Thursday, April 12, 2012

Monster Truck Smash

Yesterday after school we created our own monster truck smash rally. Smashing anything is great fun for boys! We got out their box of cars and trucks and found all of the monster trucks. Then we chose a few cars that would be fun to smash. I got out the foil and cut small sheets that would wrap over the top of the cars. We formed the foil over the cars and then slipped the cars out from underneath so the foil forms were left. After creating about 6 "cars" for each boy the monster trucks were ready to roll! The boys got their trucks and smashed over all of their cars. We were able to reform the cars a few times, but if you have the heavy duty foil it would probably be even better.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Baking Soda Volcanoes

We have had some pretty nice weather recently which has led us outside to the park to play each day after school. This week, though, has been rainy and has kept us inside. In an attempt to be entertaining and educational I thought it would be fun to baking baking soda volcanoes. We didn't make unique volcano of any kind, but that would have certainly been a little more time consuming.

I just gave the boys each an empty water bottle, filled it about 2/3 full with warm water. We also added a few drops of dish soap to keep the bubbles bigger. This would have been extra cool if my dish soap was red in color, but instead it was green which is still fine. Then we added 2 tablespoons of baking soda to each bottle. I put each bottle in a glass bowl to hold the "lava" that was about to come. Lastly, I slowly poured vinegar in to each bottle and the eruption began. I'm pretty sure this would be cool for any kid, but the boys especially thought this was pretty neat! You can see from their reactions of watching the lava pour out. This gave us a good opportunity to talk a little about volcanoes and watch lava is without being too detailed. All in all, it was a pretty fun activity!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"New" Crayons

We have been sick, sick, and sick again in our house. Today I got desperate to find a way to keep the boys and myself busy and to use up a good bit of time. I remembered seeing something on Pinterest about making crayons for a Valentine activity and figured I could improvise. I always collect all of the boys old, broken crayons in an old wipe container we have. So, I got out the container and put the boys to work cleaning off the paper and breaking crayons. I think the thought of breaking the crayons was what got them excited to clean off the paper so diligently! I also got out a mini muffin pan and instructed them to mix up the colors and drop their broken crayons into the different parts. This step probably kept them busy for a good 30 minutes!

After our colors were all organized I warmed the oven to 110 degree Celsius (230 degrees Fahrenheit.) Once the oven was warm I let Ilkan pop in our pan and we set the timer for 15 minutes. The boys proceeded to play a game of soccer while the crayons were "baking" but the colors melting was a stopping point for them to observe once every few minutes. After 15 minutes the crayons were melted and even a little watery so Mommy was in charge of removing them from the oven and getting them set up to cool. We just left the pan on the counter to cool but you could probably put it in the refrigerator as well. We let our crayons cool for about 30 minutes before getting out the cutting board and banging the pan upside down to pop out the new crayons. Boys love anything you have to hit! Once the crayons were out we tried them out immediately and came up with some pretty cool artistic works. I think these crayons would be especially fun if you placed objects under a paper and used a rubbing technic to come up with different shapes. Ilkan is very excited to take the crayons to school tomorrow (hopefully he'll be well and able to go!!!) and share with his friends!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

One of our favorite books is "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle. I found this idea on Pinterest to make our own very hungry caterpillars using finger paints and hand prints. I used paint brushes to paint the palms of the boys hands with green finger paint and their fingers with blue paint. The boys thought it was especially funny because the paint brushes tickled their hands. With a thick layer of paint we were able to press their hands 3 times in a row to make the body of the caterpillar. After washing hands I painted their palms red and 2 fingers yellow to make the caterpillars heads and antennae. After letting their art dry, the boys drew faces on their caterpillars with a black marker. That night at bed time we had fun reading the book again! Their masterpieces are still hanging on the refrigerator and everyone who has come over has commented on how cute they are!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Watercolor Painting

One of my boys favorite activities is to paint and I prefer watercolor paints because they don't make nearly as much of a mess. Last night we all sat down together to paint. As a parent you probably notice the difference between giving the kids an activity to do and actually sitting down with them to take part in the activity. Last night I had everything prepped (including dinner) so that when they boys came home I had nothing to worry about but sitting down and enjoying time with the boys. I bought some special watercolor paint books which are great because the paper is thicker than normal paper and so the water doesn't tear holes in the paper. We had a great time painting and talking about school. Atakan is convinced he needs a PSP because someone in his class has one and I was having a hard time expressing to him that 3 1/2 is a little young for a PSP. Seriously people??? Why would you buy that for a kid?? At any rate, I guess I'll just continue to tell him that he might be able to get one in 2nd grade or so. Today he asked me, "How many more days until I can get a PSP?" My response, "Not days, Atakan, more like 4 years!" Wish me luck!

(This is an old picture of us painting from last year...but we still have the same paints even after using them 3 times a month at least in the last year!)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Splashing in Puddles

I know many of you are enjoying snow (or maybe not) but winter in Mersin means rain. In the summer we go months without any rain, so I actually enjoy the few days we get in the winter. So, after picking up the kids from school and running to the car under an umbrella, Ilkan pointed out that his pants were wet. So, I decided why not??!! I told the boys to have out and splash to their hearts content!

I think it was about a year ago that we were outside after it had rained and there were puddles everywhere. The boys were stepping in them and I kept telling them to stay out of the water before I had a funny thought. "What is the big deal?? They are kids and will only be once so let them splash!" I even joined in on the fun and we had the best time!!

So, last night the boys had their fun splashing around and I only got a few looks from other women who probably thought I was crazy, but whatever. As soon as they were all done splashing and had water squishing in their shoes, we headed upstairs where they immediately got in a warm bath and their clothes in the washing machine. Everyone was happy and in a good mood as we started our night:))

Do you let your kids splash in puddles or do other similar things?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Glitter Jars

I have been scanning the internet for ideas for the boys and came across this idea for glitter jars. They can be used for a variety of purposes and one of my favorite is to use this as a "calm down" jar. It's a sort of way to teach a kid to count to 10 and relax when they get worked up or angry. Since this concept can be hard for a kid, all they have to do is shake the jar, watch the glitter settle back down to the bottom, and then talk about whatever it was that was bothering them.

To make these glitter jars all you have to do is have a glass jar or even a clear plastic bottle. First fill with some warm water and then let your child add glitter, glitter glue, food coloring if you wish, and some clear glue. The glue makes the glitter swirl for a longer period of time. Then you just need to make sure the lid is screwed on tightly before shaking!