Deep in the Heart of Winter, Deep in the Heart of Texas

Its another gorgeous winter day in Austin, Texas. The grass is growing, the sun is shining, and its a pleasant 75 degrees outside as we creep up on the new year!

Tinkering

My boys needed amusement so I set my four year old up with a log, a box of nails with large heads, and a small hammer. TAP TAP TAP! And my two year old is going crazy digging in the dirt. 🙂

A Dirty Kid is a Happy Kid

Glow in the Dark SLIME!!!

Uh-oh. Christmas break is looming! What am I going to do with the kids?!?! Well, of course I’m going to send them to Grandma‘s house for a while, lol. But not the whole time. I’m going to have to bust out the recipe book.

Today we make Glow in the Dark Slime!

Ingredients:

Borax

Water

Glow in the Dark Craft Paint (readily available at Michael’s craft stores)

4oz Elmer’s Glue

Two bowls for mixing (we’ll be making two separate solutions and then combining them!)

First, pick a bowl for the glue mixture. We’re going to squeeze that entire 4oz bottle of Elmer’s into a bowl! This is great work for little hands: they can squeeze to their little hearts’ content! If a mom were to do this by herself she *might* take the cap off the glue all together and dump it a lot faster, but kids do like to squeeze out the glue, and if they get tired (bonus) you can take the cap off for them, too. 🙂

Then we’ll add one cup of warm water to the glue, and 2-3 tablespoons of the glow-in-the-dark paint and start mixing. We used a small whisk, but a potato masher or large spoon would work just as well! (*NOTE* The glow in the dark paint at the Michael’s by my house came in several colors, however it also came in a neutral, glows only, non-color. If you only have the non-colored glowing paint available to you, add yellow food coloring to give it a nice popping color when its in the light!)

In the next bowl we will combine 1/3 cup water and 2tsp borax. We added r two tablespoons plus one teaspoon of the borax solution to our glue mixture. However if you want a stiffer slime, add a bit more borax solution!

 

 

 

 

 

And voila! There we have it. Now shut your kids in the bathroom – you’ve got about thirty minutes before they get bored, go watch t.v. – something with a grown up theme! LOL

Kids and Cardboard

It may be September, but its still summer in Texas. Its so hot that after eleven in the morning the kids refuse to go outside, not even to play in the hose! So I tend to force them out the back door as soon as they’ve finished breakfast. Surprisingly this morning there was actually a coolness to the breeze and they went out happily. BUT they kept sneaking back in! I’d hear one door open, go to investigate, and while busy with that child I’d hear the other door open and shut. I’d tell the first child to stay while going to investigate the new situation, then the child I was originally questioning would scramble around and dash out the other door. Hmmm… In time all was revealed. They were on a covert supply gathering mission! While I would have handed over the scissors, paint, brushes, and tape had they asked they preferred to “be sneaky.” Every time a door opened and closed it meant my little squirrels were stashing paint brushes down the back of pants, paints in their pockets, and tucking scissors into the tops of socks. WHAT FOR? you may be wondering. Well, a couple of weeks ago we received a large delivery and I’d given them the box and packing materials to play with outside. The box has been a hide-away and a trap for dinosaurs, the strips of packing cardboard have been swords and walking sticks and roads for race cars. This morning the kids took it to the next level and turned the cardboard into walkie talkies. 🙂

They used rocks and shells and fake pearls as buttons:

Sticks stood at attention as “commuters” (aka antennae):

They were beaming ear to ear. So was I.

Bleach Resist T-Shirts and Original Kid Art

My kids are SO CREATIVE, its crazy, really. I’m constantly blown away by their resourcefulness and ingenuity. They find ways to use materials that are not only surprising, but delightful. So I decided to surprise and delight them for a change!

First I pulled from their closets two plain, solid colored t-shirts. I dug around and found some plexi glass, and a small piece of chalkboard chalk that I broke into two, because, well, four and six year olds aren’t famous for their ability to share. 🙂

DD sketching design on t-shirt with chalk.DS chalking his desing onto t-shirt

We’ve all had bleach mishaps. How many shirts and pants have been relegated to the “weekend wear” because a surprise bloom of bleach spots appeared mysteriously? We’re going to be using bleach in this project, don’t want any surprises!! The plexi glass is the perfect size to slip into the shirts to keep the bleach from bleeding through. Its also a very sturdy surface and was easy for the kids to work on.

Laying Bleach Over Chalk Design

The kids literally sketched with the chalk a design onto the t-shirt. Once the kids were finished with their designs it was time for mom to take over. Beware, bleach pens smell like bleach, and while the fumes were not nearly so noxious as regular bleach, I’d still have a fan blowing or a window open if I were you. The bleach “pen” is actually a tube of gelatinous bleach and so it stays where you put it. I carefully laid a line of bleach gel on all of the chalked lines of the kids’ designs. You don’t have to lay it down super thick, but you definitely want coverage. After I was done going over the outlines on both shirts, we set them aside and went off to do “something else.” About twenty minutes later we returned and the kids were SURPRISED and DELIGHTED to see the shirt was changing colors everywhere there was bleach!!!

See the color changes happening at the edges of the bleach lines... Little harder to see, but the bleach is changing the color of the shirt...

When they realized their designs were becoming a permanent part of their shirts their eyes really started to shine. Like I mentioned, we let it sit for about twenty minutes, but you can let it stand for more or less time depending on the color you want the design to be. For example, with the green shirt, if we’d rinsed it ten minutes earlier my daughter’s fairy would have been yellow instead of white. Darker colors take longer go bleach than lighter colors, so if you want white lines on a black shirt you may have to let it sit for a l-o-n-g time.

We took the shirts to the sink to rinse. Be careful. The gel starts to set and actually flakes off. You don’t want to submerge the shirt and work the bleach out that way, you want to hold the design under running water and slowly flake the gel off.

Our freshly rinsed t-shirts:

We hung them to dry, but you could have just as easily popped them in the dryer.

Hazel proudly showing off "FAIRY" designby Walter, age four

 

 

 

 

 

They are so proud of themselves! And my son has worn his shirt three days in a row… 🙂

Happy Crafting!

Materials for this project:

*Bleach Pen

*Solid Color T-Shirts

*Chalkboard Chalk

*Cardboard, chip board, or some other firm surface to put in the shirt as a work surface and to keep the bleach from bleeding through.

*Imagination, creativity, and a smile.

Hazel’s Story On the Origin of Oliver

Once upon a time a little girl named Hazey was walking in the woods. As she was walking she found a deep cave. She went inside. Not too far, for she didn’t want to become lost in the dark. She saw a round rock. It was moving. Hazey got out her knife and cut open the rock. Inside the rock was Baby Oliver. Hazey scooped him up and took him home, for he was all alone and didn’t have a mommy or any family. Now he has a mommy and a brother and a sister and a daddy. He’s part of our family.

Oliver, Hazey found you “deep in the world” and loved you and brought you home to live with us. You’re now living happily ever after.

The end.

*story told to me by my four year old daughter one day as we were driving to the grocery story. it began, “mom, i found oliver deep in the world.” i asked a few questions and the story was so beautiful i had to share.