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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Homemade sand

The other day we were taking a walk in a wicked rain and found this adorable crocodile in a gutter.  Well, we couldn't just leave him there.  He came home with us.  We were going to make posters "Crocodile found.  Adorable and friendly," but never got around to it.  The least we could do for him is to build him a nice, cozy home.   I didn't know it's going to turn into hours of fun for my kids! 

If you want to create a similar experience for your kids started with home made sand.   Much easier to clean than the real sand.  And it has an amazingly pleasant texture.  We can not stop touching it! 

5 cups flour mixed with one cup vegetable oil.  

Then we added an assortment of stones and seashells.  The frogs were found at the Nature Museum gift store.  The little plastic cup has water tinted with blue food coloring.  The beach ball was bought for five cents at a garage sale many years ago.   The flowers add a nice touch, don't they? 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Seashells and Buttons Art

It was two years ago that we went to Florida and brought back a heavy pile of seashells.  I said that we will do something cool with them and then forgot all about it.  I was at the Home Depot the other day - just passing through foam insulation aisle at a leisurely pace with all the kids in tow - when I suddenly remembered the seashells.  (Of course, who doesn't think of seashells in insulation aisles of Home Depot).  My epiphany was: We could glue seashells to the foam!  And how about some tempura paint in the glue to make it shiny and bright.  And some sand to hold it together.  And that's how we came home with a car full of insulation foam (turned out they only sell it in bulk).  I see lots of projects with insulation foam in our future.

Glue, tempura paint, sand, and insulation foam.  Guess what color Boy picked for the project.  Hint: it's the color of Lightning McQueen
Here Boy is mixing glue, paint and sand in a plastic take-away container.  If you ever thought of mixing sand into your ice-cream just to play with textures, this is as close as you can get to that dream.  Of course, you could actually put sand into your ice-cream... just don't ask me to taste it.
Spreading the paste on a foam with a plastic spoon.
And now pressing seashells and buttons in
Did I mention the glitter?  Add generously!
Here is how it looked when Boy was done and before we transferred it to a clean plate.

The Button Box by Margarette Reid is the book we read with this project.  Be prepared to spend lots of hours playing with buttons.