Thursday, February 14, 2013

A very LOVEly Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day! Yesterday Mr Bee and I celebrated Valentine's Day without kids, so today I was able to focus entirely on having fun with the kids while Mr. Bee worked (poor man).

Our day has been filled with a variety of activities and fun-filled adventures. And let us not forget candy! There has been plenty of candy.

The other day we made our Love Goggles in preparation for today. Toddler Bee didn't know what they were for, but he loves binoculars and any reason to make some. They're very easy to make: all you need are toilet paper rolls, paints, and decorations (we used tissue paper, craft paper, and glitter).

This morning, we used a red paper plate to make Valentine's hats. You could decorate these if you wanted, but ours were already red so that seemed perfect.

Now, you're ready for a scavenger hunt!

I cut hearts out of craft foam and taped Hershey's kisses to them. Then, when the kids were playing upstairs, I hid them along with loose kisses around the downstairs. Scavenger hunts are always wildly popular with the Bee Children and today was not an exception. Toddler Bee was running around finding candies and whooping in excitement. Baby Bee hid and ate kisses while everyone else was busy with the hunt. She's a sneaky one, that baby.

The last thing Toddler Bee found was a decorated shoe box filled with treats. I had plans for this, too, but time started to run a little low...Maybe it will make another appearance at a later date.

So much candy!

We played a few rounds of BINGO and used more Kisses for markers instead of Bingo dabbers. I made the sheet myself and chose to do shapes and colours instead of images. It was fun (Toddler Bee kept shouting BINGO!!) but it's also a good way to buff up on colours/shapes.

And, the foam hearts I used for the scavenger hunt, were recycled and used in a game of Fishing for Love! All you need to do is remove the Kisses from the hearts and add some metal paper clips. Then, I tied some string onto a wooden spoon and attached round magnets to the opposite end of the string. You can find adhesive backed magnets in craft or dollar stores.

Lunch was another LOVEly affair. I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make egg in a basket...but it sort of lost it's shape as it cooked. But, he also had a heart-shaped sandwich, and a cute little hot dog/cheese love struck heart.

After lunch, we made our "All the Things I Love" craft. It's similar to the Grinch graft we made over Christmas, only shaped like a heart and listing only things he loves. As always when I do an activity like this, it's fun to see the types of answers he comes up with. Apparently, he loves money...and orange motorcycles.

Then, we used some more craft foam to make a photo frame! Just make sure when you cut out the centre space you make it smaller than your photo so the picture doesn't fall through the opening!

And finally, after much begging I let Toddler Bee have some candies...but not before he sorted them by colour! Another great learning opportunity!

All of that brought us up to now and the kids are taking a break from all the excitement to watch a movie. It has been a wonderful day. Valentine's Day where people focus all on love and we were no exception to that. I am thankful to have a wonderful husband and kids. And I am very happy that I am able to have these fun days with my kids and help them create so many happy memories. The smiles on their faces makes it worth all the hot glue burned fingers, paint on furniture, and endless amounts of craft supplies that never seem to be contained to one place.

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope your day was filled with love and lots and lots of chocolate.

Beautiful flowers from the loves of my life!

My husband...a romantic with a sense of humour. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Our EGGperiment!

I'm sure you have seen this science experiment pinned before on Pinterest. I know I have at least a dozen friends who have posted the same thing. It's called the Naked Egg Experiment or a Rubber Egg and I've been wanting to try it out for some time now.

Toddler Bee is still a bit too little to get the scientific part of the experiment, but we gave it a try anyway because I wanted to see what would happen.

So, we gathered our supplies and looked at a variety of different links with instructions on how to make a Naked Egg. Everything I was ready said it would take a few days for this trick to work it's magic. So, we put our patience pants on and got to work.

What You Need:

A raw chicken egg
A bowl/jar/container/
White vinegar

And that is it! We used a plastic tupperware container and after the first hour I noticed it had left a ring on the china hutch where I had placed it. Doh! So, a glass jar may be best for this.

Then we made our initial observations. Which were, obviously, an egg in a bowl of vinegar. But almost right away bubbles started to form along the shell.

Bubbles forming along the surface of the egg.

