Glowing Sensory Glitter Bin

Using my newly found play essential, a UV black light globe, I put this super cool sensory bin together for Dimples and he literally sat and played for an hour in the dark.
If you have missed it we have done glow play with experimental glowing-vinegar- & with Glow water bath-play

I kept my mind open and looked for anything that glows in the dark or that was neon or fluorescent to put in the sensory bin and this is what I came up with.

Neon Play dough
Neon glitter dust
Glow sticks
Neon straws
Glow in the dark Plastic stars
Fluro pom poms
Fluro pipe cleaners
Fluro hair elastics
Fluro highlighters on white paper

Before: Flash on - UV light off

After: Flash off - UV light on

 Under the black light the neon/fluro play dough looked awesome, Dimples played around making caterpillars and bugs with the pipe cleaners and cut straws.

He threaded some of the pipe cleaner through the cut straws and then sprinkled the glitter everywhere. We were sitting in a dark room with a large mirror and he was laughing at the glitter on his finger tips. It was a crack up- Something good about the UV light, you REALLY see where all the mess goes, that normally you would not notice (like thousands of minuscule glitter dust specks).

Then he brushed by his face and looked in the mirror. Yep, he was covered in glow in the dark specks. Then he laughed & seen his teeth,  "Look at my teeth Mummy" they were glowing under the light as well.


He done some scribbling on white paper with the fluro highlighters and traced around some stars and then started with the glitter again.  He covered the play dough and filled some star shapes up.

After managing to sprinkle out all the glitter into the box I started to pack away some of the other bits so he had more room for the glitter.
Have you ever seen sand on a light box? Well the neon glitter under the UV light is by far much more interesting, bright and appealing but with the same affect.

Dimples used his fingers to draw in the glitter, do prints and so on, all the glitter glowed under the light and where ever he traced his finger, swished the pipe cleaners or pressed the play dough it was dark.

You must try it - Go on you know the kids (and you) will love it!!
Happy Adventures

Cloud Dough Tunnels & Lights

Cloud Dough & Lights: Making Tunnels on the moon.

I am sure you have heard of Cloud Dough, if not you can make it with 1 cup of baby oil & 5 cups of any flour. Mix it all about & it will becomes a silky consistency, it will look a lot like soft sand but can be packed and shaped like smooth dough. You can add glitter or sequins to it if you want, we had some star sequins that got mixed in.

I poured the ingredients in to a tray and let Dimples mix it up & play, he told me it was the moon. So we went with that and made some moon craters, he had some little transformers & robot looking figurines that resembled the space men, aka Astronauts who were on the moon exploring.

Using a couple of small gelato dishes and silicone cupcake cups we made some moon boulders.

I gave dimple some battery operated tea lights, these are really cheap (a pack of ten for $2), I just happened to have them laying around but hadnt used them for anything yet so this was perfect- They are sealed so I let him explore with a couple of these, "Fires on the moon" he called them.
He experimented with burying them, it worked well, under the fine and light cloud dough they gleamed through little gaps and flickered through holes in the "moon sand".

Dimples buried them & buried them, seeing how much dough is needed until the fire went out, it was a fair bit!  The effect of the lights under the dough worked well and they did actually look like little fires in a caves.

Then I got the idea of tunnels, we put the fire together and then put an ice cream scoop with the handle side next to the light. Dimples buried his lights, also burying the tip & handle of the ice cream scoop, I packed it down firmly over the handle & then slowly removed it out, leaving a circular tunnel leading up to the tea lights. It worked well, kneeling down and getting his eyes level with the entrance of the tunnel Dimples could see the lights flickering, then he examined the top of the mound- No light!  He looked back down through the tunnel  "Look mummy the fires are on in the tunnel".

The Flash on the camera mucked up the photo, it does it no justice,  but you can imagine how it would look- no light on top & the flickering of tealights shining only down the tunnel.  It was pretty cool!  Dimples enjoyed playing with the lights under the dough and then experimented trying to make tunnels with his finger & with the handle of the ice cream scoop. Then he would squash them all out and start again.

