Fairies in a Jar (The truth exposed!)

I kept seeing this photo on pinterest time and time again, and know that I had to try it as well, it looks amazing so who wouldn’t want to give it a go?!

fairies in jarPhoto from pinterest

But before I continue, can I just say one thing, the above photo is IN NOW WAY REAL!!!!! It is, I am convinced 100% photoshopped. Even though we followed the instructuions to the letter, the results were nothing like this photo. However it was still pretty awe inspiring for my boys and so I would say that it is still worth trying to make ‘Faries in a jar’ but just prepare yourself (or maybe your kids) for a slightly more realistic outcome, as I have shown in my photos here.

You will need:

  • a jar with a lid
  • a glowstick
  • some diamond coloured glitter (I am not utterly convinced I used the right sort of glitter, or that it is even necessary but we went with it as per the original instructions)
  • scissors

Fairies in a jar

You need to make sure that the next part is fully supervised as glow sticks can contain some nasty stuff in them that you don’t want your littlies getting on themselves…

Snap your glowstick to make it ‘glow’, then carefully cut the top off to shake it in the jar. If you find this tricky (as I did) cut both ends off and blow (without putting your lip to the glowstick!) the contents into the jar. I found blowing it in more sucessful then shaking… Note the distance I was blowing from!

blowing the glowstick into the jarmaking fairies

Then add your glitter, and pop the lid on…

Then shake!

Thats it!!!

Next, overcome the slight dissapointment that it doesn’t look remotely like the pinterest photo…

Then marvel at the glowy-ness…

Now quickly retreat to a darkened room for fairy watching!Fairies in a jarWatching fairies in a jarFairiesThe Fairy CatcherHere is my little fairy-catcher.

The boys had a jar of fairies each, and were very excited to go to bed with them as a glowey nightlight next to their beds. As I said earlier, I think the glowsick liquid shaken in the jar was what produce d the look of the fairies – I am not sure the glitter did much to add to the effect, however as the glow faded by morning it was nice to see the glitter inside the jar. I think in hindsight perhaps a jar of water filled with diamond glitter might make a more similar effect to the pinterest photo…?

I wil have to try it and see! x

 

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Clean Mud ‘Recipe’

What do you do when your two year old throws two new rolls of toilet paper in the bath??

You make clean mud of course!

Clean mud recipe - Sensory play

ingredients for clean mud

I hate waste, and throwing things away unecessarily, so was slightly horrified when my toddler took my husbands words of “put these in the bathroom for me” a little too literally… (I could see it happening in my mind’s eye the second the words were out of his mouth as the bath had just been poured, why do men not think?!) So I fished the soggy rolls out of the bath, and set them to one side, then when my little darlings were washed and dried and fast asleep I went on Pinterest find inspiration. Of course.

And voila! Clean mud was there jumping off the sceen demading to be made the following day, and I was happily satisfied that I had triumphed in the face of disaster. Okay not disater, wet loo paper. Still its a good reslut in my book!

Clean Mud Recipe:

  • 2 toilet rolls (they do not have to be wet!)
  • 1 bar of soap
  • Warm water
  • you will also need a cheese grater and a large container to make the mud in.

Usually you would take a couple of rolls toilet paper and shred it into a large bowl, bucket or storage bin. Since my rolls were pre-dampened, (the inner cardboard tubes just slipped straight out by the way) I just had to tear at them and added enough warm water to the bowl to saturate them. Then I got busy grating in the soap. Usually I would have let S do this but he was happy playing with a friend and so I just got on with it to avoid arguments! next you just need to squish it about till its all muched up and dough like, then its time to play!

Clean mud

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clean mud - Glitter mud pies

clean mud piesWe added glitter and plates so we could make some ‘real’ mud pies. it was a great sensory play activity that they could really have fun moulding and squeezing. Perfect for a rainy day! Unfortunately S got a bit carried away and poor M got a faceful of mud pie and glitter (had it not been cruel it would have made a great photo)… So that was the end of the clean mud for that day…. But aside from that and since finding glitter in every nook and cranny of my house for the rest of eternity, I would say it was great fun all round and much better then throwing the toilet rolls away, so I have to thank little J really for his impulsive act of ‘helpfulness’! I will definately make this again, next time though, I will try it outdoors.

Still, at least their hands (and faces) were very clean afterwards!! x

Table Salt Drawing – Easy Creative Fun!

table salt activitiesSometimes, its the most simple and basic of ingredients or items found already in the home, which make for the most absorbing and fun activities… This one is an easy, quick to set up activity perfect for some quiet concentration on a rainy day.