Every so often I would walk by and turn the egg around in the vinegar. I don't think this step is at all important; mostly I was just seeing how much progress our little egg (let us call him Eggbert) was making. 

A few sources said that after the first 24 hours you should dump out the old vinegar and replace it. Others said you should keep the egg/vinegar in the fridge. We did neither. We used the same vinegar for the entire experiment and kept it out at room temperature.

After the first hour there was a white foam beginning to form on the surface of the vinegar.

An hour into the eggperiment.

Then, imagine my surprise when we woke up this morning (not even 24 hours since we started our egg-periment) and gave Eggbert a check to find his shell was gone! 

Well, not actually gone but when you touched the egg it was soft and squishy and when I rubbed at the shell it started to come off.

The egg this morning. 

I left it for another hour or so and then set to work gently and very carefully rubbing the remainder of the shell off. 

The egg after I rubbed the remaining shell off.

And we had our naked egg! I kept it in a bowl of plain water for a few hours and then took it out.

It is so cool! It's rubbery and soft but strong enough that we were able to drop it a few inches above the table and watch it bounce. Keeping it in the bowl of water also helped it to get a bit bigger. I've read that if you keep it in a bowl of syrup it will shrivel up, but we haven't tried that.

My husband thinks it's sort of weird but I am absolutely enthralled! And Toddler Bee is just itching to throw the darn thing or make it burst.

Our Naked Egg compared to a normal egg!

A Naked Egg: SUCCESS!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentine Decortions

I love any excuse to decorate my home, especially since having kids. So, when February rolled around I was ready to bust out some Valentine's Day decorations! Some of our decorations come from stores, but most of them are homemade because:

1. It's cheaper
2. The kids can get involved
3. I can make sure I'm getting exactly what I want

Some of these were crafts I made myself and some were made with my children.

I started off with some Valentine's Day Subway Art. This is a pretty popular trend and something I had never seen until Pinterest (oh Pinterest, you have brought so much to my life!) But, Subway art is an easy way to decorate for the seasons and add a little something to an otherwise boring wall.

I made this on and it only took about 10 minutes. Simple!

Download here

Hanging above my subway art I have a little LOVE garland that I come up with on a whim. The area between the subway art and where I have a clock seemed so blah. And, I have a 3M hook on the wall (you can see the top of it in the picture) that I wanted to try to cover up.

So, I took some pretty coloured scrapbook paper and cut out pendants. Then, I cut hearts out of computer paper and wrote the letters on in thick black marker. It's all attached together with red wire. Again, easy!

Hanging between two large wall photos I have another heart garland. Again, I found scrapbook paper in colours I liked and cut out hearts of various sizes. Then, I used a push-pin to poke holes on either side of the hearts and strung them onto a piece of craft wire.

The next two crafts were ones Toddler Bee helped with.

The first is a craft we've been doing since Toddler Bee was old enough to assist in craft time. I used to make melted crayon art when I was a kid and it's always a pretty/easy/fun addition to our home.

We made hearts for Valentine's Day and started out with crayons in pinks/reds.

If you have a pencil sharpener you can use that to shave the crayons into a bowl. We, oddly, don't have a pencil sharpener. But we do have a zest grater! I carefully let Toddler Bee grate our crayons into the bowl until we had a collection of crayon shards.

It always seems like such a little amount but it really goes far.

We spread our crayon shavings onto a sheet of wax paper then layered another sheet of wax paper on top of that. You'll want to place an old blanket or towel under the wax paper or the wax will leak out onto your surface.

You also want to thinly spread the shavings onto the paper. If you do too many the shapes will be heavy and the colours will blend together too much.

Then, just cut out your hearts and string them up! That small bowl of crayon shavings gave us all of these hearts!

Finally, we made a Valentine's Lantern.

For this, you need some white glue mixed with water, a glass jar (label removed) and tissue paper in white, red, pink, and purple. Oh, and a tray for catching all the drips!

I cut the white tissue paper into squares and the coloured papers into hearts.

Dip your white tissue paper into the glue and form a layer on the glass jar. I was working with a toddler here so there were a fwe instances where he pressed too hard or added too much glue/water and the paper tore. It's not a big deal of that happens! You can smooth it out with your finger or add another layer.

