May 31, 2012


     I think most everyone has played with oobleck at some point. That strange cornstarch mixture that oozes through your fingers until you apply pressure to it.  The girls have played with it before, but it has been so long that I thought it would be a good time to make some!  The recipe we used is 1 C cornstarch and 1/2 C water, but that can be adjusted to make however much you want as long as it is 2 parts cornstarch to 1 part water.  It seems to work best when mixed with your hands.

     Bria saw me mixing it and automatically declared that it was gross, but once Nadia started playing with it she changed her mind. Of course Eli wanted in on the action, and since it is safe to eat, he got to play too! He played with it for a bit, but quickly decided it was best to eat. Eventually he got stuck in his booster seat where the amount he could eat was more controlled.

     The girls had so much fun with it; they didn't even want to stop for lunch! They would round it all up in one place and pat it flat or pick it up and roll a ball only to have it ooze away.

      How does it work though? The cornstarch is simply suspended in the water (rather then being dissolved). The mixture is a non-Newtonian fluid which means its state is not determined by temperature but by force. When allowed to move freely or sit still the cornstarch particles can move making it appear liquid, but when squeezed or pressed the cornstarch has no where to go making it appear solid. release the pressure and it appears liquid again.

      Now for clean-up, throw as much as the oobleck as possible in the trash rather then down the drain. Too much can clog the drain.  Of course all of the oobleck stuck to your kids will have to be washed down the drain, but it does rinse off nicely!

May 28, 2012


     I saw a picture of these the other day on pinterest, but it didn't actually take me to a link for the recipe. I decided to make them on my own without a grill (I refuse to learn to operate a grill).  As I suspected they are really easy and really yummy!

     You need oreos (Like always I got double stuffed), marshmallows (we found flat ones), and chocolate bars.  I started by turning my oven to broil and lining a cookie sheet with foil to catch any mess. Then I un-twisted my oreos and placed the side without cream filling on the cookie sheet.

     Then add a marshmallow on top of each cookie.  The flat ones worked well even though I really wanted round ones since oreos are round.  I think if you took a big round one and cut it in half to make shorter round ones they would be perfect.

      Place these on the top rack of your oven for just a little bit. Seriously don't leave the kitchen unless you want burnt marshmallows.  We started placing the chocolate on the other side of the cookie while the marshmallows got toasty.

     Watch the marshmallows closely, so you get the perfect degree of toastiness for you; then pull them out.

     Immediately top with chocolate and cream side of cookie.  Allow to set a few moments for it all to melt together and cool just a bit. Then enjoy!

May 27, 2012

Lava Lamps

     Of all the activities we have done this has been one of the girls favorites!  We ended up playing with them for over 2 weeks!  Here is the link we used:

    All you need is plastic bottles, water, oil, food coloring, and alka seltzer (we ended up going through a few boxes).  Start by filling the bottle over half full with oil. Then add water leaving a little room at the top.

     Add 10 drops of food coloring.

    Break one alka seltzer tab into 4 pieces.  And add 1 of those pieces (too much will make the bottle cloudy). Instant lava lamp (without the light)!

      Once the bubbles die down a bit you can safely add another piece of alka seltzer.

     The science part: alka seltzer releases carbon dioxide (CO2) when mixed with water (which makes the bubbles).  The bubbles carry the water drop to the top of the oil where they burst releasing the CO2 into the air and allowing the water to fall back through the oil (since we know water and oil won't mix as water has a higher density)..

      Like I said earlier the girls loved these and played with them over and over for two weeks!  We just capped them between uses to keep them from spilling.

May 26, 2012

Another Use for Shaving Cream

    I try to do so sort of project each week the girls, and this week I chose shaving cream painting.  This past summer the girls were introduced to shaving cream when I attempted to get them to write in it. That ended with both girls and my kitchen covered in shaving cream. After that we only used it in the bathtub where they would mistakenly chant "sour cream, sour cream," when they wanted some.  They always get excited to do something with shaving cream!

     So we started with cheap shaving cream, a shallow pan (or whatever shallow dish you have around), acrylic paint, and thick paper (we used watercolor paper and construction paper).  You will also need a spoon, toothpicks, and a squeegee.Squirt shaving cream all over your dish an smooth a little (we used a spoon for that). The squirt whatever colors of acrylic paint you want on it. The girls chose several colors most of which we metallic or sparkly.

     We then used toothpicks to swirl it around a bit.

     Once you are happy with the swirling just place a piece of paper on top for a few seconds and lift straight up.  It will have to sit a couple more minutes for the paint to adhere to the paper now.

    During all this painting I kept Eli busy with a little sensory bin of big uncooked noodles and bright colored plastic animals. He mainly liked dropping them all over the floor.

     After the painting has sat a few minutes just take a squeegee and squeegee all the shaving cream off. The paint stays behind, and you have your picture!  First we tried the watercolor paper. Then we repeated with several colors of construction paper, and it worked too.


May 18, 2012

Celebrations, a Convention, and some Colored Toast

   Wow. I must be a bit sleep deprived as I can't remember much of what I did the past 2 weeks.   As always we have kept ourselves quit busy though! Last weekend was full of excitement as we attended a wedding, celebrated Mother's Day,  and attended a graduation.  The girls loved the wedding!  They really enjoyed the reception though. At first they were content to run around the dance floor with some of the other kids there, but after watched the bride and groom dance they thought they should do that too.  I feel sorry for the little boy they kept trying to teach to dance with them. His older brother sat down (and did not get up again after dancing started), but this little guy kept trying to play.  (For some reason blogger isn't letting me upload videos, so I added the youtube links instead.)

Video: Girls chasing little boys

     On Sunday we went to lunch with Nathan's parents to celebrate Mother's Day. This was probably the most frustrating lunch I have ever had! We sat outside since there was no room inside; which was fine since it was nice out. Except when we had to wait for probably an hour or so to order and get our food. I don't know how long it really was, but it was long enough that my arms and nose were sun burned and we barely made it to graduation.  Graduation was uneventful. Nathan and I stayed in the lobby area where we could still see, but let Eli play a bit. The girls went and sat with Grandma.  I don't really know what they thought of it all, but Eli especially liked finding anything he thought he could destroy. He wanted to knock over an easel, tear down some paper hats, and empty a program basket.  Keeping him out of trouble made the ceremony seem like an eternity.

     This week we have done all our usual stuff as well as having a BBQ with some of Nathan's co-workers.  We were surprised to learn that some of the kids we see at story time belong to someone Nathan works with! Not only that, but they don't live far from us. Of course then when we went to story time this week they weren't there, but maybe next week.  Nathan left for St. Louis Wednesday evening. He was going to work during the day and attend the Gaming Convention in the evenings, so he could promote the board game he helped produce.  If he hasn't told you about it, it is called Biomechanic Dino Battles (BDB). If you want more info I would look it up on facebook or boardgamegeek or just ask Nathan, he is happy to talk about it.  We had been pretty busy earlier this week, and I wanted to make sure we did something fun, so Thursday morning I let the girls paint their toast. Not with real paint, but with colored milk and new paintbrushes.

I think he is trying to drink the cat water; kept him busy until he spilt it.

     We also rode bikes and made it to the park!

I couldn't get them all to look at the same time!