Diet Coke Mentos Experiment

diet coke and mentos explosion

My 4-year old and our neighbor enjoyed witnessing this explosive soda and Minty Mentos experiment. Have you tried it? It doen't require a huge set-up, and the show is pretty awesome. I have to warn you that the explosion itself goes by quickly, so you might want to have an arsenal of soda containers on hand so you can conduct multiple experiments. Ingredients for Diet Coke … [Read more...]

Make Your Own Birthday Cake

kids bake in the kitchen

If you know a little bit about me and my parenting philosophy, you'll know that I welcome opportunities to get my children into DIY mode. The only way they're going to learn how to do something is by getting involved, so I may give them a few pointers and then I'll step back and let them take the lead. My youngest, R, who I sometimes refer to here as Baby Rainbow, is no … [Read more...]

Make a Music Basket to Encourage Rhythm and Movement

diy music kit for kids

Do you enjoy having music in your home? Do you have an instrument kit for your child to explore? If you do, I'd love to hear about what's inside your kit. And if this is new-to-you, pull up a chair and let's talk music! When my older child was just a few months old she got her first instruments -- a few bean and bell-filled rattles. I suppose that they're more noisemakers … [Read more...]

Toddler Watercolor Painting, Keeping it Neat

clean and tidy painting with toddlers and preschoolers

I'm not afraid of messes, but I'm also not looking for them. Are you with me? So when my almost 2-year old said that she wanted to paint, I was ready with my spill-management toolbox: an ice cube tray and a wooden serving tray. In case you're wondering how the wooden tray is paint-free (I'd wonder about that), it's seen better days and was just treated to a new paint job … [Read more...]

Capture Fall Memories with Kids

Capture Fall Memories with Kids

Last year, my 3-year old fell in love with the Fall season. We visited the pumpkin patch (multiple times), planned and re-planned Halloween costumes, collected leaves, made leaf art, visited an apple farm, and the list goes on! After Halloween I purchased an old typewriter and N dictated a Fall-inspired poem that beautifully captures her age and the spirit of the season. She … [Read more...]

Make a Terrarium

How to Make a Terrarium

Today I'm joined by my friend and colleague, Amanda E. Gross, who I've had the pleasure of working with at the San Francisco Children's Creativity Museum. She has an incredible eye for all things related to creativity and kids, and today she's here to share some tips on how to make a terrarium. I've wanted to make one of these for a long time, and thrilled that Amanda is here … [Read more...]

Sticker Resist with Watercolors

Sticker resist with watercolors

Do you have a set of watercolors? If not, this fun project will give you reason to pick one up. My kids and I have been keeping sketchbooks for a few months, and we enjoy the challenge of testing out new techniques, materials, and ideas as we move through our books. Painting over stickers (and then peeling them back) presents children with the opportunity to learn about … [Read more...]

Drawing over Old Photographs

drawing on photo

The following post is from the archives. It originally appeared in August, 2011. Drawing over over old photographs is a fun way to turn old images into new treasures. Not only is the process totally enjoyable, but the product can be turned into postcards that are fun to mail to family and friends. Old photos can be found in thrift stores, antique stores, garage sales, … [Read more...]

Scanner Art Experiments

scanned toys and acorns

The following post is from the archives. It originally appeared in February, 2011. This low-mess project kept my preschooler busy for a whole morning. Lots of fun for curious kids! Not too long ago we had a big print job in our home, which peaked my daughter's interest in the printer. The noises, lights, and moving paper were all new and exciting, I'm sure. Every time … [Read more...]

Messy Art: Splat Paint Olympics

splat paint olympic rings kids

Today I'm over on the Melissa and Doug blog, writing about our experience making Splat Paint Olympic Rings with household sponges. Painting with non-traditional materials does wonders for helping children look at the world with fresh eyes. And throwing paint-soaked sponges? Well, that's just silly fun.   While we did this with the end-game of the Olympics in … [Read more...]