Posts Tagged ‘kids’

{Bridge Building, 101} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

April 20th, 2013

Both boys are on spring break this week from preschool and elementary school respectively. Now, spring break around here is hit or miss weather wise, usually more of a miss. I came across this project idea for  building a bridge from Science Sparks (a new monthly link up they have called Challenge and Discover) and […]

 

Both boys are on spring break this week from preschool and elementary school respectively. Now, spring break around here is hit or miss weather wise, usually more of a miss. I came across this project idea for  building a bridge from Science Sparks (a new monthly link up they have called Challenge and Discover) and thought, what a GREAT project! The boys took to it quite enthusiastically, and it took up most of a morning. It definitely was one of the best science projects we’ve done. Not only did we get to draw out what we thought our bridge would look like, we got to build it out of newspaper (!!), measure and look at numbers, have a failed experiment, rethink our project, and then have a successful bridge. WOO HOO!

The guidelines to the project were: A) The bridge had to hold at least one kilogram (1kg=2.2lb) and B) the bridge had to be made out of one object in the recycle bin. Here is what we did for our project.

We used newspaper and scotch tape.

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Here is the draft that my oldest drew for what he thought the bridge would look like. I would like you to note the star shape under the bridge!

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For my preschooler, I printed out different bridges and had him circle ones he liked.

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Next, we rolled up the newspaper in order to make it sturdier, like sticks. We rolled up half sheets, then cut them in half again for the bridge supports. For the main bridge, we rolled up a whole sheet for the bridge decking.

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Our supports. I helped with this phase, I think we rolled up 12 pieces of newspaper to make 24 supports.

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The boys figuring out how to attach them together.

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My oldest went back to his drawing and decided the star design was the strongest. He went to town with the tape.

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Cutting to level the supports.

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The bridge decking, and all the leg supports.

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The preschooler was Captain Tape Giver Person

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He also measured the length and width of the bridge.

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The bridge was 32 inches long, and 6 inches wide.

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My oldest then went to taping the star shaped supports to the bridge deck.

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The bridge is finished! We did have some problems with leveling (my husband later surmised it may have been sturdier on carpet, or another more giving surface than hardwood).

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First test: EPIC FAIL!

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We decided that scotch tape was not strong enough, so we went back and reinforced the supports with duct tape. SUCCESS!

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Overall, this was a super fun and exciting project. My oldest did most of this, from drawing the bridge, to figuring out how to make it from the supports, to being sad about it not working, to suggesting the duct tape. We even made a video where he explains everything, if you want to watch. Thank you again, Science Sparks, for hosting this great event! We look forward to what’s in store for next month!

 

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{Upcycled Rubber Bracelets} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

April 17th, 2013

Living in the beautiful PNW, we’re incredibly lucky that we have access to beautiful scenery and bike trails. We’re a big biking family, whether it be a short trip around the block, or a family bike ride on the trail, plus it’s a fun and easy way to get some family time. My husband is […]

 

Living in the beautiful PNW, we’re incredibly lucky that we have access to beautiful scenery and bike trails. We’re a big biking family, whether it be a short trip around the block, or a family bike ride on the trail, plus it’s a fun and easy way to get some family time. My husband is the big biking advocate in the family, and he took the boys to the annual Seattle Bike Expo, where they got see cool trick riding by Ryan Leech, see the latest in bike innovations, and also came home with these nifty, funky bracelets. Once I realized that they were just made from inner bike tubes, and that we had those at home, I totally recreated them for the boys to make some more (and some for me, too!). This is a great craft to help celebrate Earth Day. It’s also a fairly easy craft, made for some fun jewelry, plus the boys got to wear something to symbolize the bike riding they loved.

What You’ll Need:

  • inner bike tubes
  • snaps
  • snap setter (I used this Snap Setter)
  • paint or Sharpie Paint Pens (OIL based, not the water based paint pens)
  • scissors
  • hammer

 

Can I just bottle the look of joy here on my oldest’s face? Can you also spot my preschooler peeking out from behind dad on the trail-a-long bike?

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Our preschool took a trip to the Cascade Recycling Center recently. This is ALL recycling. Can you believe it? Less than 5% per year of what gets collected for recycling actually is garbage and not recycled by the Center. One of the things the recycling center does *not* take is rubber, so our project was a good use of the rubber of the inner bike tire tubes.

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This is the inner bike tube.

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You’re going to cut it, and make it long enough to fit across your wrist (make sure to account for length for the snap overlength). You can cut it in different widths as well.

