Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Wednesday Fun~Playing with Dough

I rarely buy play dough. I've made it for as long as I can remember, and I often use the same recipe my mother used, a slowly cooked recipe that turns out extremly well. Most of the time.

However, For this play, I used a recipe I found in an old pamphlet style cookbook my grandmother gave me a couple of years ago, with no cooking involved.

Before I even had the chance to gather the materials, my daughter came in, demanding she do it on her own. Since the dough is simple to make, I said yes.
I read the recipe out to her one ingredient at a time, and she measured them into a large bowl, all by herself.
After making it once with my small amount of reading help, she made another batch on her own from memory. It turned out better than the first batch.

Of course the children spent hours playing with it over the next few days, and even created some creations to put into the oven to dry and paint afterwards.

Peace and joy until next time.

(Apologies for no pictures, I've been having technical difficulties lately)

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Adventures with flavoured gelatin- Jiggly Jelly Cutouts

I have wanted to do this for awhile with the kids- make jello jigglers, like we did when I was a kid. As part of a series I'm doing with the flavored gelatin powders, or jello, I decided to make this simple childhood favorite as a dessert the other day.

First I took the packets of jello and made sure they were COMPLETLY dissolved in the boiling water.  I used 2 cups (500ml) of boiling water to 3 packets of flavored gelatin mix. (We used orange)

After it was finished dissolving (which took longer than I thought it would) I poured it into the pan I had ready for it. I used a Pyrex rectangular pan with high edges. (I would recommend not using one with such high sides, because the cutouts were difficult to remove without damaging them. Next time I will be using a cookie sheet with higher edges instead. I think that will work better.)

It took about 3 hours to completely set. Once it was set, I carefully placed the pan into a sink with hot water for about 15 seconds. After removing the pan from the water,  I then took a cookie cutter and made some delicious jiggling flavored gelatin mittens!

You can use any cutters you prefer, seasonal or your favorite ones. I decided on mittens and moons because it's STILL winter here.

Next time I'm going to try just cutting them into cubes to pop into our mouths one at a time!
They hold together well, and  are very easy to eat with just your fingers-no spoons or bowls required!

A fun, simple treat using ingrediants most of us already have at home. And fun to eat as well!

Do you ever play with your food? How do you do it?

Peace and love until next time.

(Again I apologize for no pictures. I WILL make sure to get some up as soon as I can. Technical difficulties.)

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Making Compost

My daughter decided to make some compost, and it turned into a neighborhood affair.

A few days ago she put together a 5 gallon paint bucket (cleaned out of course) with mud, grass clippings, left over foods, leaves, paper, water and of course all the worms she could find.

My children along with a couple of others from the neighborhood spent quite some time mixing and adding different things, such as orange and onion peels, grass clippings, worms, leaves and small twigs,  taking turns between the 4 of them for each stage, stirring the concoction with a large stick.

Of course, we will have to continue adding materials and observing it over the year to see how it turns out. Maybe by planting season next spring it will be ready to use.

Over the weeks preceding this activity, I've been talking a lot about compost, how different materials break down and the purpose of insects and worms during the decomposition process.

In addition to learning a lot, they all had so much fun playing around with everything that goes along with making good soil.

Do you compost? Please share your compost piles and ideas, and how you get YOUR family involved with it.

Peace and joy, until next time.

(My apologies for no pictures. I'm working from my phone right now and it's decided to not want to take pictures lately. I WILL update with pics when I can.)

Monday, 1 August 2016

Easy Snack Ideas- Microwave S'mores

Most of my family loves s'mores (I just recently found out that the kids dad does not enjoy them as much), but when we moved into our new house there was no fire pit. So i had to improvise when the kids started begging for s'mores even though we don't have a place to roast the marshmallows. The idea was so simple. Make microwaved s'mores. Why hadn't I thought of it before?

"Let's find the ingredients, I have an idea" I said to them. Little girl races to the kitchen

"I'll get the chocolate chips I know where they are." And she excitedly climbed a chair and grabbed them. We also needed marshmallows, graham crackers and microwaveable plates.

I had the kids place graham crackers on their plates, and we had to figure out how to make the chocolate stay on top while heating it up. I squished my chocolate chips into my marshmallow, the kids just places theirs on the tops.

We noticed that the marshmallows get really big in the microwave while cooking. We also discovered that if you put them in too long they get hard and too chewy to enjoy.

Simple, fun way to snack on s'mores without a fire.

if you don't have a microwave, I'm sure it will also work in a toaster oven or big oven. I'd like to try it there and see if the marshmallows brown like over the fire.

