Archive for October, 2012

Rain Rain Rain!

Yesterday it rained and last night and today it has been quite torrential (though as I write this the sun is shining so perhaps it has stopped now).  Of course Alexander had to ask me what is wind and how does it rain.  So I googled it – how does the wind blow!?!  Then we came home and saw for ourselves (rather than mum just saying).

Experiment 1:

I b oiled some water and tipped it into a clear casserole dish – our glasses aren’t very clear and I had no jars with lids so this was the next best thing.  We watched the steam rise.  Before I put the lid on the kids touched it and saw it was dry, they then touched it after I had put it over the steam and we found out it was wet.

Then I had a look in the freezer – ooops we are very low on icecubes!  I had not frozen any due to it being winter.  (This leads to experiment 1 Part B – which says if you twice boil water and then freeze your ice cubes will be clear – but now I remember it is filtered water that needs to be boiled and I used tap – oh well we will see once the water cools, I pour it into the mold and put in the freezer)

I found a few – including some with some hidden surprises.  I put these on the lid and we watched it “rain”  We discussed how did the drops of water get on the lid.  Alexander asked did it go through the hole – but when he had a poke there was no hole.  Did it go over the sides?  I told them that when the water vapour gets cold it turns back to water and when it gets heavy it falls back down.

Testing for holes and seeing if the gummy bears had melted yet.

Then we drew up our experiment.  Talking about the sun heating the water so it rises up as vapour, then it clings together to make clouds and then when they clouds get cold and heavy they drop the water down again.

After this I cut out an r so we could have practise writing rs and since r is for rainbow we used different colours.

We glued them in our book and then drew rain coming out of the r and a rainbow overhead.

Emily wanted to write rainbow like Alexander and was proud of her attempt.

Experiment 2:

I found this on pinterest – Amanda at Artsy_momma.

You need a clear container, food colouring, water and shaving cream. I didn’t have any shaving cream but we did have hair mousse.

I filled up the jar with water, shook the mousse and topped the water.  We have two colours of food colouring so both Alexander and Emily got to squeeze the colour.  I used green and yellow not for any reason but those were the colours we had.

And then we watched it “rain”

Lots of fun.  Alexander’s interest waned about this point but Emily wanted to keep “writing” and drawing.


October 12, 2012 at 12:58 pm Leave a comment

Adding Flowers

We haven’t finished putting flowers on our tree but I thought I would post what we do have.

Flower One: Hand Flowers

Due to this being about cooperation I decided to make flowers from our hands (or fingers if we are going for an f theme)

I traced around Emily and Alexander’s hands and they cut them out.  If I had been thinking I wouldn’t have let them choose their own colour since they chose the same but that’s ok.  (hrm perhaps that’s where Alexander gets the saying from)

Emily had been given some jagged edge scissors so we were using these to cut out our flowers

When they had cut them out, I glued one of Emily’s hands together and one of Alexander’s.  Well I think I used a combo of 2 to 1 (2 of one person, 1 of the other and vice versa).  I talked about how we use our  hands to help each other.

The branches I found in the garden and pruned off our gardenia tree.  I added the flowers with blue tac.  I also traced my hand on some green to add some other colour.

Flower Two: Feet Flowers (More F words!)

I had Alexander trace around Emily’s feet and cut out her feet and Emily traced around Alexander’s feet and cut his feet out.

Out came the scissors with different edges and we cut out more of our flowers.  I talked about using our feet to help not hurt (no kicking over others toys – Emily is very partial to this).

I glued their feet together and created the flowers.

I’m not sure what the next flowers are going to be made of.

October 12, 2012 at 12:34 pm Leave a comment

Cooperation games

In a quest to find activities the kids can do together I found a suggestion about doing jigsaw puzzles. So a few times before dinner the kids have sat at the table next to each other completing jigsaw puzzles. They are ones they have done before and solved individually. The first time I didn’t divide the pieces and that was a bit progressive because they fought over the pieces so when I turn the jigsaw out I share out the pieces evenly and that has gone much better and smoother. They have happily completed the puzzles together leaving me freeing in the kitchen, freeing in that the jigsaws are quite easy and they finish quickly.

Today I pulled out some jigsaw pieces we were given when Alexander was a baby. It comes with pattern cards and they have to work it out to get the pieces in the right order.

I am very in love with these pieces now because the children had to talk to each other to solve the puzzle. This meant they used positioning words such as middle, first etc. they were also looking at puzzles where one part of the pattern was blank and they had to work out what went there. We have used this set I the past so I was able to hand the set over and step back and let them talk and solve. I got to clap, high five and take photos.

