Saturday, January 23, 2016

Sink or Float

So, it's raining...again. And this time it's a little more than a put-your-hood-up-and-play-anyway kind of rain. So today in keeping with the we theme, we set up an indoor water activity: sink or float. The Beans collected some items to test in the water and we set out to investigate. 

What you need:
  • a small tup of water (or you can do it in the bath tub)
  • items for testing (he used a paperclip, a hair band, spoon, 2 bouncy balls, a small LEGO and an eraser)
  • a way to record your findings (we made a chart on paper)
What to do:
  1. Simple test each object in the water then record which items float and which ones sink! 
  2. Remember to discuss the "why" when doing this! It's a great way to introduce new vocabulary like buoyancy and comparisons like heavier. It's also exciting to to see some unexpected results!! 

He wrote F for float and S for sink

There is an F and a S for the ball because one floated and the other sank. 

Then he wanted to make foil boats to see if he could get all of the objects to float! 

And they did!! 

This activity is super fun to do in the bath! And I always keep aluminum foil (from the dollar store) on hand for boat making :) 

Happy investigating!! 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Train Painting

Lately the Beans has been trying to figure out what colors mixed together make what other colors, so we have been doing a bunch of activities that help support this curiosity. He mixes bath bead colors in his bath at night, he has been mixing food coloring in different batches and he paints with liquid watercolors (which mix beautifully, by the way). Yesterday I put out an invitation that incorporated color mixing with one of his favorite things to do right now...race cars! Although I must say that he wasn't okay with getting his cars "mucky," so we used trains instead ;)

What you need:

  • trains or cars
  • a piece of long paper with painters tape
  • washable tempura paint
What to do:
  1. Tape down a long piece of paper on the table or floor.
  2. Pour the paint in thick strips at the starting line overlapping some colors for better mixing.
  3. Line up the cars or trains at the starting line.
  4. Then invite the kids over...


I have posted about slime a few times in the past, and let me tell you why. WE LOVE SLIME!!! Busy loves it from the beginning stages but the Beans doesn't like it until it's not "goopy" anymore ;) We have tried many recipes to make slime but this one has become our favorite. So in case you missed the previous posts, here it is again...


What you need:

What to do:
  1. Pour the glue in a glass bowl.
  2. Mix in the watercolor. 
  3. Slowly add the liquid starch in small amounts and knead with your hands. 
  4. Once you add the starch, stretch it out to make sure it stretches but doesn't break. 
  5. You can even store it in an air tight container and pop it in the fridge for a cold slime!
  • The key with this is to mix the liquid starch in small amounts slowly and not to dump all of the ingredients in all at once to mix. I have thrown away some batches doing that. 
  • I always read that it takes equal parts glue and starch, but that recipe NEVER works for us! I have no idea why...
  • In these pictures you will notice that the slime is glittery!! That's because we did something a little different this time. We used a little less than one full bottle of clear glue, then used Elmer's Glitter Glue to make up the difference. It turned out great!! 

Remember, this is science (mixing), math (measuring and shape making), literacy (letter making), fine motor practice (squeezing and manipulating with hands and fingers) and sensory!! So don't just make slime, make it meaningful!! 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

More Printmaking

We have experimented with many different types of printmaking in our day, and not all have been successful. But unsuccessful is not a bad thing when it comes to art! How will you ever know if you don't try? Am I right?! This time we pulled out the never-fail mini muffin baking tin, The Bean's favorite print making tool, and some new tools that Busy wanted to try out.

What You Need: This time around we tried some new things. Some of them worked, some didn't.

  • mini muffin baking tin
  • paper bulletin board boarder
  • pipe cleaners
  • string 
  • veggies (she used the base ends of bok choy) 
  • foam letters (we glued ours on an empty squared off juice bottle)
  • paint
  • paper
What To Do:
  1. Lay out the materials so they can choose what they want to use first. 
  2. Dip each tool in the paint and press on the paper making a print.
  3. You can use one tool per paper or combine to make a scene or collage. 
  4. Let dry and hang to enjoy! 

Beansie used a Q-tip to make
voids in his paint for a
more interesting print.

Busy glued the pipe cleaner on a
brie container and rolled it
across her paper to make the print. 
She also glued the string on a piece of wood
and used it to stamp the print.

I love the happy mess that ends up on our table when the project starts to come to an end :)

Final notes: The LEGOS were my favorite print, the bulletin board boarder was Busy's favorite print, and the muffin tin is still Bean's favorite print. The letters on the bottle worked really well, inspiring them to make name plates! The string didn't work really well but the pipe cleaner did, so Busy suggested using a thicker string next time to see if that would work better. See? Unsuccessful is not a bad thing ;)