Friday, August 21, 2009

Homemade Bath Crayons

Finished Dinosaur Soap

As a frugal parent, I could never justify spending the money on kids tub crayons; I mean, they basically use them once and then they're garbage if they are even left. And with 3 rough boys, I would have to buy more than 1 package at a time. So this project creates very cheap bath crayons that a parent can make on their own or a child can easily help to make.  If your child helps you, then you get 2 things to occupy your kid - one time to make the soap and another time to play in the tub for awhile drawing up a storm! A child can easily grate some soap, add food coloring, add water, pack the soap into molds (like playing in the sand) , and put them into the freezer. Hopefully, if they help, they can forget about the crayons for a few days while they properly dry out (or they will crumble when they try to write with them).

1 bar of soap (something simple like ivory)
spray vegetable oil
food coloring.
a grater
ice cube tray or small mold

1. Lightly Spray an ice cube tray or similar mold with vegetable oil spray
2. Using the smallest holes on your grater, grate an entire bar of soap.

3. Add 15 drops of food coloring to the soap.

4. Add 2 tablespoons of warm/hot water to the soap. Stir an add more water a teaspoon at a time until it looks like a thick dough. (try not to overdo the water as it will take much longer to dry).

5. Press the mixture into your mold of choice.

6. Freeze for 30-45 minutes.
7. Pop out the crayons and let them dry for a minimum of 2 days.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Kitchen Fireworks - 2 ways

These are both 2 easy things to do with the kids. 
We all have the ingredients on hand too!

Kitchen Fireworks #1
  1. Pour  about 2 cups milk (the more fat the better) into a cake pan or baking dish.
  2. Scatter numerous drops of food coloring in several different spots in the milk.
  3. Squeeze some dish washing detergent into the milk, mainly near the food coloring drops.
  4. Watch the "firework display" in the pan. The "fireworks" are the result of the liquid dish washing detergent separating the fat in the milk, thus causing it to move.
  5. Supposedly when the "show" starts to die-down, you can add more liquid detergent to the milk and it will start over again. I didnt find this the case but maybe we did something wrong. It was cool to see once though!

Kitchen Fireworks #2
(these were WAY more impressive!)

  1. Pour water into a clear glass leaving roughly an inch of space at the top of the glass. Water must be room temperature so either: let it sit out a bit -or- make it room temperature from the faucet.
  2. In another cup, add about 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Then add 1 or 2 drops of the each (red, yellow & blue) food coloring to the oil.
  3. Using a fork, carefully stir the vegetable oil and food coloring just enough to break up the drops. (only slightly stir the mix so you will have a variety of large and small beads).
  4. Pour the vegetable oil mix slowly into the glass of water. In around 30 seconds, the beads of color will shoot through the vegetable oil making small streamers and tiny fireworks!!

Oil poured on top.... waiting.... Red & Blue Fireworks!

2nd time we used Red, Yellow & Blue and this mug-cup and it worked better!

2nd time we used Red, Yellow & Blue and this mug-cup and it worked better!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Apple Pops

Apple Pops arranged  Yummy Apple Pops!

OK... I made these as a treat but I am so making these for our next party and for Halloween-time! These are great!!!

You need:

Apple Pop Ingredients
Apples, sticks, caramel, peanut butter, and sprinkles.

Here's what I did.....

(1) I washed my apples (I only had 2 and they were Red Delicious).
(2) I took my melon baller and made balls of apple (leave the skin on).
(3) I took popsicle sticks and put one in each ball (poked the stick through the skinned side).
(4) This is where you'd warm up your dipping agent. I used Caramel Bits by Kraft (nuked a small amount for 45 seconds in the microwave with a bit of water) and peanut butter (nuked for 30 seconds). Other great ideas would be Nutella, melted chocolate, melted cinnamon chips or fluff.
(5) Take a paper towel and dry an apple and then dip and swirl in the coating.
(6) roll in a coating such as nonpareils, sprinkles, mini chips, coconut, crushed cookies....
(7) place on waxed paper and cool in refrigerator (peanut butter ones are ready quickly (like 5 minutes) while the caramel needs about an hour).

