threefunnyvoices

Life, How To's, and Other Various Ramblings

How 2 Cups of Flour and 2 Cups of Water Saved My Sanity April 22, 2013

By the time the milk paintings were complete, I thought that B was ready to calmly face the world. HOLY MOSES WAS I WRONG!!

What to do? What to do?

Then I remembered reading a post a while back about “Magic Playdough” The woman who wrote the post makes astronomical amounts of plain play dough every year for the first day of school. She separated the dough into individual balls (saving two balls to use later), pushed a well into the top and added 7-10 drops of food coloring into the well. Then, she took took the two balls she had held back, and used little pieces to plug the hole in the others. The goal is to have a collection of plain colored balls that look like there is nothing special about them. She then wrapped them up, added a little note about “mix and mash and if color should appear, it will be a great school year”. I thought this was adorable and wanted to try it at home…sort of.

We obviously did not need 50 balls of play dough so I scaled the recipe WAY back and added a little extra something to it. Here is what I came up with.

Magic Play Dough

2 cups of flour

2 cups of water

Lavender Essential Oil

place all ingredients in a pan on the stove and cook slowly (while stirring regularly) until it comes together and looks like dough. When it is done, place it on a piece of wax paper and knead it until it is nice and smooth. Divide into 6 balls and put two back. With the remaining 4, use your thumb to push a well into the balls. Add 7-10 drops of food coloring per ball. Fill hole with pieces of dough from extra 2 balls and GENTLY form them so that they look like a plain white ball of dough.

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As the dough was cooling, I lined the table with some wax paper and taped it down and got some plastic silverware and other small things that would make fun imprints in the dough.

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Then I unleashed the wild child on his first real encounter with play dough…

We mushed, and folded, and mushed and folded and mushed and folded and mushed and folded…

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And ended up with these (I would add more red food coloring next time)

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It took no time for him to discover that it smelled good (and all that lavender helped calm him down…like, whoa)

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And it felt good

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And because I made it, I knew exactly what was in it and I didn’t freak out when he did this…

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Let the games begin…

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And THAT is how 2 cups of flour and 2 cups of water (and a little Lavender Oil)  saved my sanity!

The dough will store nicely in ziploc bags and keep for quite some time. Best use of flour and water I have seen in weeks!

~C

PS: As I sat, enjoying the quiet stillness that this activity blessed me with, I couldn’t help but think that this would make for a GREAT party favor for your little ones birthday party…especially if it is a Magic theme!

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Why should kids have all the crafting fun?? February 25, 2013

I hate my kitchen window…my kitchen in general…but definitely the window.

It has white blinds and looks out onto a farm supply company and a light pole. WHOOPIE! It is so blah and OF COURSE that is where my sink is, so I look at blah all day….until this weekend came! No, I didn’t move but I got crafty…literally. (Shocking, I know)

I had some frosted glass ornaments and acrylic paints left from this past Christmas and the gift that my son made for everyone. They were just sitting in my closet taking up space so I decided to do something with them. I took to etsy.com and found some ornaments that I could easily make and this is what I came up with….

They are SO fun to make and look at…and easy as can be.

Here’s the lowdown

1. Gather clear/frosted glass/plastic ornaments with the removable tops and acrylic paints .

2. Remove the top and add small amounts of pain to the inside of the ball

You can either put the paints in the ball in separate areas, like I did here, or you can pile in all in on top of one another. If you choose to do the second option, I would use smaller amounts of paint and do the layers in three or four spots around the inside of the ball. It will make it easier later on.

3. Place your finger over the hole and shake.

Word to the wise…Don’t space out and forget that you are holding something in your hand and drop it….not that I would know by experience or anything. Also, have an old rag to wipe your finger on. It will get paint on it.

You may need to add a little extra paint as you go along, but that’s ok. Less is more in this situation.

4. When you are done shaking, you should end up with something that looks like this:

5. Put the balls back into the box they came in, leaving them uncovered, and place it somewhere safe that it will not be disturbed for the next 24(ish) hours so that the paint can dry.

6. Once they are dry (or at least dry enough that the paint isn’t running everywhere) place the top of the ball back inside. Be careful…

7. You can stop here if you like.

They are pretty and will serve their purpose. Personally, I like to fancy them up a bit, taking them from this:

To this:

The bows are SUPER easy to make… Here’s a photo I got from wantu.taobao.com

Once you are done with the bows, simply hot glue them to the top of the ball, close to the loop that you use to hang the ball.

That’s it! SO easy, right??

Here are a few of the ones I created this weekend:

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I have three of them hanging in my kitchen window at various lengths. I LOVE them. They add a pop of color in a plain white room overlooking a rather blah scene. Because of the shape and colors they do not make it look like I forgot to take down my Christmas decorations, which adds to my love of them as well. I will get a picture of the window up, just as soon as night comes and the colors will actually show up.

 

~C

 

Looking for Something to Do With Those Empty Toilet Paper Rolls? February 22, 2013

For some reason, I felt like I should keep my empty t.p. rolls….and now I have an overabundance of them. (It would have behooved me to have a purpose for them when I started saving them because I have enough of them to arm the entire neighborhood with today’s craft project. *sigh*)

 

Anyway….

 

I recalled that somewhere along the line, either as a big sister, a baby sitter, a classroom aid in a daycare or in my Childhood Development classes, we made binoculars out of T.P. rolls.  This was perfect timing because B is a huge fan of playing “explorer” right now so we took to the task of making him a set. It was so easy…and took no time.

HERE’S WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

2 empty tp rolls

glue gun

markers/crayons/paint/stickers (whatever you want to use to decorate them)

ribbon/string/yarn (something to make a strap with)

 

Start by plugging in your glue gun so it is ready to use when you need it

Set up your little one with the rolls and the chosen decorating tools and let them go to town. (While they are doing this, the adult can cut the ribbon they will need to use as a strap)

 

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After you have accomplished the task of decorating your one of a kind binoculars, it’s time for an adult to glue them together. Just run a line of hot glue along the side of one of the tubes and press the two tubes together.

Now, add a dot of glue on the inside of the tube, but on the outside curve, on both tubes and attach your ribbon.

When you are done, you should have something that looks a little like this:

 

That’s it!

Now, if you are into something a little more structured and decorative, you can find instructions on how to make camo binoculars here: http://www.freekidscrafts.com/binoculars-e1148.html

I am sure that if you search Pinterest, there are lots of patterns and ideas, but I prefer to let B make his own design.

Ok…go enjoy yourselves and let us see some of those lovely creations!

~C

 

A Hug From 1500 Miles Away February 21, 2013

The boy’s Gimah lives 1500 miles away (give or take 500. I haven’t calculated it exactly…but rest assured she lives far away.) and therefore we are always looking for new things that he can make to send to her. I recently stumbled across “Send a Hug” on Pinterest. The ladies at http://www.supermommoments.com came up with this one and we did our own interpretation of it. We think it’s a hit!  (Not to mention SUPER easy to do!)

This would be perfect to do as a yearly gift for a grandparent. It would double nicely as a growth chart that they can hang on to!

Send A Hug

Simply trace your child’s hands. Let them color them in. Measure their “wing span” and then cut a piece of ribbon or string in that length. We adhered the string with a little hot glue, one end of the string on each hand, so that it looks like your little one is coming to give the recipient(s) a hug.

We attached a personalized note on the string with a piece of clear tape.

It was so simple to make and ended up bringing tears to Gimah’s eyes when she opened her care package.

 

~C

 

 
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Life, How To's, and Other Various Ramblings