Archive for April, 2010

Play Dough Imagination

We have not done many formal crafts in the last two weeks.  Things have been a bit busy around here with the new little Nancy around.  But, we have been coloring, painting, and today, doing play dough, too!  I had not been doing a lot of play dough with Clara in the last year because she has decided that she loves to eat it.  But, today she seems to have gotten over it.  Clara played with her play dough for about an hour and a half today.  It was bliss for me as I was able to sit there and space out.  I’ve been doing that a lot lately as sleep has been in short supply.  Anyway, first she made snowmen, cookies, doughnuts, ice cream cones, etc. and did not actually eat any of it.  She just pretended.  Then she pulled out a bunch of her Little People and made up all sorts of stories about them using the play dough.  The pictures below are of her people in a play dough car.
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I usually make my own play dough, which is really easy and makes me feel better if it does go in Clara’s mouth, but Clara got some great play dough for Christmas which we haven’t really played much with and so I pulled that out today. Its awesome play dough, pretty much like homemade, but with brighter colors. If any one is interested, it’s called Mary’s Softdough and is made in Eugene!

Anyway, I’m thinking that we’re almost ready to make some cool play dough landscapes for her people or dinosaurs to live in like this animal scape or this mermaid lagoon or flower garden.  But that will have to wait until I’m getting more sleep.

Dyeing brown Easter eggs

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As you know, I have a ton of brown eggs.  My chickens produce about fifteen eggs a week.  We eat about three.  Not really kidding.  So, I had plenty of eggs to hard boil.  Fresh eggs do not hard boil well because they are hard to peel, so I saved a dozen in the fridge for three weeks.  My fingers were crossed that they will work out.  But then about a week ago, I gave away four eggs from this dozen.  No big deal.  I still had eight, which was plenty for our deviled eggs.  Then this morning I went to boil the eggs and this is where the first one I tried to put in the pot ended up.
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So, I added one fresh egg into the pot. It will be fun to figure out which one is the fresh one. I call not peeling that one right now!

Anyway, we dyed the eggs this afternoon with Clara. It was her first time and I was a little freaked out about the possibility of food coloring spread all over the house and all over us. Plus it was sunny for the first time in what feels like weeks, so we took our project outside. I did a little research and learned that those little kits with the pellets that dissolve in water to make dye are totally bull. All you need to dye eggs is vinegar, food coloring, and warm water. I already had all of that in my pantry.

First we made only the primary colors: yellow, red, and blue. Add one tablespoon white vinegar to each cup, then a bit of food coloring (I went with six drops… it was a pretty random number, though), then I added enough hot water to fill the cups halfway and cover an egg.
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We dyed the eggs each of the primary colors, then grabbed some more glasses and did a little color experimenting. Clara was amazed that yellow and blue make green, blue and red make purple, and yellow and red make orange.
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Overall, this was an incredible activity. I have to say that all my worrying was just silly. Not one drop of dye was spilled and Clara LOVED it! It was a science experiment, art activity, and cooking project all in one. And, brown eggs officially make the best dyed eggs ever. They are so dark and beautiful!
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