Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bubble Painting

I have a backlog of posts here and no time to put them all together, so I'm going to combine a few art projects again. With all the rain we've been getting lately we've had plenty of time for art projects...and science experiments!

Ink Blot Butterfly

So everyone's done this one, right? It's sort of like an ink blot test, but in a fun way for kids. Start by cutting out a butterfly shape. Fold it in half (I actually folded it before cutting to help make my butterfly symmetrical), then unfold it and squeeze drops of paint onto the paper.

Fold the butterfly down the center again and gently rub on the paper to spread and transfer the paint from one side to the other. Unfold the paper and you've got a beautiful butterfly!

Baking Soda & Vinegar Experiment

I loved doing this as a kid so I knew Abe would love it too. Plus it helped me use up an old box of baking soda that's been sitting in my fridge since 2010. Baking soda is cheap. Buy a few boxes. So is vinegar. Get a big bottle. Pour some baking soda into a dish (this can get messy - you may want to put a cookie sheet under the dish to contain any overflow) and in a separate cup mix together 1/4 cup vinegar and a few drops of food coloring. (The food coloring is entirely optional, although it is fun.) Use a teaspoon or old medicine dropper to drip the vinegar onto the baking soda and watch what happens. Abe did this forever...

...then he figured out that you get an even bigger reaction when you drop a spoonful of baking soda into the vinegar. That's where the risk of overflow comes in. That's also why you need a BIG bottle of vinegar. Once the baking soda goes in the vinegar it stops working. Get some fresh vinegar and start again.

Bubble Painting

You can find a lot of recipes/methods for bubble painting online. We followed this one because I had everything it called for and I liked the look of the finished paintings. The recipe calls for paint (no specific type) so we used these paints from my supply of kid friendly art supplies. We mixed dish soap and water with a little paint, and then I let Abe take over.

Oh, and this one I did put on a cookie sheet to contain the mess. And yes, we're very fancy with our glass jars and paper straws. Honestly, that was all I had on hand - leftover party supplies. I totally recommend using small glass jars if you have them though! They're heavier than plastic cups and less likely to tip. Also, you can throw them in the dishwasher and reuse them forever and ever and ever. I do not however recommend paper straws for this project. Abe had a hard time blowing air through the straws if they had been sitting in the bubble mix for awhile. I ended up cutting the mushy ends off but that made the straws too short, so the bubbles started popping on his face!

Anyways, you stick a straw in your bubble mix and blow until the bubbles come up out of the jar.

Remove the straw and use a sheet of watercolor paper to pop the bubbles.

And that's it! Just make sure your child knows how to blow air through a straw to make bubbles, and understands NOT to drink the paint! (That's another reason I like using BioColors - they're non-toxic.) I should probably mention that I'm not sponsored by anyone or paid to promote their products (not on my blog or on Pinterest), so if I recommended something or provide a link to a product, it just means that's what we use or it's a product that I really like. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Color Matching Game

The snow may be gone but that doesn't mean we're not occasionally stuck inside on cold, rainy days. We had such a day last week. Abe is at the age where he is starting to understand and enjoy playing games, so I threw together this color matching game to help us pass the time.

1. Collect a bunch of items in a variety of colors. Some good places to look for colorful items include: your child's car and train collections, tub toys, baby food utensils, small scraps of fabric or ribbon, craft supplies, sewing supplies, small stuffed animals and finger puppets, plastic jewelry, puzzle pieces, hair accessories, Easter eggs, crayons, plastic ring links, Legos/Duplos, and wooden blocks or figures. (Obviously some of these are choking hazards for young children. Be sure to only choose items that are age appropriate!)

2. Print off color cards or make your own, and lay them out with enough room for kids to pile toys on them. We used bowls to keep the little pieces contained.

3. Give your child the basket of toys (or a handful at a time) and let them sort the items by color. 

For younger toddlers, start with 2-3 items per color and only a few colors. Add more items and/or colors whenever your child needs more of a challenge.

When we were done, I just threw the items into a big bowl along with some color cards I made (you can download them here), and put it on the shelf so we can play it again. Not as much fun as a Barrel of Monkeys, but at least it's one more game in our Monkey & Memory line up. What games do your kids enjoy?