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Batter Up March 31, 2012

Well, it’s that time of year. Yup, the time where my boys actually get an idea on just how unathletic I really and truly am. I cannot pitch, throw, catch, run, jump . . . you name it, I am physically unable to do it. They get a few laughs at dear old mom. So, I came up with this idea years ago when my oldest was quite young.

You will need:

  • Detergent/fabric softener bottle (one with a handle works best)
  • Rope
  • Duct tape
  • Rocks or water (for weight)
  1. Fill bottle with a small amount of rocks or water (you’ll have to figure out how much weight you want by trial and error). Place cap on.
  2. Tie rope around the handle of bottle.
  3. Throw free end of rope up and over a swing set, tree limb, rafters in your garage or barn – allowing the end with the bottle to hang freely.
  4. Have child stand next to the bottle to see exactly where you want it to hang. I usually have the bottle line up with their belly button. Tie free end of rope off (so it won’t slip up and down).
  5. At this time, you can really get an idea on how much weight you need in the bottle (water and rocks). Have the youngster take a few practice swings, you may need to add or take out weight. When you get the proper amount of weight into the bottle, secure cap (this is where the duct tape may come in handy).
  6. Make sure all siblings, pets and parents are out of the way and let ‘em hit the stink out of the bottle.

This is great for hand-eye coordination and offers a fantastic opportunity to talk with the kids about recycling/repurposing.

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Search And Find Bottle

I belong to the the Allegan County Great Start Collaborative, it’s a non-profit organization in our county that promotes the benefits of pre-5 education and highlights the programs and services that are offered to our communities (here’s the website: www.allegangreatstartcollaborative.org). We were holding a garage sale fundraiser. My boys wanted to come up with something they could sell at the fundraiser to help benefit the organization, so they made these. It was their idea to add the ACGSC sticker to the bottles. Great job guys!

You will need:

  • Clean and fully dried water/pop bottles (Yes, we have ‘pop’ in Michigan)
  • Uncooked rice
  • E-6000 adhesive (The best glue in the world – I used it to glue a plastic plume onto a plastic Roman helmet 6 years ago and the plume is still holding strong)
  • Funnel or paper to roll into a funnel
  • String, ribbon, rubber band
  • Scissors
  • Hold punch
  • Colored paper (To print/hand write your list of ‘searchables’)

Here’s a list of ‘searchables’ to choose from: paper clip, pom pom, marble, foam heart, foam triangle, foam square, foam circle, small craft stick, rubber band, pearl, wiggly eye, crayon, penny, nickel, dime, button, shell, safety pin, match stick (Depending on the age group a match stick may not be appropriate, but it could offer a great opportunity to talk about fire safety.) . . . basically grab anything from around the house that will fit through the mouth of the bottle. The items we choose highlighted areas we wanted to work on with our younger child, ie: recognizing shapes and money.

  1. Clean and fully dry the inside and outside of bottle (it must be fully dried, you don’t want the rice to get wet and yucky). Remove any labels.
  2. Place ‘searchables’ in the bottle.
  3. With a funnel, fill bottle 3/4 full of rice. (Make sure you don’t fill the bottle all the way full with rice, you need that extra room for the ‘searchables’ to move around.)
  4. Turn bottle on side to mix everything up.
  5. When you are satisfied with the movement of the rice and ‘searchables’, secure the bottle top closed by spreading the E-6000 adhesive onto the treads of the bottle opening, carefully twist on cap, let set (according to product instructions) to dry.
  6. On the computer (or write by hand), print out the list of ‘searchables’ on brightly colored paper. Make a line in front of the item so the child can check off the item when they have found it.
  7. Punch hole in the upper corner of the list. Run the ribbon/rubber band/string through the hole and attach the list to the bottle.

And there you go – your very own, personalized, seach and find bottle creation.

This is a sample of our list:
Can you find a:
_ paper clip,
_ pom pom,
_ marble,
_ heart,
_ triangle,
_ square,
_ circle,
_ small craft stick,
_ rubber band,
_ pearl,
_ wiggly eye,
_ crayon,
_ penny,
_ nickel,
_ dime,
_ button,
_ shell

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An April Fool’s Spill March 18, 2012

This is an easy April Fool’s prank to craft up.
You will need:

  • Cups
  • White Glue
  • Acrylic paint
  • Wax paper
  • Wooden Craft Sticks
  • Paper Plate (optional – this may come in handy if you need to move your craft)
  1. Pour white glue into the bottom of the cup (not too much, just enough to fill the cup about 1 inch full).
  2. Add in the acrylic paint and stir with wooden craft stick. You may need to add more acrylic paint depending on how light or dark you want your spill to be.
  3. Lay out a sheet of wax paper. When paint is thoroughly mixed into the glue mixture, pour spill onto wax paper, be sure not to pour the spill too close to the edge of the wax paper -you’ll need enough room for the spill to flow out onto the wax paper. Lay cup flat onto the wax paper, making sure the glue mix and the cup make a connection. You want the cup and glue to be connected so it looks real.

Tip: If the spill is not pouring out well you may need to try one of two techniques. Tip the cup up on an angle to allow the glue mixture to flow out easier. Coax glue out with wooden craft stick. Or, if your mixture appears too thick, add a very tiny bit of water, mix to check consistency. Acrylic paint may need to be added to brighten color.

The bad thing about this project is it takes about 1-2 weeks to fully dry. So be sure to not use a huge amount of glue and allow plenty of time to dry so it’s ready for April Fool’s Day. Happy pranking!

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