Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Eat Starch Mom: Oobleck FAIL

One of my favorite fave books lately has been Dr. Seuss' "Bartholomew and the Oobleck" (500 Hats is a close second).  During one of Cami's naps, we decided to take advantage of the load of liquid starch we had leftover from our tissue paper bottle lights and try out one of the many oobleck recipes we'd seen around (people frequently call the same recipe oobleck, slime, gak, etc.) -- the one we tried was labeled gak, but we thought it looked more ooblecky (and we had already tried out a cornstarch version).


Although this was a different type of FAIL than the last time we tried to use our laundry starch in its' powder phase -- at least that made something cool.  This time absolutely nothing happened.  Despite us continually adding in more glue.  Does anyone do more laundry than mom and actually know if there is a difference between this liquid laundry starch, which appears to be what peeps are using, and the one we are using and mixing up into a liquid?  Well, maybe you don't do MORE laundry, but just do it more correctly?  Mom does a lot of laundry.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Must I Paint You a Picture: Shaving Cream Tub Paint

The weather in D.C. took a remarkably good turn at the end of last week -- even though Friday started out really rainy, the clouds cleared and it was 60 and sunny all afternoon.  So obviously Cami and I refused to go outside.  Truthfully, I think we all had a little bug.  But instead of just saying that, I told mom that "I really hurt my leg and can't walk."  I flopped around on the ground for a bit.  Then I took up one of my favorite (and most irritating to mom and dad) pass-the-time activities of jumping across the living room repeatedly.  Mom said, "Gee, your leg doesn't seem to bother you when you are jumping."  I said, "Hey, you're right.  I think the jumping helps.  But I still don't think I can walk at the park."  Can't get one over on me.  

Mom decided to break out an activity she'd been wanting to try again, but with Cami and I separate this time.  A few months ago she whipped up a batch of homemade bathtub paint with shampoo, cornstarch and food coloring.  Things went a little awry with Cam and I in the same tub, so this time she decided to split us up.  And she made the paint using just shaving cream and washable fingerpaints.  No real recipe to follow -- just squirt some shaving cream into containers and mix in fingerpaints until you get the desired colors.  I called mine "shower paints" and took them to my shower.  Cam kept them as tub paints and used her bathtub.  We got MUCH more mileage out of them this time and they spilled less easily because of the foam.  Of course things went south when Cami painted her eye, but it took more time to get there than last time! 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Shells of Silver: Shell X-Ray Light Play

Mom thought it would be a fun follow-up to our recent aquarium visit to take a look at some shell x-rays she bought for our light tables.  The set we have contains both pictures of the shells and x-rays of what is inside.  We played a matching game and tried to find the x-ray that would fit with a particular shell.  Well, that's what I did.  Cami just tried to throw the x-rays all over her room and run away with them.  Oh well, one out of two isn't bad.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Take Me on a Trip Upon Your Magic Swirlin' Ship: Stoddert Playground

Mom used to live in Glover Park back in the day and, at that time, Stoddert Elementary School was a tiny little red school house.  Imagine our surprise when we went to a friend's birthday party a few weeks ago in mom's old 'hood and we checked out the beautiful new revamped school and DPR Recreation Center.  There is a huge, double-decker play structure that served as our pirate ship for a while as we ran off all that birthday party sugar.  As usual, daredevil Cami had no problem rocketing herself down giant slides.  I loved to climb up to the top deck and hold court.  It was also pretty funny watching mom and dad try to haul themselves up this thing.  As our sense of adventure grows, I think Stoddert will give Guy Mason (just a few blocks down Calvert) a run for its' money with us.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bowl of Oranges: Cut Paper Chinese New Year Craft

