Mom’s Fun with Art

Although the First Day of Fall is not until September 23rd, it’s still hot! To make sure the learning and fun continue from Summer into Fall, this is the first of four blog posts about creative things you can do with your1 kids. There should be something for most: super simple activities kids can do while you make dinner, others requiring full-on parental involvement, edible science experiments, and even fun field trips.

Perhaps the easiest fun activity to provide your child while you make dinner is to spray some shaving cream on the counter for them to draw in or practice their writing. Kids love the sensory aspect and it is just as easy to clean up afterward. Just plain white shaving cream is fun, but you can add a little food coloring too. Be sure your work surface can handle the color, or confine the shaving cream fun to a baking tin.

2bc6d49If you want to get fancy, try shaving cream marbling. Mix food coloring or most any kids paint coloring into the shaving cream. Press a piece of blank paper onto the shaving cream and then use a craft stick, piece of cardboard or other flat-edge to scrape the shaving cream off of the paper, revealing a gorgeous print on your paper! Let dry. We love the Artful Parent (and her book); she does a step-by-step with photos here. Here is a tiger picture made from shaving cream marbling: Play Create Explore: Shaving Cream Marbling Craft. Or perhaps try this pretty desert sunset: Inner Child Fun: Marbled Sunset.

To really change it up (or perhaps you’re grilling out ), try painting with toes on the patio (or on cardboard orUntitled butcher paper). We originally found this on pages 50-51 in “101 Kids Activities That Are The Bestest, Funnest Ever!” You can add difficulty (and balance and core strength work) for older kids by having them toe-write while standing or crab-walking, etc.. No shaving cream, but here’s little Edie foot-painting with finger paints
while we unpacked our garage. video: foot painting

Another quick tabletop game that only takes slight breaks from meal prep, highlights how animals’ camouflage works. This is straight from pages 76-80 of Mike Adamick’s “Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments.” Simply use six sheets of colored paper, two each of three different colors. 5 4Have your child cut one sheet of each color into approximately 2” squares. While your child closes their eyes, scatter the cut pieces over one of the full sheets. Have them open their eyes and grab as many squares as possible in five seconds. How many did they grab? Was it easier to spot and grab pieces that contrasted with the background? Try different backgrounds and different sizes and see what works for the eyes. Perhaps you can try to recycle all that paper confetti the little ones bring home!

Summer’s over, but it’s still hot! Have you made ice cream yet? For older 3ones, this provides an opportunity to talk about the freezing point of water. Our recipe at home comes from Rachelle Doorley’s” Tinkerlab,” which is this recipe halved: The Idea Room: Make Your Own Ice Cream In A Baggy. In our experience, it takes closer to 10 minutes than 5 to have good ice cream consistency. If you’re doing this with little ones, you’ll likely do more of the shaking. Any salt with do, but rock salt definitely works the best.

For one or two ingredient ice cream recipes (that require a food processer or blender and overnight freezing), try these:

Cream and condensed milk: The Simple Cooking Channel

Banana: The Kitchen

Lastly, for a really big, all week-project try these egg geodes. I really wanted to have these finished before Edythe visited “the finest mineral collection in the world” at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in the end of July, but alas, we didn’t get to them. Nevertheless, Rachel Doorley at Tinkerlab did (as did Martha Stewart). Here is Rachel’s step-by-step: Egg Geodes Experiment. I like her suggestion to use the waiting period to practice observing and documenting experiments. How cool are these eggs from Martha Stewart’s Egg Geodes page?!