Glowing Vinegar Experiment

After reading a really interesting & fun post over at about glow water, we have been experimenting a little with lots of glow fun.  I was easily persuaded to buy a black light in the post by growing a jeweled rose, I found one at the local hardware shop for $13- It is a black light globe that I put in a lamp and it is officially one of the most coolest ways to experiment with play.  If you dont have one GET ONE! You wont regret it...  Something you may not know, tonic water even glows!

Basically, the black light makes anything Neon or white glow in the dark. In the above post you will find how to make glow water, it is just neon texter or highlighter texter ink with water. So you crack open your pen and use the ink cylinder, soak it in your water and voila. that is your glow water.

We did a glow bath and some glow paints with shaving cream in the bath and then I used the highlighter ink and mixed it in vinegar for some Science fun in the dark. I used 3 disposable cups filled with orange, pink and green glow vinegar and had 3 smaller container with bicarb soda and some droppers.

Dimples was in awe as he walked into the dark room and everything was glowing. He could not wait to get in to it. The orange & pink worked great, they were so vibrant!
He started with the dropper watching small amounts of the vinegar fizz and bubble away but he couldn't help him self, the affect wasn't good enough. He poured some in and watched the explosion of bubbles come pouring over the top and onto the tray, now the entire tray was glowing and fizzing away.

He put his head down and listened to the bubbles and pops as it fizzed, then he realised the smell was funny & had to smell them all. The experimented with mixing different colours and then pouring the vinegar soaked bicarb onto the tray. It was good fun. He ended up using his finger to draw around on the tray & mix all the bicarb in.

Cutting the Snotty Gak

Gak, Goo, Obleck, slime, silly putty what ever you have known it as, we've never made it before......

So here goes -
You can find a good detailed recipe here : homemade-kids-gooey-gak
But it is so simple & easy to make, I let Dimples do it all on his own.

Using white craft glue, he poured the whole container into a bowl & mixed it with 1 1/2 cups of warm water. Our first attempt we added blue food colour & it turned out so vibrant, then we tried one with black (the texture was much better but it looked like snot)

while Dimples was mixing through the water, glue & colour, I boiled the jug & dissolved a teaspoon of borax in about half a cup of hot water, then i put it in for him.
Its really quite science like, as soon as it swirls through your mix you can see it separate then as you mix it it gets gooey.

This is where it gets fun, I asked Dimples to then mix it with his hands, with no hesitation he squeezed, kneaded and squished it around until it was no longer liquid at all.  It was gak!  Snotty looking Gak.

He loved the stuff, I gave him a pair of scissors & the cut so well through the gak, I think practising with scissors is made more fun using the gak but it seems to work better as well.

Dimples used his scissors to slice a long stringy piece of gak, it was easier for him to hold as he was working on his fine-motor cutting skills, trying to manipulate the scissors in the right direction to cut the "worm" into "baby worms" -
When the scissors cut he can see clearly the slice, it goes through easily whether the scissors are plastic or blunt or safety ones, where as sometimes the kiddy scissors struggle with paper.
And of course there is the sensory aspect of it, it feels soft and squishy & cool on the fingers.
The science of it, the way it moves blends, breaks, the way it mixed, the way it sinks & flattens.
To sum it up, we think its lots of fun & is an interesting thing to play with.

Dimples used it like play doh with his play doh toys, he cut through it for a long time, he used his knife & fork & pretended it was a slimy dinner and he just played about stretching & hanging it around watching it grow

Kid Approved Zucchini & Spinach Slice

Zucchini & Spinach slice (as we adults call it)
But to the young ones it is "Yummo Cheese Eggy Bacon Slice"

I'm getting pretty good at hiding veggies in dimples food, not that I need to. He is a pretty good eater & will give anything a go. This is a yummo Zucchini slice that I tweaked to suit us with some extra veggies and some extra Yummo. You can use this mixture in large muffin tins as well & adjust the time/temp down to suit.

