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Saturday, April 8, 2017

Our Colored Rice Adventure


I made some Kool-Aide dyed rice for a play date we hosted.

I bought 15 pounds of rice at Kroger on sale.  I put 2.5 pounds of rice in a plastic bag with 1/3 cup of white vinegar and 2-3 packets of Kool-Aid.  Other blogs measured their Kool-Aid but I like to live on the edge.  I shook the bags until the color had gone throughout the rice and then let it dry on cookie sheets overnight.




I thought that it looked pretty laid out in bands, but of course the rice isn't for looking, it's for playing!



I did not take a picture of the mess!  That would scare you off of doing this activity.  They all had fun and the little bit of extra cleaning was worth it to see how much all the toddlers loved playing with the rice!

Though on the subject of mess,  I've heard horror stories of rice breaking vacuum cleaners so I swept most of it up and used the vacuum only for the last bits.  Most of it I used the hose attachment and only rolled up the last pieces.

Our International Shower Adventure

Our au pair is getting married so I threw a shower for her.  And it was an International Fest!  

A couple of Karen's friends helped me throw it.  Look at the beautiful banner Yuri made!  She also made a canvas for everyone to sign for Karen to remember everyone who came to celebrate.






But you know me!  It was all about the FOOD!  Yuri from Columbia brought some Arepas and Empanadas.  Moana from France brought a savory Tuna Cake and a Quiche!

Between Yuri, Moana and I, we had food from every continent!

I made some Caprese sticks, three kinds of UK tea sandwiches, Australian sausage rolls and Swaziland Mealie Bread.  I made three types of pan-Asian satay in three different styles: Lamb, Shrimp and Chicken.  And representing the USA...we had some potato chips, lol.




The savory spread!



Though I am most proud of the dessert table.  Yuri brought a Lemon Pie.  I made Turkish stuffed apricots, Malawi Peanut Balls, and this amazing Norwegian Ring Cake.


The ring cake tasted super awesome...like almond paste.  It wasn't super sweet, which was awesome.  Even better, it was easier to make than you'd think!  For sure easier than if I'd tried a traditional iced cake!


I even made some fun beverages.  Horchata, a rice drink from Mexico that reminds some people of rice pudding.  Though, I like horchata and am not a rice pudding fan.  I also made a favorite shower beverage of mine...Strawberry Basil Tea with either sparkling soda or sparkling wine added in.



And of course there were GAMES!

Yuri organized a game with pictures of every year of Karen's life, which was so fun!

I also made a few...Present Bingo, What's in your Cell Phone, Love Quotes From Movies and How Well Do You Know Karen!




I think I was most proud of the prizes.  Most of these I got at World Market.
USA - Bike mug with an assortment of hot cocoa mixes...including a bacon one!
International (2) - Passport covers
Morocco - Mint tea, moroccan looking hanging tea candle holder and tea candles
India - Small box and scented soap
Japan - Sake and a little snow globe with a japanese scene
France - Small bottle of wine and a bag of madelines
Europe - Italian cookies, gummy bears, cookie butter
Beach - Pedicure set

I put them in brown bags, where I wrote the theme on the bag.  As people won, they got to pick the theme and then open to discover the prize!



Zander crashed the party when he saw one of his favorite friends was an attendee.



It was a successful party!










Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Our Yellow and Blue Make Green Christmas Trees Adventure

I've been hosting a weekly art play date and I don't know why I've not been blogging about it.  We have about 8 families, but usually around 4 or 6 kids for these activities, which is a great amount.  This week we did Baking Soda and Vinegar Christmas Trees introducing the idea that blue and yellow make green.

I think that this would be good for any age.  The kids were barely 2.5 through 3.5, but I think the moms enjoyed the color change more than the kids.  Younger toddler or even older kids would enjoy this with the older they are, the more you can go into the whole color change concept.

Props to Inspiration Laboratories for the idea!

What you need:
  • Cookie Sheet or tray to contain the mess
  • Card stock or water color paper cut into Christmas tree shape
  • Blue food coloring or liquid water color (we used blue water color)
  • Yellow paint, food coloring or liquid water color (we used yellow finger paint)
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Glitter (optional)
We started by reading Little Blue and Little Yellow, a very sweet book about a blue and yellow circle that hug until they turn green.  Not a Christmas book, but it was kind of nice to be a little not Christmas for a second!



I mixed in baking soda with my blue paint and yellow paint with the vinegar.  Before they started, I sprinkled a healthy dose of baking soda on the trees, just to make sure there was enough.


After they painted the trees blue, they added in some yellow.  This change was so cool.  The chemical reaction of the baking soda and vinegar was very subtle, and I think really just added a little magic to the color change.  There wasn't enough yellow in our yellow paint so I added a bit of just yellow paint on top.


Next came the glitter, which I think Zander enjoyed the most!





We also dumped the yellow and blue together at the end and saw how more blue vs yellow changed the shade a bit.  And then they found the glitter.

At the end Zander started whipping the paint brush around like he was renewing someone baptismal vows.




We've done several baking soda and vinegar activities and the kids usually seem to enjoy them.  As I mentioned a little above, this one wasn't as pronounced on the eruption, though the amount of baking soda and vinegar you use would impact this.  Ours was really more about yellow and blue make green.  I think that the reaction of the baking soda and vinegar really did help the colors mix better.  It was quite magical to see the blue go to green upon the addition of the yellow.

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Erupting Pumpkins Adventure

Erupting Pumpkins!


At our art play group (which I never take pictures of, but really need to) we tried egg carton volcanoes and all the kids LOVED it.  Usually about half the kids are into the activity and the other half would perfer to play, but that really held their attention so when I found this pumpkin version over at I got the idea from science4superheroes, I knew I had to try it!

You'll need:
  • A couple small pumpkins, we used the ones we got from Zander's field trip
  • Baking soda (I used 1/4 cup per pumpkin, but your milage could vary depending on the size of your pumpkin)
  • Dish soap (just a couple drops)
  • Condiment bottles (keep in mind the size of the pumpkin when filling your bottles.  Your toddler will want to squeeze every last drop and if you start with too much you'll end up with a bigger mess)
  • Vinegar
  • Food coloring (optional, but awesome)
  • I used art trays and a cookie sheet to contain the mess


Zander has painted many a pumpkin this Halloween season, but he hasn't really explored pumpkins yet.  First we started with looking at the pumpkin then feeling the insides.


He wasn't too into feeling the inside of the pumpkin, but did enjoy putting the lid on and off.





 Next I poured a quarter cup of baking soda and a couple drops of dish soap into a carved out pumpkin.

Then I put some vinegar in a condiment bottle and added some food coloring for effect.  Zander really enjoyed squeezing the color into the pumpkin and watching it explode!





Pete came over to check out what we were doing and got in on the exploding action!


And of course, what toddler could resist dunking his hand into the fizzy colorful mess!







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Friday, May 6, 2016

Potato Mix Adventures


Sometimes it's easy to forget that kids like the simplest things.  Take our latest adventure.  It was just fun with a box of potato mix.


Pete was super surprized when I came home from the store with boxed mashed potatoes (I'm not usually one to use mixes), but then was disappointed to learn that it was not food.  It was for an activity.  But, Zander LOVED the activity!

At first he loved seeing the flakes flying in the wind.  After he'd done that for a bit, we added some water to make it like clay.  He really enjoyed destroying shapes and smashing the potato clay.