Take table salt, a pretty dull but staple pantry item, and one that you would not readily assosiate with children (!!) but oh! The fun they can have with it! (supervised… of course!) Ok yes, they will at some stage probably stick a wet finger in and then lick it. They are children after all, and it looks so temptingly similar to sugar… But if that’s the only way to learn that it doesn’t taste good then its not something to get too stressed about!

For this activity you will only need table salt and a deep sided tray. I used a large oven baking try. Then you can use your imagination as to what you provide your child to play with (or indeed, theirs) My son chose a few toy cars at first, and made tracks in the salt, pretending it was snow. He was quite excited by the tracks that the cars were making, and then he started to draw in it with his finger, so I gave him a chopstick to use which he just loved.

Driving toy cars in table saltDSCF1391DSCF1399DSCF1393 DSCF1395

My son is quite (I think) talented at drawing and yet it is not something he will generally choose to do, he would much prefer a construction activity over sitting at the table with paper and pens, he gets too easily frustrated when the drawing goes ‘wrong’ and not how he wants it to look. However, he loves this activity – salt drawing is more of a tactile experience then ordinary drawing, and mistakes can easily be shaken away. He makes me take photos of his ‘best work’ so that it can be treasured forever.

So give it a go! And if you are the type of parent that feels like the ought to do more ‘creative stuff’ with your little one, but just can’t face anythig that will result in sticky mess, ease your conscience and reach for the salt! It will only require the most minimal clean up (at worst a simple bit of sweeping that you can even encourage your child to do) and they LOVE it. It will keep them engaged far longer then a magnetic doodle board, or the TV, and encourage their imagination and fine moter skills, whilst you can pat yourself on the back for being a ‘creative mother’. Yay! x

Slime!

slime recipe

My son was so excited by this activity. You only have to say the words “lets make slime” to any 4 year old boy to watch their face light up with joy! The fact that is was green, (his all time favourite colour) just made it all the more wow-tastic.

Now we have made gloop many times before, which is just cornflour and water mixed together. If you haven’t made it you must, its a wonderful sensory activity for any toddler or child. This time however I wanted to make something a bit more, well, slimey, for my boys to really get their teeth (or rather hands) into.

slime dough

slime

The mixture is one of those that you can tweak a bit to make it more runny or more firm and ‘dough’ like depending on how much water you add. The best way to go is on the ‘less is more’ principle and just keep adding a little more water at a time until it is the right kind of sliminess for your liking!

Slime Recipe:

  •  2 and 1/4 cups cornflour
  • 1/2 cup shampoo
  • 5-7 tablespoons of water. (start with 5, mix and see if you need more. Once you have gone too runny its hard to get it doughy again)

optional:

  • a few drops of food colouring

Put your cornflour in a bowl and mix in the shampoo, I just bought some cheap shampoo at the $2 shop as it was bright green and smelled nice! Add a few drops of food colouring if you wish, if your shampoo is not brightly coloured enough. Now add the water a tablespoon at a time and mix well before adding each extra tablespoon. As you can see from the first photo, ours went a bit runny, however as we played with it it lost some of the moisture and became more dough like. It is more fun when doughy as it seems to have a stretchy, shinny, gooeyness which the boys loved. We could do handprints and roll it into balls, then watch as the balls ‘melted’ off our hands. DSCF1353 DSCF1352

J liked it best when it was in a bowl, with more water added so he could stir it around and around. There are not many photos of the firmer dough as I was so busy playing with it (with the boys ahem..) that it was hard to keep my hands clean enough to take photos! I stored the firmer dough in an airtight tub so we could play with it again. I would say it lats for a few days but not that long.  You may just need to add a touch more water to rejuvinate it! Oh and by the way, it looks crazy-scary-messy I know, like “aghhhh why would you ever make this in your house you mad person???”… but trust me, it’s actually not that messy and is sooo easy to clean up with just the wipe of a wet cloth. Promise ;-P x

NB here are a few extra photos of a firmer version of the slime made on a separate occasion. homemade slimeslimehomemade slimeslime ball

Salad Spinner Art

Salad Spinner ArtThe most fun you (and your kids) will ever have with a salad spinner…

You will need:

  • A salad spinner (no, really?!)
  • paper
  • scissors
  • pen
  • non-toxic poster paint, watered down slightly if it is thick.
  • blu tack or masking tape
  • child, or children, if you decide to let them join in…

Take the inner basket out of your salad spinner and draw around it on a peice of paper so you have an idea of how lagre your paper will be. Use this as your template and cut several peices of paper into this circle shape.

use a piece of blu-tack or masking tape folded over ontu itself to secure a piece of precut paper inside of the basket.