6 zucchini grated roughly
1 small carrot grated well
1 handful of baby spinach leaves roughly chopped
1 onion finely diced
3 bacon rashers finely sliced
7 eggs
150g self raising flour
1/4 cup of bran oil or similar
1 1/2 cups of low fat tasty cheese grated
80 ml low fat Milk
1 sliced tomato & 1 finely chopped tomato

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C & grease your slice tray (either 2 loaf trays or a larger slice tray), line the sides with baking paper (although this isn't necessary)

Combine all of the ingredients, except for the sliced tomato & a handful of grated cheese.
mix vigorously then pour into your tray/s. Sprinkle whats left of your cheese over the top & place a vertical row of tomato slices (or just cover the whole lot if you want).

Cook for about 45 mins until the top is golden & a skew comes out clean.

Sit to cool before trying to slice it out & serve it warm. Its best to use a wide spatula or BBQ scraper to slide underneath your slices so it stays in tact.


2 thumbs up......?

Dimples thinks so, I called it the Yummo Cheese Eggy Bacon Slice (as they're all his favourite ingredients) Tastes good cold as well.

Stained Glass Mothersday Book Marks

Dimples enjoyed making these cute stained glass Mothers day Bookmarks for his Nanna's.

What you will need
Materials: Crayon shavings, Cellophane, Laminate sheet, An Iron, Pipe cleaners or Ribbon and some beads.

I cut a piece of laminate paper into thin strips & put the materials out for Dimples then let him choose his colours and much much or how little he wanted to put in each one.

Using crayon shavings and cellophane for the Stain glass design Dimples sprinkled his materials into the open laminate paper and then closed it Ready for me to Iron

I then went over it with an Iron & a sheet of paper towelling making sure the sides of the laminate stuck closed and then heat melted the Crayon shavings.

Once then were stuck together and cooled Dimples punched a hole through the top and threaded a pipe cleaner on (i tied it off & twisted it tight) then he added some more colour with some foam beads.

 Voila. Easy Peasy Stained glass bookmarks.

Awesome Water Wall - Tree House

How to make an Awesome tree house with a water wall on a budget.

In the weeks leading up to Dimples 3rd Birthday party we put together a tree house. I have wanted to do this for a long time but having a bunch of little kiddies over to Celebrate his Birthday was the perfect excuse to get cracking.  Since then we have made a water wall off the side of it!

For an awesome tree house; All you need is a suitable tree, tools, screws/nails etc, possibly a handy husband (but not necessary), some persuasive people skills & some add on's, like the telescope, steering wheel, sandpit. 
We started with the frame of an unused dog kennel. We took half the roof off and clean it all out then off the side of this we attached a sturdy wood sheet across to the tree. Just a scrap that was left from one of Adventure Dads building projects. Making sure all the materials were weather hardy we used scrap pieces of wood to build a ladder out of the cubby up onto the tree platform.

We put the sand pit underneath, filled with left over treasure from Dimples 3rd Birthday Pirate Party, reused the  "walk the plank" game off the side; it is simply a plank of wood tied up to a crate either side. Then from the local hardware shop, in the kids cubby house section we found a telescope and a steering wheel for the cubby.  Next to tackle the tree house.
Using some wooden Palettes, also free from a local builder  & a local flooring shop, we put several up over suitable sturdy branches as platforms to climb from the trunk of the tree out on to .
Making sure they were reasonable level with either rope, ladders or safe branches to access as handles they work as  "look outs"on what Dimples pretends is his Pirate Ship.

From the local fish co-op, we collected a bunch of rope and fish netting that they were no longer using as it had hole patches in it. They were kind enough to let us help our selves to a mass of thick rope and a huge net that hadn't been used in a long time. It was completely dried out and perfect.
this was strung on the other side of the tree across to various sturdy tree branches and the large thick rope was used, repeatedly to surround the entire tree house, cubby house & large play hammock for added support but also for safety, so that Dimples could use them to hold on to for balance or to pull him self up.