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With the snaps put on it. You can leave the edges flat, or round it. You can see I made them in various widths, and left one side flat, and rounded

one side.

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Here are the Sharpie paint pens I used. I used the oil based, fine point, NON OPAQUE pens.

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It made for a very fine point for drawing.  This method was better for me and for my older, elementary aged son, since it gave him more ability to get detailed in his drying. The pens were also quick drying to boot!

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Another way to decorate is with stamps and paint. I used acrylic paint and rubber stamps.

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The stamping method is good for toddlers and preschoolers to decorate. It does take overnight to dry.

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And the finished bracelet, this one was sharpie pen decorated.

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Here are some stamped one. I also tested out velcro instead of snaps, but liked the look of the snaps better.

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Overall, a really fun project, and my kids LOVE their new, fun and funky upcycled bracelets!

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We Did It Wednesday

Wickedly Awesome Wednesday

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Frugally Sustainable

 It’s Party Time

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{JELL-O Science} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

April 2nd, 2013

Last year at the Seattle Center and Bumbershoot, the kids got see art in action. Artists Lisa Hein and Robert Seng were building a wall made of Jell-O on the premises. Let me repeat that: They were building a WALL MADE OF JELL-O. The kids were amazed. Of course, my preschooler asked “Can. We. EAT […]

 

Last year at the Seattle Center and Bumbershoot, the kids got see art in action. Artists Lisa Hein and Robert Seng were building a wall made of Jell-O on the premises. Let me repeat that: They were building a WALL MADE OF JELL-O. The kids were amazed. Of course, my preschooler asked “Can. We. EAT IT.” They were using mortar, and Jell-O was used in place of bricks. As the Jell-O decayed and molded away, the mortar remained, and they had built it higher than the boys’ waist when we saw it. Needless to say, they wanted to try building their own Jell-o wall at home. (But maybe, without the mold). I googled and checked to see what other experiments we could do with Jell-o, and found a fun one about figuring out if we could nail Jell-o to a wall. So off we went!

What You’ll Need:

  • Jell-O packets (we had 4 packages at our house, so we made two regular pans of Jell-o, and one pan of Jigglers)
  • board
  • nails
  • drinking straws
  • **optional** sliced fruit. I thought to use it like “mortar” for the Jell-O, but it turned out I didn’t need it at all

 

Ready for some Jell-O experimentation!

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The boys’ had to write their own hypothesis about if Jell-o could stick to a wall. The preschooler did not believe it could. Because it’s food, and food does NOT stick to walls (believe me, he’s tested this hypothesis on more than one food object at our house during meal times.)

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Our starting boards. The nails I hammered in for the boys, and I set them up outside for the Jell-o building.

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Why yes, that is my preschooler sniffing the Jell-O. I…don’t even ask why he does it anymore.

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Starting to build the Jell-O wall! SO EXCITING!

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As you can see, we gave up using fruit (mainly because the boys’ kept eating the fruit since I forbade them from eating the Jell-o until the experiments were done). The wall seemed to be stable enough.

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We got to five Jell-o levels before…oh no! They all came a-tumbling down.

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“Now we can eat them, mommy?”

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These just crack me up. They were very serious about their Jell-o consumption.

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NEXT UP! Using straws as supports over the nails, we put the JIGGLER Jell-o on the wall! The regular jello just fell down (even with straw supports), but the jiggler jello stayed put!

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And our exciting conclusions.

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Overall, using Jell-O to conduct some science experiments was super fun! 

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{Paper Marigolds in Baskets} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

April 1st, 2013

When I saw this craft on Pinterest about paper marigolds, I knew I had to try it with my boys.  Spring is coming up, the garden is getting planted, and yellow and orange marigolds are just so sunny and happy looking! What I liked about this craft was that it also taught the boys about […]

 

When I saw this craft on Pinterest about paper marigolds, I knew I had to try it with my boys.  Spring is coming up, the garden is getting planted, and yellow and orange marigolds are just so sunny and happy looking! What I liked about this craft was that it also taught the boys about (paper) weaving, which was  kind of a new concept to them, and something they had a lot of fun with as well. Also, my preschooler got to practice his cutting skills! In a sanctioned project by mommy! And the end product is so very pretty.

What You’ll Need:

  • Brown construction paper (or some other color for the basket. I recommend two different tones, light and dark, for easier weaving)
  • green, yellow, and orange construction paper
  • scissors
  • glue
  • tape
  • **optional** something round to use as templates for the flowers. I used canning jar lids.

