Saturday, December 1, 2012

Handprint Snowman Ornaments

This is probably one of my favorites. We just used the cheap shatterproof ornaments that you get at Walmart and some acrylic paint. 

I painted the kids' hands white and told them to grab the ornament like they were holding a ball, then let go and...voila!

Now all that's left to do is decorate your snowmen. 

Here's Jake's

And Carter's

And Miss Natalie's...complete with pink scarves and snowladies with hairbows and purple hats :)

Afterwards, I sealed them with some spray Mod Podge. I didn't think it would hurt...and I do love me some Mod Podge :)

Handprint Santa

I am an absolute sucker for handprint crafts. I love doing projects with the kids that really incorporate who they are at that moment. My grandma actually found a picture of one of these and showed it to me and I knew my life wouldn't be complete until I had replicated it. 

To mix up the dough, you'll need:
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup water

Mix all of this up in a bowl...

Then when you get a nice ball of dough...

...plop it on the counter and knead...and knead...and knead...

The longer you knead, the smoother the texture of your finished product will be. Trust me, the first one of these we tried was so ugly, it ended up in the garbage. 

Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and roll out your dough until it's about 1/4" thick.  (During the first attempt, I learned that a six year old's hand is a bit large to transfer, so the second time, we just went ahead and rolled the dough on the cookie sheet. I also learned that the thicker the dough, the more it will crack when baked. Thinner is better!)

Now, track down your kids, who have undoubtedly gotten into some sort of mischief while you were busy with all that kneading, and have them put their handprints in the dough. 

Then cut around the print with a knife, leaving a border. If you want to hang this later, make a hole using a straw.

Bake at 175 degrees for about 4 hours. Once it's nice and dried out, just paint, seal, and hang!

A Little Science= A Little Messy

Sometimes you just have to let your kids blow some stuff up.

The trick to letting your kids get messy is sneaking in those precious learning moments. That way, when you're cleaning up the disaster afterwards, you can calm yourself by knowing that at least this chaos has contributed to their vast amount of knowledge...or something like that. In this case, we had the opportunity to talk about reactions. 

(Please disregard Jake's shirt. I usually enforce a strict "no tank tops on boys especially ones with comic book characters" dress code, but my husband's mom dug up this little gem from his younger days and it makes me giggle when he wears it.)

If you're like me, the only thing you use vinegar for is to brighten the color of your Easter egg dye so you should have some left over from the spring. I honestly don't know what else it's used for. Seems like I've heard of old people cleaning with it or something...

Anyway, all you need to do this is some baking soda and vinegar, along with some glasses, spoons and some sort of tray to catch some of the mess. Fill your glasses about halfway with the vinegar. 

I added a few drops of food coloring to the spoons. Not necessary but I think the colors make it more fun. 

Now for the baking soda...
Hey, I never said it had to be neat :)

Now just have your kids drop the spoons in and stir!

It doesn't kill a lot of time, but have them experiment with adding more baking soda and more vinegar. Adding more vinegar will create some more fizz, though not as much as the original reaction. This was definitely a hit and they've already made me promise to let them do it again tomorrow :)