Sugar Cube Sculpture

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We made sugar cube sculptures. What a fun and surprising lesson in building, painting, and dissolving! Materials Box of sugar cubes Glue bottle Sturdy base to glue onto Paint in squeezy bottles Boxes of sugar cubers were harder to find than I thought, but I ultimately found them at our big supermarket (and bought 2!). We used scrap wood for the base, basic … [Read more...]

Maker Faire + DIY Design

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We went to the Maker Faire this weekend, a DIY design/technology/creativity festival that attracts everyone from crafty sewing upcyclers to techie hackers to wide-eyed families looking for a creative outing. It was such an inspiring event, full of tons of TinkerLab-style making, that I thought I'd dedicate the week to Maker Faire talent. I gathered tons of good projects for … [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

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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...]

Soap Making Experiments

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We made soap wrapped in hand-painted paper for Mother's Day! I've never made soap before, so this was a fun experiment for us all. First: Hand-painted paper... Materials liquid watercolors assorted paintbrushes pipettes a big sheet of watercolor paper to cover her work area small pieces of heavy, absorbent tissue paper that came with some packaging in the … [Read more...]

Pitched Roofs

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Our neighbor's house had a leaky roof and the handy man came for a visit. This peaked my daughter's interest and she wanted to know why. If you've had a small child living in your home, I'm sure you're familiar with this barrage of non-stop questions that keep coming even if you've already answered them...at least three times: Why is the plumber here? Why is their roof leaking? … [Read more...]

Traveling Magnets

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While we make a lot of art in our home, I cherish any project that develops creative and critical thinking skills. I'm attracted to fun activities with an experiential twist, and I've noticed lately that we've been dabbling in the worlds of science, literature, and dramatic play, as much as we have in that of art. For this simple experiment, we explored how magnets can travel … [Read more...]