Think outside the box, Experience new things.... Be a kid again!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It's ALMOST summertime

My summertime promise to myself is to blog more. I have so many ideas I can't wait to share! Due to a recent separation between my job and I (no worries, it's a good thing) I'm enjoying life as a stay at home mom. It also frees up some time to do the things that I love, like writing and sharing ideas that I'm passionate about. So off to the summer projects....

This first project is such a cool project. I was originally going to post it for Mother's Day ideas, but well - you see how that went.

Creating a Hanging Mobile
* Sticks ( 3 sets of two about equally sized)
* Flowers (I used fake so it would last)
* Organic Stuff (leaves, pine cones, rocks...)
* Shells
* Beads
 -- use your imagination, anything & everything can go on this mobile.
* Wire (I used flower wire, but anything would work)
* Wire Cutters

First thing to do is to take your sticks and put them in order biggest to smallest. Take the two biggest and put them together in a cross. Create a loop at the top so you are able to hang your mobile. Use the wire to secure them. Continue with the other two sets of sticks. Now it's time to secure the sticks to each other. I've found the easiest way to do this is to hang the mobile from somewhere. It saves you the headache of balancing it later. Put the largest cross on top and work your way down with wire in between the crosses. Using wire is way easier than things like fishing line, it is just sturdier! Now take all your organic materials, beads and stuff to put on and wrap it with wire. Attach to the crosses - I used my wire cutters and a pencil to make some cute curly cues off of the wire too. I also found it helpful to use a dab of super glue on the things like rocks & shells. If you want to keep this long term it definitely helps! This is definitely a very parent / teacher involved project but is so super cute when it's done!

This is a WAY simplified version made out of a single flower and some Popsicle sticks. I let the kids glue it, but while they were sleeping added a touch of super glue to keep the sticks together. These would look super cute hanging in a window!

Don't forget about sidewalk chalk this summer! It's the best -- I've made it out of eggshells before but this is just plain old Wal Mart $3 Crayola. My son is 2 1/2 and had a great time helping me decorate the cul-de-sac with some fun summer stuff. It was a great opportunity to talk about shapes too!

Eggshell Chalk (i've never had AMAZING luck with this one, it always turns out stinky, but it's worth giving a try again!)

12 Egg Shells
2 Tsp Hot Water
2 Tsp Flour

Wash the eggshells well, so they don't have any egg left in them. Dry them and grind them (I stick them in a zip lock & give it to my son to smash). . Grind the eggshells into a fine powder. You'll need two soup spoonfuls of this powder to make a stick of chalk. When you have enough powder to make a stick of chalk, sift or pick out any little bits of eggshell that are still not ground up and throw them away.Dump the powder on to a plate and remove any big clumps.
Stir the flour and hot water together in a small dish to make a paste. Put two soup spoonfuls of eggshell powder into the paste and mix well.. Add a few drops of food coloring if you want colored chalk.
Shape this mixture into a chalk stick. Then roll it up in a strip of paper towel and set aside to dry. (Drying takes about three days.) Then just peel the paper off one end and you're ready for some sidewalk art.
For really big sticks of chalk, try making 3 times this recipe, and stuff the mixture into an old toilet paper tube. When it's dry, you can peel away the cardboard as you use it.

Good Luck -- I made mine with hard boiled eggs on egg salad day at the daycare, that might just be why it was stinky! 

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