Art Fun – Balloon Pop Fun – Again!

We really love the balloon pop art here at the respite house.  I believe the kids must talk about the activities that we do here because this Sensory Sunday we had a request for the balloon pop art from someone who hasn’t been here for this activity. 

so I Filled the balloons like I always do.  I got covered in paint like I always do.  The interesting bit is that the two people helping to fill the balloons stayed clean.  I must just be a messy person.

Balloon Pop Art

Balloon Pop Art – Splattered kids

At least the kids got messy too!  Here is Izzy and her friend with paint splattered on them. 

Balloon Pop Art

Balloon Pop Art

Balloon Pop Art

Balloon Pop Art

The wet one (bottom pic) was so much more vibrant and beautiful.  Once it dried it lost some of the wow to me.  we left the balloon pieces on the board this time and I feel it added an interesting touch to the finish project.

Art Fun – Water Color Resist with Crayons

Today’s art project with the kids was water color resist with crayons.  I remember doing these when I was younger.  It’s also something that I enjoy every Easter using a white crayon on the eggs before dying them.  I pulled out a tote pull of crayons and gave the kids some ideas

  • night sky or fireworks
  • underwater scene with fish
  • clouds 

 

Water color resist with crayons

Water color resist with crayons

First gather your materials:

  • Paper
  • Water color paints
  • Crayons
  • Paint Brushes

Step by Step

  • Draw a picture on the paper with crayons
  • Use the water color to paint over the entire paper.

Water color resist with crayons

Water color resist with crayons

Water color resist with crayons

Water color resist with crayons

 

We learned through trial and error that wider paintbrushes work best for this activity

Water color resist with crayons

Water color resist with crayons

Water color resist with crayons

Water color resist with crayons

Water color resist with crayons

Water color resist with crayons

 

 

While the kids were working on their paintings I wrote a special message to each of them using a white crayon and then let them paint over the paper to read what I wrote about them.

 

Art Fun – Concrete Canvas

Frisbee Art

Frisbee Art

Painting on the basketball court concrete is a favorite activity of many of our guests.  There is something quite enjoyable about adding color to a typically grey slab of rock.  The fact that it’ll fade then disappear doesn’t seem to matter.  We pull out our tempera paints, plastic plates for palettes and various brushes.  I usually fill up a bucket or two with water for easy clean up.  The kids usually start off with brushes but then soon into the activity hands and feet are covered with paint as well.   

Some of my girls decided to start throwing the plates like Frisbees and learned that the paint makes pretty patterns.

Swirled Paint

Swirled Paint

Splatter Paint

Splatter Paint

Splatter painting tends to be a popular choice on the concrete.

Splatter Art

Splatter Art

American Flag

American Flag

Painted Window

Painted Window

Frugal Living – Homemade Laundry Soap

Mom's Super Laundry Sauce

Mom’s Super Laundry Sauce

I just got done making a double batch of laundry soap.  I’m always so excited about my savings and about how well the recipe I use works but I really HATE the actual process of making the soap.  I make a very concentrated formula so the smells completely overwhelms me while I’m making it.  I also hate standing over the stove stirring the soap.  But on the positive side, I know exactly what is in the laundry soap, it has minimal fragrance, it works really good and it’s super duper cheap!

I’ve tried lots of recipes over the years as I’m allergic to most commercial laundry soaps.  I find a recipe that I love and then sure enough a short while later the clothes start smelling terrible.  If you google search this you will find this to be the case for many do it yourselfers.  Some of them really leave the clothes not clean – funky smell.  What I’ve noticed is that when too much of the soap is used it doesn’t wash out properly.  Also not all of the homemade soaps dissolve properly in the washer.  It’s important to use a homemade soap recipe that dissolves easily in water.

I have finally found a recipe that I love!  Mom’s Super Laundry Sauce at budget101.com.

The ingredients are simple:

  1. 1 bar Fels Naptha
  2. 1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
  3. 1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
  4. 4 cups hot water

I bought the first 3 ingredients at Walmart.  They were all located in the laundry section.  Prices were quite affordable

  1. 1 bar of Fels Naptha is $.97
  2. 1 box of 20 Mule Team Borax is $3.97 (76 oz = 10 cups)
  3. 1 box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda is $3.24 (55 oz = 5.5 cups)
Super Washing Soda, Fels Naptha, 20 Mule Team Borax, and Purex Crystals

Super Washing Soda, Fels Naptha, 20 Mule Team Borax, and Purex Crystals

Budget101.com has a great walkthrough on how to make this laundry soap so definitely go check out their site to make this great soap.  I’ve been using this recipe for a year now and I love it.  I wash about 15 loads of laundry a week so have gone through a lot of this.

TIP 1:  What I’ve learned to make this process easier is to have your supplies ready.  Nothing sucks more than stirring the soap and it being ready and then realizing you haven’t mixed the washing soda and borax together. 