 

Let’s get started! (bonus points for enthusiasm!)

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My oldest son and I traced out circles and the leaves on the green, orange and yellow paper. We did the 4 of each: big orange circle, little orange circle, big yellow circle, and little yellow circle.

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What the circles looked like. These will become the marigolds. Then I had the boys glue the small circles to the big circles. Be sure to use opposing colors!

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Then, we cut “petals” on the outside of the big circle. I told my oldest son to cut to the edge of the small circle, all the way around the big circle. My youngest son had some troubles with this, and did need help. Then, we glued on stems and leaves.

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While the flowers were drying, we cut out strips for the baskets. I used a few, wider strips for my preschooler. For my older son, I used narrower strips, but twice as many.

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I taped all the ends together to make it a little easier for them to weave. Then, I demonstrated the “over, under, over” pattern, and let them go to town. This was where the two different colors helped them keep track of the weaving (especially for my preschooler).

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All done! Both kiddos really enjoyed the weaving, which was surprising to me. I will have to look up some more weaving projects up for them to do!

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Finished marigolds! Don’t they look cheerful? We taped the woven paper “basket” to our background paper, then stuck in our paper marigolds.

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All done! The one on the left was done by my seven year old, the one on the right (with all the happy faces) was done by my preschooler).

Four thumbs up!

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{Garden Plant Markers} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

March 28th, 2013

Here in the Seattle area, it’s definitely SPRING! And with spring, comes the annual spring planting. My kids love gardening as much as I do, and one of our favorite projects we did last year was making plant markers for the garden. This was a relatively inexpensive project that was easy, FUN, and totally engaging […]

 

Here in the Seattle area, it’s definitely SPRING! And with spring, comes the annual spring planting. My kids love gardening as much as I do, and one of our favorite projects we did last year was making plant markers for the garden. This was a relatively inexpensive project that was easy, FUN, and totally engaging for both my boys. As a bonus, they love their little works of art all around the yard, and proudly show them off to everyone who comes along and asks.

 What You’ll Need:

  • Canning Lids (I used both wide mouth, and regular size)
  • paint (I used acrylic to withstand the weather outside. I do not think tempura would be a good choice)
  • bamboo skewers (to use for the posts)
  • glue (I used my trust E6000, but you can also just use a hot glue gun)
  • Sharpie Paint Pens (I used this to write the names of all the produce)

 

We start off with our “canvas”, aka the canning jar lids.

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I set up my boys outside. First, we painted all the lids white. In hindsight, I would not do this step again as they just painted over the whole thing anyway. But, it made for a nice, clean looking backdrop. Then, I set them up with acrylic paints on paper plates, paintbrushes, pencils (to use as dobbers) and let them go to town. They each got a mix of big and little canning lids to paint.

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Good thing acrylic paint is washable. My youngest was more prone to paint himself.

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This was a Very Serious Project.

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Finished! I loved how creative and free form their paintings were, and I was really looking forward to the little works of art to put in the garden. 

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Some of their favorites they asked to photograph. Red poppy, rainbow, sun, treehouse (red blobby thing in the bottom left corner)

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Overnight, I let the lids dry. then, I glued the bamboo skewers onto the back, and wrote the names of whatever we were planting on the front with the Sharpie paint pen.

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He was very excited to go put them in the garden!

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A close up of what they looked like in the ground.

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And our herb garden. Overall, a very satisfying project! My kids love showing off their works of art, and as a bonus, now my husband knows where to find everything when I send him to snip me some herbs for dinner. 🙂

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Monday Fundays by C.R.A.F.T

Motive Me Mondays

 It’s Party Time! (It’s So Very Cheri)

 Mad Craft Skills Party

 Get Your Craft On!

 Teach Me Stuff! (Hope Studios)

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{Learning about Acids and Bases} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

March 2nd, 2013

Here’s another great experiment I found on the Steve Spangler Science website. Here, we use red cabbage to make a simple indicator to find out what liquids are acids or bases around our house. It’s a great chemistry experiment, and you adjust the level of the explanation of the science behind the experiment in relation […]

 

Here’s another great experiment I found on the Steve Spangler Science website. Here, we use red cabbage to make a simple indicator to find out what liquids are acids or bases around our house. It’s a great chemistry experiment, and you adjust the level of the explanation of the science behind the experiment in relation to how much your child can absorb.

What You’ll Need:

  • RED Cabbage Leaves (I used 2)
  • Blender
  • Enthusiastic helpers
  • Clear glasses
  • big graduated cylinder (or just tall, clear container to hold your cabbage “juice”)
  • test chemicals!

