Monday, June 1, 2009

Twenty Fun Concoctions For Children

By Lois Breneman, © 2009, Heart to Heart Newsletter,

Your children would love it if you would turn one, two or three mornings a week into a time for creative juices to flow around your kitchen table! Making your own recipe concoctions will add to the excitement and fun! Once you get the concoction made and give them instructions, in some cases, depending on their ages, you might be able to get dinner planned and thrown together while they are being creative.

Silly Putty
(This is similar to the flesh colored Silly Putty, but why not have fun making this with your children or grandchildren!)
1 1/2 Tbsp. liquid starch
Food coloring
3 Tbsp. white glue
1 plastic Easter egg or resealable bag
Newspaper comics

In a glass bowl combine the glue with a only few drops of your choice of food coloring for a lightly tinted putty. In a second glass bowl, pour liquid starch. Slowly pour the colored glue mixture into the starch. Allow to stand for 6 minutes, or until the liquid starch has been absorbed by the glue. Remove the Nutty Putty from the bowl and knead. The more you knead the putty, the better the consistency becomes. Don't give up. You may have to add more glue and knead some more. If it is sticky add more liquid starch. If it is stringy add more glue. You can add food coloring and store in an airtight container. Children need to wear paint shirts since the putty may stick to clothes and hair. If it does, white vinegar will dissolve and remove it. Store the Nutty Putty in the plastic egg or bag. Children will have hours of fun bouncing their Silly Putty ball, or pressing it over the newspaper comics. It also picks up the print of graphics printed with an ink jet printer, but remember that this concoction is not edible!

Soap Crayons
These are fun for writing on the side of the tub during bath time.
1 1/2 cup pure soap powder (Ivory soap bars cut up and pulverized in a food processor)
Food coloring
1/2 cup water
Small containers or ice cube trays

Mix water and soap powder together. Add enough food coloring to get the color you want. If you'd like more than one color, divide the mixture into two or three small containers before adding the food coloring. Pour the colored soap into small container, such as am empty plastic film canister, an ice cube tray, or you can mold it into crayon shapes. Let harden before

Best Play Dough Ever
Ingredients: 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon oil, food coloring.
For birthday party favors, you can double the recipe. Combine all the ingredients in a blender to assure you that all the lumps will disappear. Cook in a Teflon pan over medium heat, stirring constantly until a ball forms. Remove from heat and knead until smooth. You can use unsweetened Kool-Aid instead of food coloring. The Kool-Aid will color it and make it smell great. Try orange, purple, red, yellow and others. This dough is very pliable and long lasting, with more elasticity than others. Wrap in plastic wrap when not using and it will last a long time. After months of use, if it does dry up a little, add a few drops of water into it and knead.

Bottled Goopy Squeezy Glitter
Ingredients: 1 part flour, 1 part salt, 1 part water, food coloring.
Mix equal parts of flour, salt, and water. Pour into plastic squeeze bottles, such as those used for mustard and ketchup. Add food coloring for variety. Squeeze onto heavy construction paper or cardboard. The salt gives the designs a glistening quality when dry. You may want to remind children to make a design, rather than huge globs of squeezy glitter, since they take so long to dry.

Ingredients: 2 cups salt, 2/3 cup water, 1 cup cornstarch 1/2 cup cold water.
Mix 2 cups salt and 2/3 cup water. Heat for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and quickly add mixture of 1 cup cornstarch and 1/2 cup cold water. Stir quickly. Return to heat briefly if too "goopy".

Macaroni Coloring
Ingredients: Macaroni, food coloring, small Ziplock bags. An easy, fun non-messy method of coloring macaroni. In a small baggie add 2 handfuls of macaroni and food coloring. Seal the baggie and have a child shake the baggie until the macaroni is colored. Lay out on paper towels to dry. String into necklaces and bracelets. Glue onto boxes or heavy paper in the form of letters, flowers or animals.

Peanut Butter Playdough (Edible)
Ingredients: 18 oz. jar peanut butter, 6 Tablespoons honey, non-fat powdered milk (added until right consistency), cocoa for chocolate flavor. Shape into animals, flowers, whatever you want. Decorate with raisins, dried cranberries, slivers of dried apricots, and then eat your creations! Note: Children under one year should never be given honey, because of the risk of botulism.

2 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 cups cold water
1/4 cup dishwashing liquid
food coloring or tempera paint

Mix sugar and cornstarch in a small pan. Slowly stir in water. Cook and stir over low heat until smooth and transparent. Remove from heat and cool. Stir in the dishwashing liquid. Divide into a few containers and color each with the food coloring or paint.

Kool-Aid Finger Paint
2 cups flour
2 packs unsweetened Kool-Aid
1/2 cup salt
3 cups boiling water
3T. oil

Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and have fun painting!

Rainbow Stew (non-messy fingerpaint)
Ingredients: 1/3 cup sugar, 1 cup cornstarch, 4 cups water, Ziplock bags, food coloring. Mix together the sugar, cornstarch, and water. Heat, stirring often until thick. Let cool then divide and put in Ziplock bags. Seal the baggie and have fun mixing!

3 cups water
1 cup dish liquid
1/3 cup corn syrup

Mix together. Keep in a jar and use within a couple of weeks.

