boards. They painted all of their pieces first and then put them together.

 J's(6.5) finished bulletin board.
 A(3.5) had the most trouble with this project I think.
The boys and our friendly neighborhood workshop guy. He's really great with the kids. This month also had something to do with the Lorax so they got activity books and sticker sheets to take home as well.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

{Random Game Playing}

 During some of our quiet moments the boys have been bringing out lots of games. They both love playing games and so do I. There are three that I will not play: Twister, Candyland (the game that never ends), and Operation, the buzzing drives me absolutely mad.
Anyway....we've been playing Battleship with J(6.5) for about a year now, but he's finally to the point that he can successfully sit and complete and entire game on his own. Though he still gets confused about the coordinates now and then.
This reminded me that we need to find some more pegs, they have a way of going missing. I Googled "replacement battleship pieces" and ended up here. This is a site you'll want to bookmark!
 Love this game.

A(3.5) has been playing a lot of Ready, Set, Silhouette! by I SPY. We like all things I SPY at our house.
 For this game you lay out all of the color picture cards and then each player takes on silhouette card at a time. When you find your match you yell "silhouette", check your match, and then choose another card.
 When all of the cards are gone, the player with the most matches wins.
 We didn't actually play by the rules but A(3.5) played by himself matching the silhouettes to the color cards. If he got stuck or frustrated I would make a suggestion or narrow down the area to help him out.

This is one that we found at a garage sale ages ago, and would recommend. It's Touche' and it's like extreme tic-tac-toe. The board has five interchangeable magnet pieces that fit in slots underneath so each time you play you take the pieces out and reset them. I don't remember the actual number but there's 1000's of ways to set it up.
You either start with round white markers or square red markers. The tricky part comes from the magnets. Once you move your marker onto the board, it may stay the same color, or the magnet in the marker may flip and you'll end up with a piece of the opposite color. The goal is to get four pieces of the same color in a row, regardless of shape. 
The strategy of the game is over J's(6.5) head but he still likes to play. A(3.5) just likes to move the pieces around and see what they do.

Briarpatch Thomas Great Race Game
We've also been enjoying the Thomas' Great Race game that The Mister bought for A. It's appropriate for a wide range of ages and we like playing it together. It's excellent for A who gets to practice a little counting and number matching. We try and encourage J to read the cards rather than guessing what it says by the picture. The game only lasts about 5-10 minutes which is perfect for short attention spans. The pictures are cute, and who doesn't like Thomas?

Monday, August 13, 2012

{Glow in the dark slime}

We inherited part of a Discovery Channel science kit from my sister and J(6.5) has been begging me to do some of the experiments. He loves anything to do with science or doing experiments.
 While A(3.5) was sleeping one day we finally brought out the kit and decided to make glow in the dark slime. The kit was easy to use, the instructions clear, and it was really good practice for future experiments.
 We talked about safety and why we wear glasses, why we don't directly smell things (harsh chemicals will burn your airway), and why we don't taste things.
 He measured and mixed and stirred and we came up with a tiny blob of slime. I think the only disappointing part of the kit was the amount it makes.
 It recommends "charging" your slime by leaving it under a bright light for a short period of time. That's our slime, in the little medicine cup.
We tested it under a blanket (since it was the middle of the afternoon) and got pretty decent results. The slime stays good for a while if you keep it in the fridge so we have it stashed away to bring out another day.
We still have to make firefly light sticks and glow in the dark bouncy balls (if I can track down the directions, we're missing that page).

Saturday, August 11, 2012

{Sidewalk Chalk Paint}

 This was a huge hit at our house and we will definitely be doing it again!
 I've seen lots of variations but I used 1/2 cup of cornstarch to 1/2 cup of water. Then mixed in food coloring.
It mixed easily but separated after a while and needed to be remixed occasionally.
The boys dug right in and had an absolute blast with this stuff.
They started on the sidewalk but quickly begin painting everything else in the yard. Trees, slides, toys....
.....their boat. I didn't get any after pictures but the top of their boats was covered from one end to the other in a rainbow of colors.
Once it dries it's a light powder that wipes right off, or washed away after the first rain. Cheap, easy, and safe.

Friday, August 10, 2012

{Gourmet Smores}

Summer at our house also means smores weather is here! We created a really simple fire pit by clearing an area of ground and building a ring with the large bricks from Home Depot.

 We just used what we had our first go around. Did you know you can freeze marshmallows to keep them fresh? Just remember to defrost them in time.

 Ha! Pure bliss!
 Last week we roasted hot dogs and I whipped us up some gourmet smores. Our fire was too hot (and our sticks too short) so The Mister rigged up our little hot dog holders.
 I used regular marshmallows and graham crackers but bought Hershey's w/ almonds, Andes mints, Reese's Peanut Butter bars, and some Ghirardelli raspberry squares. Yum!
 A(3.5) had to smell all of the different chocolates.

 I'm not really sure what that look was all about.