I have to admit, I have been in this before with Dimples more than once. well quite a lot actually.
It is the most beautiful place to relax, its like a HUGE HAMMOCK in a tree canopy.
I often take a bunch of books and lay down in it with him reading but then we just end up laying there staring up at the tree branches above, watching birds and butterflies and listening to all the sounds from the trees. Yesterday we watched a spider high up in the tree, spinning its web- It was pretty cool to see as the sun slightly sparkled through gaps between leaves reflecting off the shiny web!

Most of the materials we got for free as scraps or relatively cheap. The thick rope acts kind of like a support, it keeps all the branches strong to the centre trunk and is a railing around the entire tree house.

Add a Pirate Flag here, there and you have yourself a cool tree house.  Of course everything is screwed or tied down. We refrained from nailing anything actually in to the tree, it might come down one day and we wouldn't want to harm the tree or possibly kill off certain branches that are needed for support so we mainly relied on placement and the rope but everything has been Mummy tested & past with flying colours.

I recently read an article on one of the 'kiddy blogs' on risk taking and I thought it was very relevant to our tree house. I cant find the link for it but it was very interesting!  It discussed risk taking, as a toddler/preschool and the benefits of it. I wish i could find it for you, you may have read it?

The tree house is a perfect example. This encourages safe risk taking, children get to test their ability and know their boundaries. Through this they learn what they are capable of and when they should stop, if they feel they really cant do something they wont attempt it. As long as they know your there to pick them up or help them out if they go past their limits all will be well!
Another thing of interest that was in the article was in regards to the  "be careful" "oh watch out "or "don't do that" phases that we all say. Come on! You have said one of these before....?
 I know I do and I didn't even realise what I was doing, being over protective with lots of warning statements like this conveys the message that we don't trust that the child can do whatever they were about to do. Or that we think they aren't capable, we are putting doubt into their ability & controlling their freedom. This can make them hesitant and hinders their confidence, so I try to bite my tongue now & let Dimples test himself.

I'm in no way saying throw a 3 year old on a wooden crate high up in a tree & let them swing around on their own all day, but good old outdoor play in nature has so many benefits that are often overlooked, or they are avoided because of safety fears.
Climbing trees, being free in the outdoors and playing in tree houses connects a child to nature and it is quite spiritual and relaxing, not to mention the benefits of it...

Climbing, swinging like a monkey, pulling up on to a branch or balancing on a plank of wood, Playing in a tree house - Everything tree climbing,  aids in:
Upper body strength,
Imaginative play,
Being outdoors & being active
Testing their own limits
Learning what they are capable of doing
& helping them to rely on their own instincts.

 For an Awesome Water Wall;  You will need a wooden board, some pipe, old bath toys, bottles, funnels and PVC tube cut in half.

This was easy, again using bits and pieces that were scavenged up from around the house, shed and yard and screwed onto a scrap plank of wood.

At the top we screwed on some half bottles that had hoses or pipes attached to the bottom, kind of like a home made funnel. In different directions they lead down to various containers from bath toys that have holes through them, like a shower head.  Down into funnels that are screwed on, a PVC pipe that is cut long ways into 2 gutter like rails, down into more bath toys like the lobster one below that has a spinning pot, pouring the water into the bowl as it fills.

Down in to a little watering can and through more laundry hose. We have many different openings at the top & Dimples has his own little watering can but they all run into one of the 2 bottom bowls that can be tilted to empty back into the watercan.
Dimples has had lots of fun on this and is always so intrigued of which way the water rolls, He tests it out; can he block it off, slow it down or divert it.

While in the making of a water wall you really need to test where the water goes at its limits-
Quite amusing to Dimples & Adventures Dad (who was delivering more screws to us on his lunch break) the first one I drilled on was way off, I was feeling really handy & clever with a tech drill until the water flew down the pipe and missed the next rail by a good 20cm & landed spat on to the grass.  They both had a giggle as my hand went to my forehead "FAIL".  Thank god I tested it before I completed the whole wall, that would have been a process to fix so do test your water flow first or you may have a day long project instead of an hour long easy task :P 

Happy Adventures


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...