Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Experimenting in the Kitchen, and Playing with Flour

Today's post is from some projects we did a few weeks back, but I figured now was a good time to post!
as a kid, one of the things I remember always having fun with was cooking. My mother was never afraid to let my sister and I experiment, and create new "recipes" to make. Some of my favorite recipes actually came from these kitchen experiments, and so I decided to let Conrad play with a few things around the kitchen.

For this project you will need:
  • a muffin tin
  • small cups or bowls (baby food containers work well)
  • several cooking ingredients(we used several spices, and other things we found in the cupboard, including uncooked rice, mint chocolate chips, and cheerios. We also used milk and water, so the items would mix wet)
  • at least one spoon
  • A very creative and adventurous child!
Lay out everything as shown in the picture above, and let the child explore and taste! :) as you can see from the following pictures, Conrad had a blast making concoctions, and trying them. Be forewarned, The child you are setting this up for, may as you to try his/her concoction, and you must not be afraid! :)

 Conrad made several different concoctions, and told me each of them was delicious! :) The one he is seen eating had everything in  it...pizza sauce, choc chips, rice, cheerios, water, milk, salt, cilantro, baking soda, chili powder, cinnamon, garlic powder, powdered sugar, and flour...but he loved it! This activity is also a good way to get your child to try something they may say they don't like when you use it! :)

For the next activity, you may want to have a broom standing by, or lay out a drop cloth before beginning.
you will need the following to have fun with this activity:
  • flour(we used wheat, but you can use whatever you wish)
  • a baking sheet or cake pan
  • toy cars
  • small toys( again, we used dinosaurs, because those are one of Conrad's favorites)
  • small cups, measuring cups, and measuring spoons
  • and hollow shapes, or small sand toys if you have them
Conrad had a blast doing this activity the first time, so we did it again a few weeks later, only modified it!

As you can see, The first time, we used a cake pan. I filled it about half way with flour, and then threw in some measuring spoons, some hollow shapes, and a few old baby food cups. Conrad enjoyed building "castles" and shapes out of flour!

He also enjoyed "measuring" flour to put into the baby food cup, and seeing how much would fit. he scooped and dumped, and packed in flour like a pro!

The second time we did the activity, we used a cookie sheet. Before we did this, we used the flour to practice writing some letters Conrad has difficulty with. When we had finished, I got out his favorite car, and some dinosaurs, and he had a blast making his own race tracks in the flour. At one point, he even decided his car was a snow plow, and the flour was snow.

As you can see, this activity could turn out to be pretty messy (flour spills out of the pan, ends up on tables, chairs and floor, as well as child) hence the reason behind the drop cloth. If you have no drop cloth, be sure to have a broom  and dustpan nearby.

Both time we played with flour, this kept Conrad busy for over an hour! :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ice cubes and Dinosaurs

Today's project is very simple to set up, and requires only a few supplies.

To do this activity you will need:
  • A large tub or bucket
  • ice cubes
  • small toys of some sort(I used dinosaurs, one of Conrad's favorites)
Put the ice cubes into the tub or bucket, and then place the small toys in as well. Let the child play and create, and use their imagination! :)

Here are some pictures of Conrad's ideas! (Note: I got permission to post pictures on my blog of the boys):

First Conrad decided they were playing Hide and Seek in the ice cubes, and he "buried" them. Then, he had the other dinosaurs "search" for the buried dinosaurs to save them from getting too cold! :)

Next, the dinosaurs were ice skating, and swimming between the ice cubes, and the water in the bottom from melted cubes!

Then, he built a mountain out of the ice cubes(with a little help from me) and had the dinosaurs climbing up and down the mountain. The ice cubes had melted enough at this point, that we had to keep rebuilding the mountain, because it would collapse every time we put a new dinosaur onto it!

Finally, Conrad decided the ice cubes were a beach, and the water was the ocean. He said the dinosaurs needed to go swimming, because it was too hot for them.

Conrad had a lot of fun with this, but it was a short project, because his hands were quickly getting cold. I would suggest a pair of gloves or mittens to do this project, or a bowl of warm water.

I also decided Reece shouldn't be left out of the fun, so I set him up in his chair, and gave him some ice cubes(no dinosaurs) to play with! He had fun exploring them, squeezing them, splashing in the puddles the melted cubes had made, and sucking on them! The ice cubes are also great for a teething child! :)

Note: If you give an infant ice cubes, be sure to keep a close eye on the child, if the ice cubes get too small, take them away from the child, as they can be a choking hazard.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Fun With Milk and Food Coloring

Today's Projects are both simple, and fun, and use things most people have in their house on a regular basis!

"Painted or Rainbow Toast"

 For this project, you will need the following items:
  • Milk
  • Bread (white works better, but we used wheat, and the colors still showed up)
  • Sugar(Powdered works, as well as granulated)
  • Food Coloring(we used blue, yellow, and green, Red is Conrad's Favorite, so we are out of that one)
  • Small containers(we used baby food containers, you need as many as the amount of colors you want)
  • Brand new paintbrushes, or a basting brush
  • A baking pan of some sort( we used a pizza pan, since we only painted two pieces of bread)
  • Cooking spray
Set the Oven Temp to 350, and let it preheat. Spray the baking pan lightly with the cooking spray.

To make the paint,  pour a small amount of milk into each small container. Then add about a teaspoon of the sugar, and 2-3 drops of the food coloring (one color for each cup) and stir together.

The "paints" will look something like this.
(note: if you use powdered sugar, the solution will be a little thicker. If you use granulated sugar, the sugar won't dissolve as quickly.)

Now, you are ready to paint your bread! Using the paintbrush gently paint the bread with all of the colors, in any design you want. Be careful not to use to much paint, or the bread will get soggy, and you won't be able to toast it. we only had one paintbrush, so we used syringes to slowly squirt the paint on little by little into dots and lines.

Shown here, are examples of both ways to paint the bread.

 For the bread on the left, we used the syringes.

For the bread on the right, we used the paintbrush.

When you are finished, Place your bread on the sprayed baking pan, and bake until the painted part is lightly toasted, and no longer soggy. This took about ten minutes with ours. Once it is finished being toasted, you may butter the toast if you wish, or eat it as is. Conrad asked to butter his. The final Product should look something like this:

"Colorful Milk Eruptions"


For this project you will need the following items:
  • Milk
  • Food coloring
  • Liquid Dish Soap
  • A clear shallow Pan or container with a flat bottom

This is a fun Experiment that I found again, but remember doing in elementary school.

First, You need to pour milk into the container you have chosen. The milk should sit about an inch deep in the bottom of the pan. Next add a drop or two of each color of food coloring. Be sure to put each color in a different spot. 

This step should look something like this. I put two drops in each spot, but depending on the size of your container, you can play with the amount, and the spacing.

 Add a drop of dish soap onto each spot of color. Then, sit back and enjoy the "Eruptions"

We only had Skim Milk to do this Experiment with, but the Fattier the Milk, the better this will work!

Happy Playing My friends! :)