Browsing Category: With the kids

Glowing Bubbles

Here is something fun to try, make your own glowing bubbles!  My boys are going to love this, it combines 3 things they love, the dark, glowing stuff, and bubbles!  All you have to do is break open a glow stick, and pour the contents into a bottle of bubbles!  You want to make it a 50:50 ration of bubbles to glow stick for them to glow bright enough to see.  Also, make sure that you try it where it is very dark and away from lights.  Might be best for a camping trip activity.  I am not worried about the poisoning my kids with glow stick solution, because my youngest, when he was 3 cracked open a glow stick and ate the solution.  I was in a panic and called poison control, who told me not to worry, because they are indeed non toxic.

Photo Credit: Anne Helmenstine

Photo Credit: Anne Helmenstine

Pancake Pops

My youngest son has a birthday coming up, and he wants to make pancakes for his birthday breakfast.  That is one of the special things we do together, so I was very happy he asked for that.  I wanted to make these birthday pancakes extra fun for him, and I think these pancake pops will certainly do the trick!  I usually cut his pancakes into strips so he can dip them in syrup, but this will be so much more fun!  This recipe comes from number-2-pencil and it is really easy to accomplish.  The pancakes need to be hardy enough to stay on the stick, so I would advise following the recipe below.  But, don’t worry, it is an amazingly delicious recipe!

Pancake Pops
by Melissa at No. 2 Pencil
Makes about 20 bite size pancakes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 cup of fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1-2 tablespoons of milk, depending on the thickness of the yogurt you use
2 tablespoons of melted and cooled butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add Greek yogurt, butter, and lightly beaten egg to the same bowl. Add enough milk to make batter stir-able, 1-2 tablespoons depending on the thickness of the yogurt.

Making the “pops”

  1. Scoop out a heaping teaspoon of pancake batter.
  2. Drop the pancake batter onto the hot griddle. Give the pancake about a minute to set up on the griddle side so the lollipop stick won’t go all the way through, then place the lollipop stick in the batter just shy of the top of the pancake. Press stick down and use your spoon to smooth out the valley in the batter, that way you will have pancakes that look perfect on both sides!
  3. Space the rest of the pancake pops out, so you have room to add the sticks.
  4. They cook really quickly since they are so small. About 4-5 minutes on the first side, and around 3 minutes on the second side. Once the edges start to dry out, they are ready to turn.
  5. To flip the pancake pops use a small spatula to lift them up a bit, then you can use the lollipop stick to give them a quick turn. The lollipop stick was warm, but it wasn’t too hot to handle. Just be careful not to touch the griddle!
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Colorful Bird Nests

This is a great way to help the birds, have some fun, and reuse old scraps!  Right now I see birds behind my house flying with all manner of straw, string, and grass in their mouths building nests like crazy!  Why not help them along?  Here is an idea from FiberFarm.com.  Just take a nice cheap Suet Feeder, and fill it with old yarn scraps about 4 to 8 inches long!  The birds are usually pretty comfortable with this kind of feeder, and yarn makes great nesting material.  Plus, the birds will have beautiful colorful nests.  How fun would it be to go exploring with the kids in the woods, our around your house to find the nest with the colorful yarn in them, and know that you helped that bird make it’s home?

I know, I was skeptical at first as well, thinking that this would make it easier for predators to find the nests and things like that.  However, FiberFarm did a little research before posting the idea, in this is what they came up with: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology gives yarn scraps a thumbs up.http://www.birds.cornell.edu/Page.aspx?pid=1144 (Scroll down to “Nest Material”). I have also gotten approval from the Audubon Society BEFORE posting this. In other words, actual EXPERTS approve of this project. I’m sure that whatever your cousin’s neighbors best friend had to say about is interesting but I am sticking with EXPERT opinions on this.  But thank you.

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Easily Grow Carrots in Pots

My kids love carrots, and every year we try to grow them with no success.  For some reason both carrots and radishes have failed miserably in my garden.  This year I plan to change all of that!  This year I will plant my carrots in pots, and if the success of the writer on Vegetable-Garden-Guide.com is any indication, we will be growing crop after crop all summer long!  According to him, with just one 13 inch wide by 12 inch deep clay pot, you can harvest 30 – 40 carrots per growing cycle!  And, he says that you can just keep planting them over and over all summer long, using the the same soil and pot, by resowing the seeds.  Why is it so much easier to grow carrots in pots?  Here is what he says:

The advantages of growing carrots in containers are:

  • No poor soil problems if using shop bought compost.
  • No weeding and digging concerns.
  • And no soil pest problems.

What you do need to keep in mind though is a little more attention will need to be given to watering and feeding.  Here are his instructions to growing your best carrots ever!

Growing carrots in plant containers is no different than growing them in open ground. Make small drills in the growing medium about ½” deep, thinly sow the carrot seed along the drills, fill in the drills and water using a watering can with fine holes. After about 1 week you should see the carrot sprouts.  After the carrots have germinated and are about a 1″ tall start the thinning process. You can pull them out or get a small pointed pair of scissors and snip them off at soil level. Thin them so they are about ½” apart. Later you will thin them to approximately 1″ and the thinnings should be big enough to eat.

I can’t wait to get my carrots in their pots.  I think my kids will love planting their own carrots as well, and taking care of the plants until they can eat their own harvest!

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Water Color Bubble Art

What kid doesn’t love to paint?  Not sure there are too many.  Now combine that with blowing bubbles and you’ve got a sure hit!  This activity looks like an absolute blast with the potential for an absolute mess so in my mind it’s best saved as an outdoor activity for this time of year.  This would be a great afternoon or weekend activity to keep the kids engaged and having a ball!

For details please visit Prudent Baby

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DIY Mother’s Day Lily Box

Homemade gifts are the best, especially for Mom!  She’ll so appreciate the time and thought that went into something crafted by you just for her.  This DIY Mother’s Day Lily Box found on Decor and the Dog is so perfect for the occasion.  This could be really neat if made with herbs or other plants and flowers as well.

Supplies Needed

  • Planter Box
  • Paint Markers
  • Flowers, Herbs or Plants (whatever suits your or your mother’s fancy)

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Rainbow Bubble Snake

This is one of those activities to do with the kids that I love so much.  Not only is the end product really cool, but the kids can make it themselves, so they get to be creative, they can work their fine motor skills, and they have a finished product that they can be proud of and use!  I found this one on HousingAForest.com.  Here are the instructions they give:

Start by cutting the bottom of the water bottle off.  Next slide the sock over the bottom of the bottle.  They used colorful duct tape to secure our sock, but you could use a rubber band as well.

Pour some dish soap into a shallow container with a little bit of water and gently mix.  Dip the sock covered bubble blower into the solution and gently blow.

They decided to add some color to the bubble snakes with food coloring.  The kids dropped the food coloring onto the sock covered end.

HousingAForest.com also reminds us to make sure the kids blow out, and don’t suck in.

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