We're continuing to celebrate the Chinese New Year this week (we've previously posted about the lanterns and dragons we've made) and because we haven't done a cut paper craft recently, this one sparked mom's pinterest when she came across it.  Mom simply used a circle hole punch and punched out a bunch of oranges from various orange craft/scrapbook paper (it's good we're using it -- our baby books/scrapbooks have not been touched in a VERY long time.  well, actually, poor cam's is completely empty).  Then we used glue sticks to stick them onto black paper.  I pretty much did it "by my own self."  Cam needed mom's assistance to get started, but she made a second one on her own.  She also favored gluing them down and then peeling them off (probably just because mom told her not to.  once mom gave that up, cami actually glued them down).  Then mom drew a simple bowl shape over the top of them with a white oil pastel.  We've had our own bowl of oranges on the table all week long, one of which Cami insists that mom peel at every meal and then refuses to eat.  Good thing mom likes oranges.

p.s. omg our house is messy this week.  i guess mom didn't get on board with the Chinese New Year tradition of the pre-holiday house clean.

i see you oranges.  and i will peel and discard one of you tonight.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

So Crack a Bottle: Tissue Paper Bottle Lights

Because one of mommy's friends seriously misremembered a previous juice cleanse experience as "not that bad," mom figured it would be a good way to start of the new year.  One of the only good things to come out of the whole thing was a large quantity of stylish plastic bottles (for what it's worth, that doesn't make the juice taste any better) and we've been coming up with all sorts of fun crafts for them.  We've also been wanting to crack back open the fairly large amount of laundry starch mom bought last summer (which we thus far had only tried to use in a pretty epic slime FAIL).  So we came up with using our bleeding tissue paper to make bottle lanterns.  Mom mixed up a batch of liquid laundry starch while we helped tear the tissue paper into strips.  We then brushed a fair amount onto the plastic bottle, placed a strip of tissue paper, and then lacquered that baby up some more.  I liked layering lots of pieces and Cami went a little more minimal.  Then, for the best part, once they were dry, mom busted out our new Fairy Berry Lights and we each dropped them into the bottle.  Instant night light.  And although I was too scared of them to have them in my room in the dark, I liked watching them in the living room for a while (and I'm pretty sure they helped light my way up to mom and dad's room during my nightly trip to wake them).  The lights only last about 24 hours, but the batteries are replaceable.  And the bottles look pretty all on their own when the sun shines through.

p.s. between my new school schedule, the yucky weather, and cami's afternoon nap, we have been stuck inside A LOT.  so although we usually like to post a mix of "things to do" and "places to see," we're afraid the arts and crafts posts will continue to be a little heavier for a while.

Monday, January 23, 2012

We Are Going to China Town: Chinese New Year Squish Dragons

Happy New Year!  We've been reading up on the Chinese New Year, which is a 15-day event that starts today.  To kick off our celebrations, we ordered dinner from mom and dad's favorite Chinese restaurant (Meiwah) last night.  Dad was particularly up for that event, but Kane and I were at the end of a long weekend of a lot of indoor time (it was FREEZING here this weekend and we got our first "snow"of the year) and were throwing a collective tantrum.  And that tantrum was further fueled by our fight over who would get to sit on mom's lap as a bribe to eat.  Oh well.

We are planning on having a little party (meaning mom, Kane and me) at our house tonight and Kane and I are very interested in the tradition of receiving red envelopes of money.  We'll see how that works out for us.  To continue our party prep (we made these lanterns last week), we made some paint squish dragons for our wall.  Inspired by Kane's recent Rorschach prints and this monster idea, we dabbed some Biocolor on paper and then folded and squished the paint together.  We took a look, added more paint, and squished again.  I was much more into this than Kane -- he tends to like to scrub all the colors together, but it was a good opportunity for him to practice keeping some of the colors separate.

Once they dried a bit, we added some googly eyes and mom superglued on some metallic ribbon (we were going to go with tissue paper, but we had some ribbon to use up).  Some of them look more like dragons than others (one of mine seriously looks exactly like an elephant), but they were all super fun to make.

p.s. if you are in the D.C. area, check out the Chinatown Lunar New Year Festival at the Chinatown Community Cultural Center on January 29th from 12 - 5 p.m.  There is also a parade and other festivities from 2 - 5 p.m. on H Street N.W. between 6th and 8th streets.  We'll be there!

(OK, mom did this one)

my elephant/dragon