 Ideas for Household Test Chemicals:

  • household ammonia (NH3)
  • baking soda (sodium bicarbonate, NaHCO3)
  • baking powder (basically baking soda + a salt)
  • washing soda (sodium carbonate, Na2CO3) or another laundry detergent
  • lemon juice (citric acid, C6H8O7)
  • vinegar (acetic acid, CH3COOH)
  • cream of tartar (Potassium bitartrate, KHC4H4O6)
  • antacids (calcium carbonate, calcium hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide)
  • seltzer water (carbonic acid, H2CO3)
  • ketchup
  • milk
  • juice
  • 7 up/Sprite/some other lemon-lime drink

 

I enjoyed using red cabbage since it was an inexpensive item, and you didn’t have to use a lot. I used two leaves, and had the boys enthusiastically shred the leaves in small pieces before putting them in the blender. Then, I strained the mixture to get all the leaf bits out and leave just “cabbage juice”. The ratio is 1 leaf : 6 cups of waters but I cheated a bit and used 1 leaf : 3 cups of water. It made it a bit more concentrated, but my blender was small.

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From L – R, we used: baking soda (dissolved in water), baking powder (dissolved in water),  apple cider vinegar, milk, white vinegar, cranberry juice, gatorade, and ketchup.20120912_066WM

A view before we added to the cabbage juice indicator.20120912_068WM

And after! This was a pretty exciting and cool experiment for the boys and me, as we could predict beforehand what we thought would happen (was the substance an acid OR a base?) and then see how our conclusions were proven right or right. Plus, it was just awesome to see the color change from purple to green or red!
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A close up shot of the changed cabbage juice indicators. Sweet!20120912_072WM

This science experiment involved mixing, color changes, fizzing, predictions AND conclusions. All in all, very satisfying and successful!20120912_073WM

We made a chart of what we used, our predictiosn (I used A for acid and B for base), and what the cabbage juice indicated if it was a base or acid.20120912_074WM

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{LOVE Painting} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

February 8th, 2013

This was one of the very first pins I ever pinned on Pinterest, was this preschooler masking tape painting. I loved the simplicity, I loved the texture, I loved the art. Having two art loving boys, this was a really fun project for them to do together, and create something beautiful and  permanent for their […]

 

This was one of the very first pins I ever pinned on Pinterest, was this preschooler masking tape painting. I loved the simplicity, I loved the texture, I loved the art. Having two art loving boys, this was a really fun project for them to do together, and create something beautiful and  permanent for their room. It’s one of the most remarked on pieces of artwork, and they proudly tell everyone that “I made that!” when people ask about it. Due to the layers (and layers, and layers!) of paint, it took a few days to dry, but totally worth it.

Supplies You’ll Need:

  • canvas (I used a 12×12)
  • acrylic paints
  • masking tape or painter’s tape
  • baby wipes (to help clean up your children, and anything they touch, afterwards)
  • plastic sheeting or something on the floor as the painting area

 

I took the canvas and taped out the letters to the word LOVE. I was cute and made the O into a heart. 

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Then, I put different colors of acrylic paints in paper plates, and let the boys go to town. I did regulate it, one color out at a time. (otherwise, you just end up with a big brownish blob).

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They really enjoyed the feeling of the squishy feel of the paint between their hands.

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Then, they put their handprints all over the canvas. 

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Handprints!

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Finished with the layers of handprint painting! I loved the bright colors so much. You can see the edges of the tape slightly under all the paint. It took a couple of days to dry since there were several layers of paint.

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I then peeled off the tape to uncover the L O V E, and let the boys put a final handprint each on top after everything had dried. 

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Here it is displayed in their room. They are proud of their artwork, and I love how it looks.

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{Science Fun – Density Tower} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

February 5th, 2013

**Hello and welcome! Please check out my other science experiments under the “science experiments” categories above. And please, leave a comment on how you found me!**   Everyone has seen the very cool layered density column featuring different liquids (usually different colors), then you drop in things to show how there are different densities and […]

 

**Hello and welcome! Please check out my other science experiments under the “science experiments” categories above. And please, leave a comment on how you found me!**

 

Everyone has seen the very cool layered density column featuring different liquids (usually different colors), then you drop in things to show how there are different densities and things fall in either all the way, some of the way, or float right at the top. This is a great visual learning experiment. You pour the heaviest liquid in first, being careful not to let it touch the sides. Then, pour in the rest of the liquids you chose. Pick some household items to drop in (ping pong balls, golf balls, pick both heavy and light objects for the best displays), and let your little scientist figure out how density means that different layers will support different items!

