Sensory Play with Tapioca Pearls

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Have you ever had Boba Tea or Pearl Tea? You know those chewy, soft balls that sink to the bottom of milky tea that you suck up through a fat milkshake straw? The drink originated in Taiwan as a novelty for children, and has since taken the world by storm with bubble tea houses popping up everywhere. I have yet to be converted to boba, but I when I spotted a bag of … [Read more...]

Recycled Weaving Fence

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When I saw this awesome weaving installation on display at the Bay Area Discovery Museum I knew it was something that I wanted to recreate at home. If I were running a preschool I think I would have taken the time to build such a structure because it would be a stellar group project, but as the parent of one curious, yet fickle, preschooler I thought it might be prudent to … [Read more...]

Simple Balloon Yo-Yo

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This springy balloon yo-yo is fun to play with, easy to make, and can be created with things that you may already have in the cupboard. It can also teach children a nice lesson in resourcefulness, helping them understand that toys can be invented from simple objects. In this day and age of toys overflowing from grocery shelves and toy baskets, this is always a welcome lesson in … [Read more...]

Rolled Easter Egg Painting

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When my daughter was about 2 1/2, her very favorite art activity was rolling paint-coated marbles all over sheets of paper. We made Rolling Rock Paintings with smooth rocks and Spooky Marble Spider Webs for Halloween. With Easter coming up, I was inspired to make something fun with the plastic eggs that consume dollar stores across the country. Not only is this fun to do, but … [Read more...]

Growing Big Ideas

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"Ideas aren’t self-contained things; they’re more like ecologies and networks. They travel in clusters." -Kevin Kelly, Futurist and Author of What Technology Wants We had a big pile of CD cases, just waiting to be repurposed into...something! BioColors paints are known for their plasticity (they don't crack like tempera), and I thought it we could have some fun squeezing … [Read more...]

Gumdrop Sculptures

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The provocation: A bowl of gumdrops and a handful of toothpicks. The first question: "Can I eat these?" Oh yeah, I guess they do kind of look like a snack. The second provocation (after we each ate a gumdrop, just to get that elephant out of the room): A square base of four gumdrops, attached together with four toothpicks, and one more toothpick sticking … [Read more...]

Rubber Band Painting

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One of the almost-weekly segments of this site is called Creative Experiments, and last week's experiment was to create something with Rubber Bands. Danielle and her daughter Simone were the first to participate with their Elastic Project, which you can view on Danielle's blog. I love how they hung the piece from the ceiling. I've had rubber bands on the mind all week, and … [Read more...]

Making Chocolate Lollipops

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Welcome Spring and Hellooooo Rain. This past weekend it poured. All weekend long. So we stayed in and made the best of it by inventing all sorts of rainy day activities like playing with our new chocolate lollipop molds. Recipe 1/3 cup chocolate chips 1 heaping tablespoon of butterscotch chips. (N isn't super fond of chocolate, and we hoped that the butterscotch … [Read more...]

Funnel Painting

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This was inspired by an idea we found in Mary Ann Kohl's Preschool Art. I know I've said this many times before, but Mary Ann's books are brimming with creative and engaging projects, and each of mine are dog-eared in a million places. We used materials that we already had around the house -- low threshold projects are my cup of tea! -- and the set-up is really easy. The other … [Read more...]

Spring Sink Mat Prints

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I spend a lot of time at the hardware store. And last week I spotted this flower mat -- the Blumz Sink Mat! -- I love that exclamation point! -- It's an exciting sink mat! -- and it looked like something that could be fun to print with! In honor of Spring's inevitable arrival (yes, it WILL get warmer) and St. Patty's Day (I married a "Doorley", after all), we used green … [Read more...]