These were so easy, the kids loved them, and so did I! :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Homemade Finger (and feet) Paint


I don't know if I ever bought finger-paint for my kids. Actually, ONCE! I figured I would try and make some since finger painting is supposed to be great for kids. It builds creativity of course, but it's great for their motor skills and they get a great sensory experience as well. This formula is totally safe to eat since it's made at home with food products (of course NOT eating paint is the way to go but if a little one HAS to try it, at least it's safe).

1/2 cup cornstarch
3 Tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups cold water
food coloring
Spoon and whisk
Storage containers like tupperware, baby food jars, or even ice cube trays if being used immediately.

1. Mix cornstarch, sugar, salt, and cold water by whisking in the saucepan.
2. Cook over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes stirring and whisking pretty constantly. 
3. Cook until the mixture is smooth and thick like glue.
4. Take pan off stove and divide into containers that can be sealed.
5. Mix in food coloring until desired color is reached.

(image left to right: color added and mixed, color added and not-mixed, and no color added)
6. Close containers and allow to cool.

Zoƫ thought it tasted great...

Feet work well, too.

Hands get  messy...

... so does the rest of ya!

But it's all OK - Look at that Masterpiece!!!

    Friday, August 14, 2009

    Homemade Pudding Pops

    Vanilla Pudding Pops

    Just a  super quick treat to make kids happy....

    1 box any flavor Jell-O instant pudding mix
    2 cups cold milk
    Small cups (like shot-sized)
    Any additives like fruit, sprinkles, chips...

    1. Mix 1 box of pudding mix with the cold milk.
    2. Whisk for 2 minutes.
    3. Add whatever the kids would love to the pudding mix one semi-thickened.
    4. Pour into cups and put stick in the middle.
    5. Freeze for at least 3 hours until completely solid.
    6. To release, either peel off the paper cup or dip cup in warm/hot water for a few seconds and they slide right out.

    *** Mom's Note: I used vanilla pudding with half rainbow sprinkles and half mini-chocolate chips. They were both great!

    Wednesday, August 12, 2009

    Apple Sandwiches

    Peanut Butter Apple Sandwiches

    This is just an easy thing to do but makes snack-time a bit more special.

    1. Slice an apple across into thin but not too thin slices.
    2. Take a small cookie/fondant cutter and remove the core from each slice.
    3. Pat the slices dry.
    4. Lightly smear a layer of peanut better on the apple.
    5. Top with an apple slice to make a sandwich.

    *** Mom's note: you can do the lemon juice thing before you peanut butter up the slices but I find they go fast enough I don't need to do that. I also use Gala Apples (since their skins are thinner) and I think the brown a bit less.

    Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    Homemade Crowns & Swords

    3 Royal Crowns!

    For the CROWNS:

    1. You're gonna need aluminum foil. Cut off about 20 inches or so. Fold it in half twice, long sides together.

    2. I used colored card stock. I cut it in half lengthwise so hen I taped it together, it was as long as the folded foil.
    3. Cut V's into the colored card stock to make peaks of the crown.

    4. Place the card stock in the middle of the foil and fold the foil in half with the card stock in the middle (so the card stock is sandwiched between the foil.

    5. Place a few small pieces of tape to make the card stock stay in place on the foil.
    6. Tape the foil to the card stock (once folded).
    7. Overlap ends to proper size, and slip one end of foil inside the other. Tape in place.
    8. Decorate with stickers, glitters, crayons, markers.... whatever you or your kids want to do!

    For the SWORDS:

    1. Take the tube that comes from the inside of wrapping paper (it's nice & long).

    2. Tear foil long enough to cover the whole length.
    3. Roll foil around the tube and tape in place.
    4. Crumple ends and tuck into the hole at either end.