Archive for September, 2010

Ocean in a bottle

It’s the end of the summer, let’s capture the ocean in a bottle. This is a fun science/art  activity you can do with your child.  You can talk about why the water and oil are separated from each other, color, and different things with the ocean. The waves, currents, creatures, etc.

What you will need:

Empty two liter plastic bottle with lid
Baby oil, clear vegetable oil or mineral oil
Water funnel
Food coloring
Small star fish, shells or other sea creatures
One tsp glitter
White craft glue
Hot glue

How to make it:

Wash and dry two-liter bottle and remove all labels
Fill bottle halfway with tap water
Add a few drops of food coloring and swirl around to mix
Add glitter, sea creatures
Fill bottle the rest of the way with oil using a funnel
Be sure that rim and cap are dry, then apply white craft glue around the rim. Seal cap. Use a layer of hot glue around the outer edge of the cap for added protection from leakage
Turn bottle on its side and gently rock the bottle to create a “wave” inside your ocean habitat!

Note: You can also do this with just the first four items, and even use a smaller bottle. Just be sure that either one you use the cap is sealed with tape or glue.

Benefits: Colors,  motor skills, cause and effect, measuring, cooperation, listening and following directions, sensory pleasure, new vocabulary: waves, current, flow, fluid, transform.

This activity is best for ages 3-9. Use your judgment on your child’s abilities.

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Finger Paint

Kids love to finger paint. They love the messiness and how it feels in their fingers.

There are a lot of different recipes to make your own finger paints right at home! I would love to share a few with you so you can try them too!

All recipes are washable

Number One — Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup of cornstarch
  • 2 Cups water
  • 1/4 Cup dishwashing soap
  • food coloring

Put the sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan and then slowly mix in cold water. Then cook the mixture over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly until you have a smooth gel. Let cool and then add dishwashing soap. Divide into as many containers as you would like colors and then mix in food coloring drops until you have you desired color. If you have colored dishwashing soap that can influence all the colors you try to create, which isn’t always a bad thing.

Tip: Use baby food jars to divide and store the paint! They are a perfect size for kids to dip their fingers or brushes into and they can be sealed easily if you have leftover paint.

Number Two — Ingredients

3 cups water
1 cup cornstarch
food coloring

Directions

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil.  Dissolve cornstarch in a separate bowl with water.   Remove boiling water from heat and add cornstarch mixture.  Return to heat, stirring constantly.  Boil until the mixture is clear and thick (about 1 minute).  Remove from heat.

As the mixture is cooling, divide into separate bowls and add food coloring.  Let the children carefully mix in the coloring.

Tips

  • Add 1 tbsp of glycerin to make the mixture shiny.  You can find glycerin in most drugstores or pharmacies.

Number Three — Ingredients

1/2 cup cornstarch
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups cold water
food coloring

Directions

In a medium pan, mix all the ingredients together to make the finger paint. Cook over low heat 10 to 15 minutes. Keep stirring the finger paint mixture until it is smooth and thick. After the finger paint has thickened take the pan off the stove and let the mixture cool.

After cooling, divide the finger paint into storage containers depending on how many colors you would like. Add a few drops of food coloring to each container. Stir the coloring in to the paint to determine the shade of color. You’re ready to finger paint! Cover tightly when storing.

Number Four — Ingredients

3 cups water
1 cup cornstarch
food coloring

Directions

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil.  Dissolve cornstarch in a separate bowl with water.   Remove boiling water from heat and add cornstarch mixture.  Return to heat, stirring constantly.  Boil until the mixture is clear and thick (about 1 minute).  Remove from heat.

As the mixture is cooling, divide into separate bowls and add food coloring.  Let the children carefully mix in the coloring.

Hints:

  • Add 1 tbsp of glycerin to make the mixture shiny.  You can find glycerin at most drugstores or pharmacies.

Number Five (No Cook Recipe)— Ingredients

2 cups white flour
2 cups cold water
food coloring

Directions

Put water into a large bowl.  Slowly add the flour, while the children are stirring.  Once it’s all mixed together, divide into smaller bowls and add food coloring.

Two Edible Finger Paints

Pudding Finger Paint

Vanilla Pudding Mix (Instant)
Food Coloring

Directions:

  • Make the vanilla pudding according to package directions. Divide into portions and mix in different food coloring for each portion. Paint away!
  • This finger paint is edible. If you use food coloring sparingly this is a washable finger paint.

Jello Finger paint Recipe

Jello Powder
Boiling Water

Directions:

  • Slowly add boiling water to the Jello powder (constantly stirring) until you have a thick consistency. Add ice to thicken and cool down the Jello quickly. Use when cool.

Benefits: Colors, texture, promotes creativity

This activity is good for all ages, depending on the recipe you are using. Use your own judgment on your child’s abilities.