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...]

Cooking with Kids: Butter and Rosemary

butter and rosemary.022

Do you like to cook with your kids? It's not always the easiest thing for me to do; we have a tiny kitchen and limited counter space, but I try to find ways to integrate my kids into the kitchen routines when I can. Why? Because cooking, experimenting, and learning about the interaction of ingredients builds creative thinkers, gives my kids a solid footing  and confidence in … [Read more...]

Creative Ways to Spend a Sick Day

reading peg leg peke

How do you get through sick days? With Spring just around the corner, I thought that maybe maybe maybe we would be the lucky ones who made it through winter without getting sick. Wishful thinking! My oldest came down with a fever the other day and we've been holed up at home, gathering our energy and drinking lots of fluids. I have an arsenal of indoor activity ideas, but … [Read more...]

Sensory Activity: Shredded Paper

brown-bag

If you're afraid of a mess, I have to warn you up front that this is a messy one. But it's not a dirty kind of mess and if you stick with me here, you might become a shredded paper convert like me. It all started innocently, and rather boring, enough. It was a bill-paying day, and I set the kids up with their own stack of mailing labels stickers, pens, and old checkbooks … [Read more...]

Cooking with Toddlers Made Simple

chopping salad with toddler

After sharing some thoughts yesterday on how to invent a recipes with kids (by opening your kitchen up as a lab for experimentation), I thought it might help if I backed up a bit and shared a few tricks that have helped me set the stage for kitchen experimentation. Here are my top four tips on bringing toddlers into the kitchen, making cooking with little ones fun, and … [Read more...]

5 Easy Steps to Invent a Recipe with Kids

invent a recipe with kids

Do you like to cooking with kids or do you yearn to cook with your child? Today we're sharing five easy steps to invent a recipe with kids, which will get you into a creative cooking mindset. Think Master Chef + little kids = a fun afternoon. But you might wonder, "why would I want to invent a recipe when I can easily follow a recipe?" The answer is that inventing recipes … [Read more...]

How to Build a Simple Clip Fort

how to clip sheet to the table for a fort

How was your Valentine's Day? We had a drizzly pre-Valentines romp in the park with friends and I spent Valentine's morning leading a fun docent training workshop at the San Jose Museum of Art (SJMA). Under the leadership of Education Director, Lucy Larson, SJMA one of the most visitor-centered museums around. It's not a huge museum, which means it's easy to navigate with … [Read more...]

Microwave Marshmallow Experiment

microwave marshmallow experiment

Have you heard of the microwave marshmallow experiment? It's really simple and a fun way to explore how the volume of gas expands a marshmallow as it heats up. My kids also enjoy this experiment because it mixes science (+ fun) with a sugary treat. Microwave Marshmallow Experiment Supplies 4 (or more) Marshmallows Paper Towel or Microwave-safe … [Read more...]

Drizzle + Paint Gingerbread Cookies

gingerbread cookies with kids

Mmmm, gingerbread cookies. After making our salt dough ornaments (and having one of our friends try to eat one...yikes!), we thought it was high time to make real, edible cookies. My mother-in-law's gingerbread recipe is truly the best one I've tried, but when I discovered that the Gingerbread Cake and Baking Mix from Trader Joe's could be adapted to make cookies, and all I had … [Read more...]

Make Easy Salt Dough Ornaments: Part 1

dry salt dough ornaments cookie sheet

Raise your hand if you've made or plan to make salt dough ornaments this season! Yep, I see a lot of you out there. It seems we're not the only ones, but in case you haven't committed to this yet, I have one piece of advice for you: While the recipe is simple, give yourself some time! This is a 2-part post. In the first part I'll share a salt dough recipe with baking … [Read more...]