Tuesday, June 30, 2009

salad spin art in action

spinning fireworks

Always entranced with the magic of spin art, it wasn't until I was a summer camp counselor that I got to actually make some. Back then we used an old record player and it was a blast! I do have a working record player but it's reserved for playing records so I kept the idea of spin art stuck in the back of my head keeping an eye out for a player or a salad spinner at the thrift. A few weeks ago I scored my very own salad spinner for $2 and now we're going to make some fireworks!

You will need:
*a working salad spinner
*white paper, paper plates or coffee filters
*liquid water color or watered down tempera or food color
*splat mat (this gets messy)

scrumdilly-do it:

Make sure your kidlet is in mess friendly clothing. The mess potential on this project is quite high. Most salad spinners have holes or slits along the bottom so it is imperative you acknowledge this and set up in an appropriate place. whatever you do, don't wear white!Take the basket inside your spinner out and trace the bottom/smallest circumference onto your paper. You can also use coffee filters or small paper plates, just find something that fits inside your spinner and you're good to go.Cut out the circle and get ready to spin! I cut out about ten circles. You want to have plenty handy as your kidlet may become entranced with the spinning part of the project.Pop your paper source into the basket and pop the basket back into the spinner.Add a couple of drops of paint (use your favorites, I used red, white & blue for the upcoming holiday), one color per spin, and put the lid back on and spin away. You can get into a nifty science discussion on velocity, speed, centrifugal force, etc. during this part. Spin too hard and too fast, the paper may flip and stick to one side. Spin too slow and your paint may just remain parked where you dropped it. As you are spinning, you can also add paint into the spout on top of the spinner. Depending on your method of application your paint may drip around the edges only or it may splatter to the center. More opportunities for science discussions, it's all good. Just remember if to add one color to start, If you spend too much time adding colors before you spin, the first drops will be absorbed and won't spin or arc out.
When yer done, remove the lid and then the paper and set aside to dry. You can turn these fireworks into all sorts of other project. Hang them from ribbon or string for some festive BBQ decor or fold them into fans to flap away the heat. most of all, have fun!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

marshmallow puffs a la dilly-do!

When I was seventeen years old, my sister taught me how to make those famous marshmallow puffs that most Girl Scouts learn to make. Years later, I wanted to make them again and picked myself up the ingredients. Who knew my young memory was so faulty. I ended up getting the order of the dipping and rolling all mixed up and instead of marshmallow puffs, I ended up with something quite different and even tastier than the original. At least, I think so. So, grab your tots, wash everyone's hands and roll those sleeves up for some sticky-sweet, fun cooking that really, you should only have once in a lifetime because I am quite certain none of this is good for you and you just may push your kidlet into sugar addiction territory. I'm just saying.

What you need:
*large marshmallows, at least 10
*2 tablespoons melted butter
*3 tablespoons granulated sugar
*2 teaspoons cinnamon (optional)
*1 container of pre-cut biscuits
*sprinkles, jimmies, etc.
*muffin pan, greased

scrumdilly-do it!

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Wipe a small bit of butter onto a piece of wax paper and have your wee one grease up the muffin pan. My mom always had me use the wax paper wrapper from the butter itself to do this. Set up your ingredients in an easy to reach formation and sit your tots down. This could get messy.Hand your kidlet a biscuit round from the container. If you are using a super sort of biscuits with layers, you can pull apart one biscuit to make two. The biscuits I used contained 10 so I pulled apart two of them to round 'em out to 12 to fit my muffin pan. Once they have their round of dough in hand, have them squash it flat. Squashing sound effects are optional.Next up, flip that flattened round into the melted butter. I kept my butter on a semi-deep plate so that I could butter up each side of the biscuit without drenching it.Once the round is all gooey with butter, toss it into the sugar mixture and smoosh it into the muffin pan. Instead of sugar, you can also use any happy cake decorating bit of sweetness. I had some sprinkles on hand so once my cinnamon was used up, I tossed the remainder of rounds into the sprinkles.Grab a large marshmallow and center it on your smooshed dough pushing it down just a bit. Repeat until you pan is full. Add more sprinkles if you feel your pan is lacking and pop it into the preheated oven. Bake for 10 minutes and remove.
The marshmallows will have puffed up a bit along with the biscuits. Some may have even slid around and moved in with their neighbor. Use a wide spoon to guide the marshmallow back to it's own home and scoop the whole thing out onto a happy serving plate. You may want to keep them all to yourself once you try them but make sure your kidlet gets at least one on his or her very own plate. Allow to cool for about five minutes before diving in. And remember, I warned ya!

**these are best eaten fresh from the oven. if you find yourself with leftover, keep then in an airtight container and reheat in the microwave (on a plate) for smidge when yer ready, otherwise the marshmallow may pull out teeth!

Friday, June 12, 2009

more fun with cornstarch clay

If you are a regular reader, you will have maybe, just maybe hopped on over to Craftzine to see my recipe for cornstarch clay and maybe, just maybe, you have checked out my most recent for the do post on clay rubbings. Here's a nifty take on continuing the fun, you know, just in case those boredom blues are still going on.

You will need:
*batch of cornstarch clay or other clay suitable for baking
*fun objects from around the house (beware of possible choking hazards)
*watercolor, food color or other thinned paint
*scratch paper or soft white paper. printer paper is fine
*cookie cutters
*cookie sheet
*string, yarn, or other length of lacing

scrumdilly-do it:

This is what you do after you have already finished with the clay and crayon rubbings. Remove the objects from the clay.Mix up a batch of liquid watercolor or add some water to food color and have your wee one paint up their imprinted clay.Place a sheet of paper over the painted clay to lift a print. Wipe down with a damp sponge for another color combo, etc.Once your tot is finished with the painting and printing, pass out the cookie cutters and have him or her cut out some shapes. Preheat your oven to 250F. Use a straw or pipecleaner to make holes near the tops of each shape. Place on a cookie sheet and bake until hard (at least thirty minutes). The paint will have set and the holes will have shrunk up a little but they should still be large enough to string.Make pendants, keychains, bead chains, etc. Make small clay shapes and adhere to plain cuff-links or tie clip for Father's Day gifts. Most of all, have fun and be safe. Children under three should be supervised and only an adult should take care of the baking.