After the layer of white paper we repeated with the coloured hearts. We didn't wait for the white layer to dry before doing this so, again, be careful of rips and tears.

You can keep going until the entire thing is covered and no white is showing but Toddler Bee stopped at this point. Let it dry and then add a tealight to it and ta-da! You can tie ribbon around the rim, too!

Valentine's Day Love Lab

It's been almost a month since I last posted here! Funny how time seems to fly so quickly. We are well into February now and Valentine's Day is just around the corner. So, The Bee Household has been getting into the spirit!

Last week a cold crept it's way into our home and has taken up residence. Everyone is sick and it's been making us not want to do much of anything. But, even when sick, the kids have a ton of energy and don't want to be sitting still.

So, this morning I woke up with a plan of action. It was rainy and cold out (not ideal weather for poorly kids) so we created...

Our Love Lab consisted of 5 experiments and took up the better part of the afternoon. Science experiments are always a hit with Toddler Bee because it usually involves making a mess. And I have learned over time not to stress over messes because they can always be cleaned up, but there are only so many opportunities to really have fun with your children before they grow up and move into the "real world".

Our first experiment was to make Love Rocks! It's really simple!

What You Need:

Baking soda
Food colouring

In a bowl, mix your baking soda and food colouring with water. It's best to add tiny amount of water at a time until you reach the perfect consistency. You want the "dough" to be wet enough to hold it's shape, but not so wet that you can't mold it. 

Then, form your dough into a ball with your "treasure" in the middle. We used glass rocks. You can let them dry or just use them right away. We used our right away.

We experimented with using a medicine dropped to slowly dissolve them and then dumped one right into a bowl of vinegar. The laughter this caused was contagious and Toddler Bee asked to repeat it again and again. But, instead of forming more balls we went an even easier route with...

Love Potions!

Again, all you need is some:

Baking soda
Food colouring
Sparkles/flower petals/any "potion" additions

In a glass, add some baking soda (a spoon full did it for us)
Then, add you "potion ingredients" to your vinegar and have your child pour it into the glass. 

After that, we moved on to the really messy part of our Love Lab...


We've done this before and it has always been a hit. It's just as much fun for Toddler Bee as it is for me and I get my hands right in there!

All you need is:

Corn starch
Food colouring (we used pink)
Any additives you want: We reused our jewels from activity 1 and added flower petals, spoons, toy cars, and whatever else Toddler Bee could get his hands on.

In a container, add water to cornstarch. You don't want it too runny but you need enough water so that all of the cornstarch is incorporated.

Toddler Bee started out using a spoon to mix and switched to his hands once it became too difficult.

Oobleck is so much fun! It's a's a's addictive! Plus, it's easy to clean up because it washes away with water.

After making a big mess with our Oobleck I decided to just go for it and let the mess continue. So, we moved onto Big Bubbles!

This is another easy to setup experiment that elicits plenty of fun!

All you need is:

A pie plate
A straw (can you believe we didn't have a single straw in our house? We used a medicine dropper without the plunger)
Dish soap or bubble solution (or a combo of both!)
Food colouring (we did purple)

Add your water and food colouring to the pie plate along with some bubble solution. Then, give your child the straw and have them blow into the bubble mixture. Toddler Bee thought this was amazing and kept trying to make bigger and bigger bubbles. He thought it was wonderful that he could stick his hand in the bubbles and they would stick to him. Plus, because we used dish soap, it helped clean the Oobleck off his hands! Two birds, one stone!

Our final experiment for the day was A Secret Message, which we made for Daddy Bee since he was working all day and missed out on our Love Lab.

All that is required of this is: 

A white crayon
Water with food colouring in it
White paper

On your paper, write your message in white crayon. Then, give the message to your intended and have them paint the coloured water onto it. Watch as your message slowly appears like magic!

It was the perfect way to spend the day because it kept the kids from sitting and watching movies all day; but, it didn't require much running around (which is no bueno for sicky kids).

I will also add that we attempted  to colour flowers, but that didn't turn out. I had a bouquet of flowers and thought it would be interesting for Toddler Bee to place cut flowers in a glass of coloured water to see them change colour. When I asked him what he thought would happen he said, "Nothing."

Looks like he was right...