1 C. water
1 C. Flour
mix together, the mixture should be kind of thick and add whatever colors you'd like. Cover the cotton balls and bake at 300 degrees for around 45 minutes. They may have some annoying flat edges, if you don't like these you can snip them off with some scissors. TIP: line your baking sheet with aluminum foil for an easy clean up. When they're done and kind of hard hand them over to the kiddos with a kid hammer or rubber mallet and let them go to town. They can also stomp them to bits. Some people say there's no real educational value here but I can find it. It's scientific, explaining how the chemical composition of the gooey mixture changes with heat and becomes hard. There's also the question of density which is why the cotton balls aren't always colored all the way through with this mixture where they would be with water and food coloring. There's also the subject of fine motor skills here, let them use tweezers to pull the cotton balls out of a bowl.These are ALSO great therapy for aggression issues. Seriously though, it's a game. It's just fun. Get over yourself. I used to throw rocks at the side of a barn. Mom didn't question the educational purpose behind that and I can assure you that I turned out just fine. Oh, and go follow the blog I linked in the title, she's awesome.
Masking Tape Race Track:
Basically for this activity you just need a floor and some masking tape. Which, if I'm not mistaken can be bought in lots of different colors. Painters tape is also a good option and, in all honesty, is pretty much the same thing. Here's the pin I saw this on originally:
I can't seem to figure out who to give credit to for this so if you know, please let me know. It's a wonderful idea, it really is, masking tape is cheap, it pulls up easily and can provide hours of fun, not to mention a different track each time. Upon googling this I found even more similar ideas (yet never the original) that really were awesome.
Here (at Maddycakes Muse) is a picture I found that was about a race car/ race track themed birthday party. This is made out of black plastic table cloth and masking tape:
|I have a friend who's son is race car crazy and she's gonna love this|
This (from Motherly Loving) is also a great idea, using the same concept and is also for a little boys birthday. Being from Corvette City, I loved the car in the driveway :)
Honestly, I went crazy with ideas with masking tape after seeing all this. Other things you could do would be hopscotch, tic tac toe and any game you could play using chalk on the sidewalk or driveway. It's really more versatile than I realized until today.
Discovery bottles are geared specifically toward learning. The way I look at it, the more you jump start your child's mind into thinking the more they learn, it's just like reading really. These really focus on sight, sound and smell. They make your child turn and twist or shake the bottle, making a different reaction each time and jump starting their little minds. Here's my favorite but this blogger has so many on her site, I believe I'll create every single one.
It's just some pipe cleaners in a glass jar with a magnet to make them move. It's simple but it takes me back to the little magnet shaving faces where you could add hair to the blank face on a board- does anyone else remember these? I loved them. Seriously though, click that link- go show her some love too, these are amazing. Magnets can be bought here, horseshoe 6.25/12 and will be useful for other projects as well.
Balloon Ping Pong:
Bouncing a small ball around the house can always turn into trouble. I don't know about your kids but mine would most certainly break something. So, the solution is, turning the ball into a balloon. It's hard to break much with a simple balloon. Tobers, Bubba and Livvy are all obsessed with balloons. They're a big deal at my house. They're also really cheap. If you're kids are as in love with them as mine are go check out Oriental Trading where you can get them (and so much more stuff) cheaply. The ones I linked to are 144 for 5$. Basically balloon ping pong is your basic ping pong game using popsicle sticks (500 large ones for 7.25 at OT) glued or stapled to paper plates as the paddles and the balloon as the ball. Lots of fun for the kiddos.
More Great Links:
SavingStar- 10 activities for kids I absolutely love this, and it's got 10 more links to 10 more places for great ideas, check out the ocean in a bottle. That makes me so happy and wouldn't that be a great idea to use keepsakes from a beach trip?
Oriental Trading they have just so much stuff for really cheap, go check it out. I can't say enough about this website. They have stuff for everything from decorations for any party to soap and candle making to paints, crayons, and markers to costumes to anything. It's really great. It's also a great place to get soap dye for those homemade bathtub crayons