Experiment: Make Fake Snow

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How to Make Fake Snow We've been making fake snow, which is equally fun for kids like mine who celebrate winter under a sea of palm trees or those who are house-bound by piles of real winter snow. Note: This post contains Amazon links for your convenience. Supplies sodium polyacrylate, or fake snow liquid Watercolors plastic pipette low-walled clear … [Read more...]

Photo Documentary with Kids

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Taking time to look closely at the details of life is a skill that comes naturally to many of us, and worth fostering in children who can run like the wind. When we pay attention to details, we develop a healthy curiosity of the world that surrounds us, make comparisons, and notice nuance. And all of these good things contribute to creative and critical thinking. If you'd like … [Read more...]

Baby Bean Bowl Exploration

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My little one is almost 9 months old and her curiosity has pushed her to see past the same ol' toy basket (do you see it there, hidden under the cabinet?), in search of new stimulation. "Enter stage left: Bean Bowl!" I created the bean bowl for my older daughter to sort and sift through while I'm busy in the kitchen, and I was only sort of surprised when little baby … [Read more...]

Blending Chalk Pastels

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We started with a box of chalk pastels and construction paper. I happened upon this amazing box for $5 at an art studio sale. They're wonderful, but really, any chalk pastels will do. I'm not  inclined to recommend construction paper because it's not at all archival, but its toothy nature makes it a good substrate for chalk pastels (as long as you're not planning to keep these … [Read more...]

Dry Ice Experiment

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Dry ice is a favorite mysterious Halloween material, perfect for spooking up a witch's cauldron, but did you know that you can experiment with it too? Dry ice is so cool (couldn't resist!), and makes for a fantastic (ventilated) kitchen or outdoor experiment. Have you ever worked with it? The big caution is that you don't want to touch it less it burns your skin. Got that? … [Read more...]

Drippy Slimy Gak

dripping gak

Late last week we made a batch of slime called Gak -- see this post for the recipe -- and it's been a huge success with my almost 3-year old. On day one, N experimented with various ways of interacting with it (rolling, stamping, cutting, pulling), and was excited to introduce her dad to Gak the next day (he loved it, too...it's really fun stuff). Later that day she wanted to … [Read more...]

Gak Recipe

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This Gak Recipe (aka slime recipe) has been on my to-do list ever since reading about Amy's The Great Slime-Off on Child Central Station. Amy shares two different recipes: the first calls for liquid starch and the second calls for Borax. I looked all over town for liquid starch and it was nowhere to be found. Is it prohibited from the State of California? But the second … [Read more...]

Project ::Deconstruct Monitor::

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My mom was cleaning out her basement and came across my husband's ancient computer monitor, and for some crazy reason she didn't want it. So she asked my sister to deliver it to my house...which is over 300 miles away!! What a good sister. But guess what? We didn't want it either! So, this big ol' dusty tan hunk of Apple history became the perfect toy to deconstruct...with … [Read more...]

Outdoor Water Painting Experiments

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My friend Diana sent me these amazing photos of her son (almost 2 1/2 at the time), experimenting with water painting. She offered him a couple containers of water and a paintbrush and gave him free reign to paint away. I love how he was able to take these simple materials and experiment with them in multiple ways. He's enjoying the process of painting while learning about the … [Read more...]

Looping Twisties through Paper

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Today I'm so excited to share that I've been invited to write a guest post for one of my favorite blogs, Not Just Cute. Sooo, bonus for today is that there are TWO TinkerLab posts for your enjoyment. Hoorah! The Not Just Cute project will take you outdoors to make a Book of Textures, which is a great activity for kids of all ages. After you read all about it, come on back and … [Read more...]