This could be hand made but its nice having it there and ready to go. You could print out different pictures and have the children sort them out into order.

Very happy with tonight’s activity! No arguing and only one little screech from Emily.




The other activity we enjoy is card games and board games but my quest is to find non-competitive games to help with their bonding and working together.

October 5, 2012 at 5:58 pm Leave a comment

Spring Trees

So since I am enjoying the theme of spring trees while searching for ideas of craft my two could make together I thought we could do paper mache.  Thinking of what we had around the house – a soft drink bottle hadn’t been recycled yet and so there was the base for the trunk of the tree!

Oh the messy fun we had.  I thought I didn’t take too many pictures because of the messiness but I did get a few quite fun ones.

First the recipe – easy to find on the net.  I used the uncooked version  –  which was similar to making salt dough just different measurements.  So 1 part flour to 2 parts water.  (I did cups.  I think I added a little more flour so it wasn’t soooo runny!  I also added a few tablespoons of salt which was recommended for humidity areas so it doesn’t go mouldy).

Then outside we went.  I spread a plastic table cloth on the outside table, put old clothes on the kids and we had fun.  I tried to show them how to scrape the excess off but not so good at that.  What I did find in the recycle bin was newspaper and white paper so we covered the bottle in about 4 layers.  1 newspaper, 1 plain, 1 newspaper, 1 plain.

My two had lots of fun making this and it met my aim of a fun craft to do as a family.  I didn’t really care if it turned out or not, I wanted the process of a craft that we could do together esp my two to have fun playing and making together.

It was easy to make sure all the bottle was covered this was as you could see where the gaps were.  I left it out in the sun to dry, it took about a day and a half.  Since we were not removing the base I decided it was thick enough and didn’t need any more layers such as another paper mache might – eg one using a balloon as a base.

I don’t have any photos of us painting as we had visitors and I had 5 wanting to paint, including one under 2 so I couldn’t juggle the camera as well.  I also didn’t mix the paint very well (probably not enough yellow) as the tree turned out to be more purple than brown.

This craft was very messy, but lots of fun.  It didn’t need much in the way of supplies, the paper came out of the recycle bin, I had the primary colours, I had water and flour and the bottle came from the recycling as well.  A little bit of set up to make sure everything and everyone was covered (I wore an apron).  There was lots of clean up but because we were outside I could use the hose.

Next post will be about making the flowers for the tree.

October 5, 2012 at 2:08 pm Leave a comment

Spring has sprung!

It’s been a busy couple of months, very trying and exhausting and for the month of September I was pretty much away 3 weeks out of the month which didn’t lead to much crafting going on in the home.

Now I am back and things are sort of settling down.  I have been wanting to do crafts which involves the two working together to encourage greater sibling harmony.  I know siblings bicker and it is a way of working through issues but I want to remind them how much fun they can have together.

I have been trying to find ideas on the internet but mostly all I find is about introducing a new sibling to the family, not about siblings crafting together so I have been finding ideas and adapting them.

Emily has moved out of her toddler bed and is now in her extended bed which meant new sheets and a new quilt cover.  The quilt has purple butterflies and I thought Emily needed some decoration in her room to match the quilt.  I am not sure if I quite achieved this but we gave it a go.

I was flicking channels and Better Homes and Gardens was on and they had a finger painting idea for kids.  Here is the video link to the craft (or here if it doesn’t work).
I went to the local cheap store and found some canvases, printed off a tree design off the internet and talked with my two about how it is spring now and we are seeing the flowers coming out and so we were going to crate a picture together using our hands.  I also talked about how we use our hands to help each other not hurt and that every time they look at the picture they can remember how they helped each other make it.

I had a friend staying and I roped her into copying the picture from the print out onto the canvas (sticky tape it to the back of the canvas and trace over it with a sharpie)

So it looks like this.  (We ended up with two canvasses – one for each room)

Then out came the old clothes and the paint.  We only had the primary colours so we had fun mixing the colours together to create other shades.

I had Alexander and Emily use their fingers to paint first one canvas and then the other, so that they had worked together on both paintings.

Then to fit in with the themes of their bedrooms, Emily stamped her canvas with a butterfly stamp and Alexander stamped his with stars.

And then we were done!  We had to have a few fallen flowers and stars to decorate the canvas.

And we’re done.  Each unique to each room but having something of both of them, I think they can take pride in making this together.  I hope they remember making it together when they look at them.  Now to hang on the walls!


October 4, 2012 at 2:11 pm Leave a comment

October 2012
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