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Let your child (or go on, have a go yourself) put a few blobs of slightly watered down paint on to the middle of the peice of paper. Be as experimental with colours as you like! Get them to try the 3 primary colours to guess what colours will be created (using red and yellow for example).

Pop the lid on and SPIN BABY SPIN!!!!

DSCF1335 DSCF1334 DSCF1329Remove your paper and admire your artwork! Then try another, and another… (be warned, salad spinner art is seriously addictive so be sure to have enough paper handy!)

Spin Art

Make sure you wash your spinner thorughly, before using it actually spin salad (or keep a spinner just for art making purposes!) x

 

DIY Fossils with salt dough

DIY fossils

A super easy craft activity that my boys LOVED. All you need is a simple salt dough and either items found from nature or toy dinosuars (or both!)

Salt dough recipe

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 3/4 cup hot water (or there abouts)
  • black food colouring

Mix flour and salt in a bowl. Then add the oil. Add about a teaspoon of black food colouring to the hot water water and slowly pour it into the mixture, stirring as you go. If dough becomes too wet add a little more flour, or too dry add more water at a tablespoon a time. Kneed until it is a nice smooth dough.DSCF1216Divide dough into roughly equal sized parts and roll each piece to about 1 cm thick. let your childs imagination take over, as they choose which fossils to make. We went on a ‘nature walk’ to select shells, leaves, and things such as seed pods, and also used a selection of plastic dinosaurs.

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I didn’t manage to get many photos as S needed a bit of help during the process, but I think its easy enough to work out what to do!

Bake them in the oven at 120 c (I used fan mode) for 1-2 hours, I greased the baking tray lightly with spray oil first, and turned the ‘fossils’ every half hour until they felt hollow and seemed thoroughly dried out. It depends on the thickness of your dough. You may need to remove some sooner then others before they get brown.DSCF1226DIY salt dough fossilsVarnish if you like, but we left ours as they were. S took his proudly to his Montessori pre-school where they have placed them in a basket with a magnifying glass for the other children to explore, so we have since made another batch and he seemed to enjoy it even more. x

Underwater ‘Fireworks’

Not really fireworks at all. Just a simple experiment ulitising the properties of oil and water, and the beautiful result of food colouring unfurling and spreading wonderful patterns and colour in front of your astonished child (and your own) eyes.DSCF9188

Note – before you start, explain carefully to your child that there will be no real fireworks invloved, just an underwater display similar to firewrks. That way you won’t have a sulking toddler on your hands. Just saying…

You will need:

  • Glass jar,vase or similar (Taller and slim is better that a bowl)
  • water
  • 2 tablespoons oil – any veg oil will do
  • Red, yellow, blue food colouring – no more them 3 drops of each colour
  • small measuring jug
  • measuring spoon
  • teaspoon

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Directions:

Fill you jar/vase 3/4 full with water

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Pour your oil into a small, easy pour jug. Add 2-3 drops of each food colouring no more then this, LESS IS MORE! (*note, we first did this with 3 colours, the second time with just two. I actually preferred only 2 colours as they mixed to form a secondary colour i.e. yellow and blue made green, the 3 colours together ended up a brown shade which wasn’t so exciting. Too much food colouring won’t give you good ‘fireworks’) Let your child to stir the oil and food colouring into the jug to break the droplets apart, they won’t mix.

DSCF9158Give it a good stir!

Tell small person to carefully, slowly (s.l.o.w.l.y….gahh we had one big mess when it all overflowed) pour the oil mixture into the water. Now wait…it takes a little bit of time…but sit back and watch with fascination as the oil and water separate, and ‘ta-daaaah!’ there you have it, underwater fireworks!

DSCF9186 DSCF9172 DSCF9177We repeated this a few times till they got bored, (which usually takes S about 5 minuts) It was really was interesting seeing the different colour combinations and wacthing the colours slowly unfurl in the water, just a little bit magical. I’m not sure if ‘fireworks’ is the best term for this underwater display, but it kind of adds to the drama so I’m going to stick with it!

Oh S wanted me to stir the water too and it created a whilrpool, which was fun to watch and another learning moment! DSCF9163 A quick and easy indoor activity. x