Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Walnut baby ornament.

I came across this amazing and simple idea for a Christmas tree ornament. It's very cute and makes a great homemade present. I will try to give some tips to help you make your own!
You will need:
Walnut shells
Wooden beads - I have bought a pack on Amazon, they were slightly different sizes, it turned out to be a good thing because you can choose the right size depending on the size on your walnut shells. This is the pack I have used - Wooden beads
Wire - I used a golden wire from Tiger
Glue gun
Glitter glue or glitter and glue
Acrylic paint for the eyes
Stars - I used plastic start for a necklace making kit we had, I'm sure there are lots of options!

I recommend to start by putting glitter on the walnut shells in advance to let it dry. We have glittered our shells after putting the baby inside and some of the glitter went on the felt. You need to find the right beads for the size of the walnut shells that you have. You might have to experiment with the size of the felt for the blanket, but you are looking for a rectangle shape. It's a good idea to try to wrap it about the wooden bead before gluing it. Also, make sure it fits inside the walnut shell! Once you are sure you got the size of the felt right, it's a good time to glue the felt to the bead to make the baby and paint/draw the eyes.
If you want to attach the walnut half to the wire, you need to decide how long you want to make it to hang it on your Christmas tree and double it. Then I put the wire through the star bead and stopped in the middle of the wire and folded it there. I bent it the right size and made a little loop to make it more stable. I have used hot glue gun to put the glue in the shell, put the wire loop and the baby so it all hot glued together. It's ready to go on your Christmas tree!

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Science birthday party.

I love a good challenge and I have found that as a parent I just have to keep learning. Over the last few years I had requests to make a triceratops cake, to prepare Mulan/China themed party, Frozen party (of course!!!), dinosaur party. This year it was the science party! I had lots of fun preparing it and thought I might share some of the experiments that are very easy to prepare. I only have a few snapshots because I was doing the experiments at the same time, but  hope you find some of the ideas useful.
I used this idea for the invitations - Science party invitation. I was too lazy, so ours didn't have "sleeves" and "pockets".

We started off with the walking water experiment. I run it first because it's interesting to keep checking the progress as the time goes by. There are different ways of doing it, but you need a few clear cups, blue, yellow and red food colouring and kitchen towel. If you arrange them in a circle you would need to fill 3 cups with water and different food colour, if you arrange them in the line, you would need an extra cup with red water. Between those cups you need to place empty clear cups. Then you need to fold kitchen towel and connect all the cups. The water would then get absorbed into paper towels and "travel" into the empty cups and mix inside them. Here is an example with just 3 cups - http://www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com/walking-water-science-experiment-kids/

I didn't take any photographs in the beginning but that's what it looked like at the end -

We had another simple experiment about different colours - we filled test tube with liquids with different density. There are many options, I chose 3 we had on hand: blue washing up liquid, water with red food dye and just vegetable oil on top - 3 layers. Then some kids experiments and shook the test tubes and then we checked if the layers separate again. Here is the link to see how to make lots of different layers - http://kindergartenlifestyle.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/liquid-rainbow.html?m=1
We made a volcano from a plastic cup and foil. I filled the cup with 3 spoons of soda, 1 spoon of washing up liquid, 1 spoon of water. We then added vinegar and watched the foam overflow. Then, another experiment based on soda and vinegar reaction. You only need empty bottles, balloons, soda and vinegar. We put some vinegar in the empty bottles, and a couple of spoons of soda in the balloons. We carefully pulled the balloons on the bottles and tipped the soda inside bottles and watched the balloons blow up. Here is a very good explanation - https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/442197257137818648/
Another very simple and effective activity was building molecules. You would need either soft round sweets or we used marshmallow to connect either tooth sticks or some spaghetti. I have found a very good templates with some examples of simple molecule structures -  http://www.oneprojectcloser.com/isabellas-6th-birthday-lots-fabulous-scientist-party-ideas/

The last experiment was making a slime, we didn't have much time to do it properly, and there are no images for it at all, but it turned out very well, so I will share with you - it's a slime :) It sounds a bit strange, but it's very stretchy and we enjoyed playing with it after the party was over. I was very happy I found a recipe for UK, because a lot of American recipes had borax and I didn't know where to find it. So, you only need an ALDI non-bio washing up liquid (not sure why this specific one, but apparently it has the right components), you need some PVA glue and you can add food colouring if you want it to be specific colour. I have no idea about the proportions, I just added a bit of each, it will look very unattractive at first, but you need to kneed it and the result should be a very lovely and stretchy slime! We haven't made as much slime as here - lovely slime - but this should give you an idea.
And here is the Pinterest board I put together while preparing for the science party, hope it give you some more ideas!

© Tamara Tovey Photography