Monday, March 31, 2014

Kids | Exploring with Non-Newtonian Fluid (Oobleck)

Kyle is the cool kid at our house. He has one of those brains that is constantly dreaming up something new and fun. He loves to see how things work and experiment. Of course, he loves to share all of this with our girls. After dinner one evening, Kyle led us all in some fun with science. 

Kyle and I have seen videos of people walking on what looks like liquid. Walking (running really) straight across it. What these people have done is made a large quantity of what is called a non-Newtonian fluid (also known as Oobleck). It is a fluid that when at rest acts as a liquid, but when force is placed upon it, it acts like a solid. It is crazy cool stuff. It's a mixture of water and cornstarch. That's it! 

We played with this stuff for an hour, and only quit because it was bedtime. Hailey would have kept going and going and going... Seriously, if you need to occupy your children for an hour, make them some Oobleck. Or if you would like something fun to do with your children, make some Oobleck. :)

You need:
1 1/2 cups water
16 oz. cornstarch

To make it, grab a large bowl or tub. Pour in the water.  

Add the cornstarch. Start with a little, mix. Add some more, mix. We didn't follow any recipe, we just experimented until it turned out. We used almost the entire 16 oz. of cornstarch.

When the mixture is the right consistency it will pull away from the edges of the bowl.

Now roll up your sleeves, dig your hands in and play!

Try pushing down with your fingers and see how the fluid resists them.

Now relax and watch your finger sink into the goo.

Roll the goo into a ball and watch it ooze out of your hand when you stop rolling. (Sorry the video is choppy, I made it from still images I had taken.)

This stuff is serious fun. I even got into it and had a blast with it. Yes, it's messy, but it cleans right up with water, no scrubbing. Just wet a towel and wipe it away. Now, that's my kind of mess.

If you do just one messy activity with your kids, make it this one! They will love it. You will earn major cool parent points for it. I'm thinking we need to have some friends over and do it again. Anyone want to come play with us!?

Friday, March 28, 2014

I'm Guest Posting Today: Monster Infant Hooded Towel

Hey all! I'm guest posting over at Someday Crafts today as part of their Crafting for Baby Series. I am sharing a tutorial to make this monster infant hooded towel.

I know I have been a little sparse in posting recently. I've been busy working on this tutorial and playing outside with my girls. The weather here has been fantastic!  I have a new post to share on Monday, so be sure to check back then! And of course, click over to Someday Crafts and check out my tutorial, plus the others that have been shared by other bloggers.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Kids | A Fun and Simple Matching Game: Steal the Pile

I love to play games. I grew up in a game playing house. When I was in high school, nearly every Sunday evening after dinner our family would sit down and play some sort of game together. Kyle's family is the same way. Sunday evening is game night. Games are a great way to spend time together as a family.

My maternal grandmother was a big game player. We often joked that we wouldn't teach her the rules to a new game we were playing, just to give her a handicap, because she would end up winning anyway. As a child I remember going to her house to visit and playing cards with her. We played with a set of cards that have kittens on them, which were always called the "Kitty Cards". Years after her passing, I have those cards as a special reminder of the fun I had playing cards with my grandma.

The game I remember playing most often with Grandma was Steal the Pile. It is a simple matching game that even small children (preschool age) can pick up on. I have taught Hailey how to play and she loves it. It is one of the games we play most frequently together.

Steal the Pile | | A fun and simple matching game for kids of all ages!

Interested in playing? I'll teach you.

1. Start by dealing out 4 cards, face down, to each player. Then deal 4 cards, face up, in the center.

Steal the Pile | | A fun and simple matching game for kids of all ages!

2. Each player picks up their hand and compares the cards they are holding with those on the table, looking for matches. 

Steal the Pile | | A fun and simple matching game for kids of all ages!

Steal the Pile | | A fun and simple matching game for kids of all ages!

3. Players take turns selecting a card from their hand and matching it with one face up on the table. If they have a match they take the matching card from their hand and the other matching card from the table and set them in a pile in front of them.

4. If the player can not match any of the cards face up on the table, they then discard any card in their hand face up on the table, adding it to those already there. 

Steal the Pile | | A fun and simple matching game for kids of all ages!

Steal the Pile | | A fun and simple matching game for kids of all ages!

5. The twist in the game is that besides matching those cards in the center of the table, you may also match with your opponents pile of cards they have made. If you have a card in your hand that matches the top card of their pile, you may match and steal their entire pile and add it to your own. Thus the name, Steal the Pile.

Steal the Pile | | A fun and simple matching game for kids of all ages!

6. After both players have played their initial 4 cards, another set of 4 cards is dealt to each player. Play continues the same as the previous round. Once all of the cards in the deck have been dealt out and played, the player with the most cards wins!

Steal the Pile | | A fun and simple matching game for kids of all ages!

Hailey thinks it is so fun to steal my pile. Likewise, she understands it's all in good sport when I take hers away too. It just means she needs to try to get it back!

It did take her a few rounds to completely get the concept, and sometimes I still need to give her a little bit of help. The more we play, the better she is getting at picking up the strategy of the game. 

Steal the Pile | | A fun and simple matching game for kids of all ages!

If your preschooler/kindergartener likes to play games, check out the sight word memory game I created. It has been a fun and successful way of teaching Hailey sight words.

Sight Word Memory | | A fun way for beginning readers to learn sight words!

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