 

What You’ll Need (in list of heaviest to lightest):

  • Honey
  • Corn syrup or pancake syrup
  • Dish soap (I used Dawn because it was blue and pretty)
  • water (you can color it)
  • vegetable oil
  • rubbing alcohol (you can also color this to differentiate it or just to make it pretty.)
  • lamp oil
  • Random Household Objects – have fun with this one! check out small items like toy balls, ping pong balls, golf balls, beans, legos, screws, washers, keys, etc.

 

 

Our layers! I used what I had on hand.  In order: honey, corn syrup, dishwasher soap, water (I colored it red to differentiate), corn oil.

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My little scientist in training.

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I let him pick items around the house to drop into the layers. He picked lego mini figure, buttons, different beans, pasta, peppercorns, an aluminum screw and a metal screw.

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The ingredients and what the layers looked like. In hindsight, I would have colored the water something lighter!

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He didn’t believe me that the layers wouldn’t mix, so he was watching very closely.

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“mommy, look! they’re staying separated!”

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Our first pass dropping items into the layers.

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Lego Man and the peppercorns stayed on top.

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After a while, we noticed that items started to sink through the corn syrup layer, especially if you piled more things on top.

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A before and after shot. Overall, a fun and colorful experiment!

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{I Moustache You to Be Mine} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

January 26th, 2013

I love coming up with cute Valentines idea for my kids, when they’re in an amicable mood for a photoshoot. I had seen some really cute moustache themed Valentines stuff on Pinterest lately, mainly ones that said “I (moustache) you to be my valentine” and thought HEY! I can do that! I already had felt […]

 

I love coming up with cute Valentines idea for my kids, when they’re in an amicable mood for a photoshoot. I had seen some really cute moustache themed Valentines stuff on Pinterest lately, mainly ones that said “I (moustache) you to be my valentine” and thought HEY! I can do that! I already had felt moustaches on hand, so I cut out hearts from felt I had in the craft room, then bribed my youngest with jelly beans, and trundled off into the backyard for a quick photoshoot. Yes, there’s glitter all over his coat, and his hat is missing a pom pom, but his smile is contagious, and I think the pictures came out pretty cute.

 

Do you know this face? I call this “four year old CHEESE” face. Maybe you’ve seen this face too, on your child.

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I asked him to hold his hands over his heart. He held it over his stomach and told me, “I love my tummy more”

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Sometimes, the outtakes are the best part about a photoshoot.

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Jon Cusack, eat your heart out. I thought about photoshopping a radio, or some rain in the photo, but thought the face and the posture said it all.

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Look at this face!

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I love this.

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Happy Valentines Day! 

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{Paper Heart Valentines} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

January 24th, 2013

February is just around the corner, and with that comes one of my favorite holidays, Valentines Day! I was looking for some fun crafts to do with the boys, and came across this paper heart craft from Roots and Wings. Theirs seemed a little more work than my boys could handle (aka it looks more […]

 

February is just around the corner, and with that comes one of my favorite holidays, Valentines Day! I was looking for some fun crafts to do with the boys, and came across this paper heart craft from Roots and Wings. Theirs seemed a little more work than my boys could handle (aka it looks more mom intensive than boy intensive), so I tweaked it a bit. I used old magazines papers, and had the boys tear out any that were red or reddish colored for them to cut up to use. Then, we cut them up into strips, and used a ribbon instead of a brad to hold it together in the middle. I think it came out very well, and adds a pretty decoration to our home!

 

Concentrating very hard, the sparkly cape gave him super cutting powers.

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You want to end up with different lengths of paper (I chose three different lengths for the boys)

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To make it easier for them, I placed a ribbon down the middle of the paper heart to help attach it, instead of using brads. The other paper sides would go on the other side of the ribbon.

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The other side (yes, it does look exactly the same). You sandwich them together with the ribbon in the middle, smallest lengths closest to the ribbon.

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Then, I had them staple the bottom of ALL the paper strips to the ribbon, and then fold the strips up (shortest strips first) into a heart shape onto the ribbon and staple it. Repeat with the longer lengths.

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This was a super easy project! We then hung them on crepe paper around the house as decorations. So pretty!

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A close up. I loved using the recycled papers to give the hearts a unique look.

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Our garland! You can see we made some with construction paper as well. It was really fun, and an easy craft for both the boys!

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