Bubbles Inside Bubbles
This is a thick, goopy solution that forms bubbles strong enough to withstand a small puff of air. You can blow bubbles inside bubbles with this mixture, and you don't need a straw. Just make a bubble and blow!

2 1/2-3 parts water
1 part dishwashing liquid
Glycerine (found at most pharmacies)

Combine water, dishwashing liquid, and 1-2 tablespoons of glycerine in a bowl or plastic container.

Puff Paint
Mix together equal parts of flour, sugar and water. Add liquid tempera paint for color. Put these in squeeze bottles and allow the paint to flow freely without pushing or dragging on it. The pictures will dry with a puffy effect.

Daddy-Smelling Puff Paint
1 part shaving cream
1 part white glue
Food coloring
Mix first two ingredients and place into several custard cups. Place a drop or two of food coloring into each cup and mix.

Sparkle Gel

Stir together and paint over any finished art project for a beautiful sparkly finish.
1 large jar of hair gel
1 small container of very fine glitter

Eggshell Sidewalk Chalk
This recipe is for sidewalks only. Do not use this chalk on any other surface.

Supplies Needed:
1 tsp. very hot tap water
food coloring (optional)

1. Wash and dry the eggshells overnight. Put into a bowl and grind into a powder, or do the job in a food processor, tossing out any remaining large pieces.
2. Place enough flour and hot water in another bowl to make a paste. Add 1 tablespoon eggshell powder and mix until a paste forms. Add food coloring if desired.
3. Shape and press mixture firmly into the shape of a chalk stick, and roll up tightly in a strip of paper towel.
4. Allow to dry approximately 3 days until hard. Remove paper towel and you have a piece of sidewalk chalk!

Magic Marker Tie-Dying

This is tie-dying with much less mess than the original method of using dyes, but still lots of fun!

Supplies needed:
Permanent broad tip markers
White cotton T-shirts or socks
Rubber bands or cotton string
Rubbing Alcohol
Spray bottle

Wrap the shirt or socks tightly with the string, or tie them together with rubber bands. Press the magic marker tip to the fabric,
leaving some areas of white. Be sure to get some inside the folds of the fabric. Fill the spray bottle with alcohol and spray
onto the fabric. The alcohol will help blend the colors. Allow fabric to dry completely, then remove the rubber bands or string. Iron to set the colors, using a moist press cloth and allow to dry again. Before wearing, wash fabric using cold water, the gentle cycle and dry in the dryer.

Salt Ceramics
Ingredients: 1 cup salt, 1/2 cup cornstarch, 3/4 cup water, food coloring.
Mix well and heat until mixture thickens. Roll into ball and chill. When cold, roll out mixture about 1/4" or a tiny bit thinner. Cut into cookie cutter shapes. Place on wax paper-lined cookie sheets. Decorate with glitter, beads, sequins, poster paints, nail polish, old jewelry, felt, another color of ceramic dough or any scraps. Be sure to make tiny holes with a large needle for hanging or insert a paper clip while wet. These make wonderful Christmas ornaments that last for years if packed away carefully in a cool, dry place. I have some ornaments that I made that will hang on our tree for the 37th year. My favorites are gingerbread men, hobby horses, Christmas trees, angels, sleighs, bells. A candy cane can be made by twisting two "snakes" together with the colors already mixed into the dough. The colors in mine didn't fade either. I used pastels colors. An ornament is nice to give to friends. Everyone loves an unexpected gift! A box of these hand-made ornaments would make a nice wedding gift, since most newlyweds don't have ornaments when they marry.

Sun Clay
Ingredients: 2 cups salt, 1 cup cornstarch, and water. Mix the salt and 2/3 cup water in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring until the salt is dissolved. Remove from heat. In a separate bowl, slowly add 1/2 cup water to the cornstarch. Stir until smooth, then add to the salt mixture. Return to low heat and cook until smooth, stirring frequently. Store in a sealed plastic bag. Place the clay on a tray or paper plate and have children work outdoors or in a sunny area indoors. Give children a lump of clay to model. Children may decorate their sun sculptures with small stones, leaves etc.. Place the finished items in the sun to dry. Challenge children to predict how long it will take for the sculptures to dry. When this clay hardens in the sun, it won't crumble.

Beautiful Colored Crystal Garden
This beautiful colored crystal garden will produce delicate crystals and will take up to two weeks to complete. Adult supervision is advised.

Supplies needed:
1 pie pan (glass, not metal)
Small pieces of brick, porous stone or charcoal
Distilled water
Non-iodized salt
Glass jar or bowl
Bluing (in laundry department)
Food coloring

Break porous stone, brick or charcoal into about 1 inch pieces. Place into the glass pie plate in an even layer. In a separate jar or glass bowl, carefully mix 1/4 cup water, 1 Tbsp. ammonia, 1/4 cup bluing, and 1/4 cup non-iodized table salt. Make sure the salt dissolves completely, before pouring the mixture into the pie plate over the porous stone, making sure that the pieces of stone, brick or charcoal are not completely covered with the liquid. Sprinkle drops of food coloring randomly over the top of the stone or charcoal and wait for the crystals to grow. Growth starts in as little as two days and can last up to two weeks.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Wow, how fun Jennifer...thanks for all the ideas....
Now for the TIME to do it all....

Glad you're home safe and sound from your trip!