Peace, love and happy snacking.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Monday Madness

Do you ever feel like Garfield, and just wish Monday's wouldn't arrive? Or that sleeping through them would just feel oh so great, and you could wake up Tuesday fresh as summer rain?

Even though we homeschool, sometimes Monday's can be crazy! What better way to deal with a crazy day than to have a dance party complete with a karaoke machine?

Several months ago (when it was still snowy) we acquired a karaoke machine. Although we haven't used it for its intended purpose, we often put on music we love, grab a microphone and start singing. Usually, one or 2 of us put on a song performance while the others dance away until we're out of breath.
Then the next person takes over singing and the dancing continues until we're all tired and happy.

Sometimes we make up games with a pair of dice, (or just one) where each number represents a new dance move or action.

Here are a few moves we use when we roll the die:

Roll 1 and clap your hands once

Roll 2 and hop on one foot two times

Roll 3 and wave your hands while spinning 3 times

Roll 4 and do 4 popcorn kernel jumps (scrunch down into a ball and jump up from that position, opening arms and legs as though you're exploding)

Roll 5 and do 5 robot moves

Roll 6 and spin on your bum 6 times

Whether you make  up your own moves, play freeze dance ( where everyone freezes when the music stops) or follow along to someone else's moves dancing is a great way to let off some steam and brighten up any morning.

Peace and love.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Science Fun- Layering Liquids

We really enjoy hands on science experiments in our house, and one we've recently played with is density of different liquids.

We have thick plastic test tubes to use for our science experiments, and use them often.
Gathering materials found around the house, we began our experiment.
As usual, I asked the children what they thought would happen if we put all the liquids together in the tube.

The younger two thought they would all mix, while my oldest at 15 already knew what would happen and said he thought it would layer on top of each other.

Although I found the original idea in a book we have, for this experiment I found a couple of simple videos on YouTube, I watched them (the children weren't interested) and we got started.

First, We put together our stand for the test tubes, and starting with the heaviest liquid slowly poured it into the tube, being careful not to get it on the edges of the tube. Carefully one at a time we slowly Poured the other liquids one on top of the other, always careful to not spill or go to quickly.

The liquids stayed on top of one another! It was really neat, as I made sure to have contrasting liquids to see it better.

After seeing how that worked, we decided to See what would happen if we poured the liquids into a tube in s different order. Would it still make layers?

We poured it in a random order and waited. After about 15 minutes we noticed it was beginning to look like the first one and become layers of liquid one on top of the other, And they were in the same order as though we had put them into the tube in the same order. After several hours the liquids had separated completely and you could hardly tell which was which.

What we used:
Plastic test tubes
Golden corn syrup
Liquid soap

What we did:
Beginning with the corn syrup, we (and for the first try that meant myself) slowly poured the liquids into the tube. In order, the first tube contained: corn syrup, glue, water, bubble solution, vegetable oil (canola)

The order we put them in for the second tube was: vegetable oil (canola), bubble solution, water, corn syrup and glue.

How it works:

Just like solids, liquids have a mass. Their mass corresponds with the density, or how much "stuff" is packed into a certain volume of liquid.
Depending on how much "stuff" is packed into the liquid will make the liquid float on top of another (because it's lighter) or make it sink to the bottom of another (because it's heavier).

In other words, it's a comparison between an objects mass and its volume.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Science Fun: Fun with Water

I really enjoy doing science experiments with my kids, whether playing with chemicals, like baking soda and vinegar, or pulling apart a plant to see how it's put together. We own a wide array of science and 'magic' books, most of them older and using items we can usually find at home.

One experiment we tried that was quite fun, fast and simple to do using items we can easily find around the house.

plastic zipper style bag
Sharpened pencil crayons

What We Did:
We carefully filled the bag with water and closed the top. I asked the children what they thought would happen if we pushed the pencils through the water filled bag. Will it leak, or will the water stay in?
They both thought it would leak all over. So we stayed over the sink while they each took turns pushing pencils through the plastic bag. It didn't leak! The children were amazed, and we proceeded to fill more bags and poke them with pencils.

Of course water play wouldn't be complete without actually letting the water go, so we pulled the pencils out and watched the fountains of water flow out of the bag.

We all enjoyed learning why it doesn't leak when you push the pencils through, but will once the holes are unplugged.

How It Actually Works:
When you push the pencils through the plastic bag, usually made from a polymer plastic called low density polyethylene. The bag pulls itself against the pencils, creating a type of seal. When the pencils are pulled out, the plastic cannot go back together, so the holes remain, and the water leaks out.

How do you play with science in your home? This is one simple experiment almost anyone can try out.

Peace and love.