TIP 2:  This tip will save you a bunch of time but it’ll make your house stink!  The Felps Naptha can be dried out in the microwave which makes it crumble.  What I learned is that you should cut it into small blocks and space these out on a paper plate.  Microwave for 1 minutes 45 seconds.  Let cool down before touching because it’s very hot.  Izzy stated it looked like rice crispy treats.  As long as you’ve spaced the soap chunks out the microwaved soap will crumble quite nicely.

TIP 3:  After melting, mixing and stirring the soap is poured into two mason jars.  I learned that when you turn the soap over to separate that if you’ve done it correctly it’ll start to separate right away.  If it’s not separating then dump it all back in the cook pot and heat it some more. It really makes a difference to have it separate properly.

We have an ice cream scoop that holds about a tablespoon of the soap.  I also use Purex Crystals Lavender Blossoms because I love the scent.  When we have a smelly load we add a scoop of Sun Oxygen Cleaner.

 

Art Fun – Balloon Pop Art

Balloon Pop Paint Art

Balloon Pop art is a colorful, fun activity sure to become a family favorite

Creating balloon pop art

Creating balloon pop art. Our first balloon pop painting

My all-time favorite art project is one that surprises my family.  I really don’t like to get messy or at least I didn’t like this while my OCD was in charge.  I have found through the course of getting happier that I really love art, splatters of color and the process of creating things.  The art project that has captured my attention is the balloon pop art.  I love this activity so much that I’ve done it several times now with the kids even though it’s super messy and can be time consuming.

 

Gather up your supplies – you will need squeeze bottles of washable paint or a syringe for the paint.  Something for the water – I use the ketchup/ mustard squeeze bottles.  A bunch of balloons – any size.  Something for a canvas.  Something to pop balloons.

You start by squeezing some tempera paint in a balloon (about 1 tablespoon).  Add some water (about 1 teaspoon) and then blow up the balloon.  It is impossible to stay clean during this process so I tend to have a few washcloths on hand for when the paint gets on my face/ or lips, which it always does.  You should make at least 4 balloons per person participating.  The more though the better.

Paint filled balloons

Paint filled balloons ready to be popped

Paint filled balloons

Paint filled balloons ready to be popped

Paint filled balloons

Paint filled balloons

I place all the finished balloons in our blue kiddie pool to keep them corralled so they don’t pop prematurely.  It always makes it easier to move the balloons to the pop zone.  The pop zone is any area that you don’t mind covered in paint splatters.  Find something you want paint splattered on and secure it to the ground with masking tape.  We’ve used foam poster board (works great!), giant newsprint, large sketch pad paper and then decide how the balloons will be popped.  We always use the long bamboo kabob skewers.   

Balloon pop art

Paint filled balloons ready to be popped

I have found it important to lay down some ground rules for this activity.  As I have done this activity with different groups of guests certain actions have came about such as trying to pop the paint balloons on other people and then a mad rush pop session that ends up a crazy chaotic mess.  So yes – lay down some ground rules.  Mine are

  1. Don’t pop the balloons on each other.
  2. Take turns popping balloons.
  3. Only one balloon per person at a time. 
  4. Try to get the paint on the canvas
  5. Don’t whine when you get paint on yourself

I tell the kids if they don’t wish to follow the rules they can stand back with Steven and just watch.

Balloon pop art

Getting ready to pop the first paint filled balloons

Balloon painting

Balloon painting

This is a very messy project.  I’ve gotten paint in my hair, in my ears, nose and glasses.  Definitely paint on my clothes and all over our backyard.  I typically have the kids take their shoes off and wear clothes that they wouldn’t be terribly upset if the paint doesn’t come out.  I only buy washable paints but it doesn’t always wash out.

Balloon Pop Art

Mama Bear with a very messy, very pink face

 

Painted face

Izzy with pink paint from a balloon popped too close

painted face

Izzy decided to add some blue to her painted face

If you can get past the mess, this activity produces lots of laughter, huge smiles, great memories and happy people.  Plus you get a super awesome, one of a kind piece of art.

 

Creating balloon pop art

Creating balloon pop art

Creating balloon pop art

Creating balloon pop art

Creating balloon pop art

Creating balloon pop art

Creating balloon pop art.  Our second and third painting

Creating balloon pop art. Our second and third painting

Creating balloon pop art

Creating balloon pop art

Creating balloon pop art

Creating balloon pop art

Balloon painting

Balloon painting

Balloon painting

Balloon painting

Balloon painting

Balloon painting

Cooking Fun – Personal Mini Quiche!

Yesterday’s cooking fun project was making personal quiche for the whole group!  I absolutely love quiche but my idea of a good quiche is not what my guests would like.  I solved that problem by making mini quiche!

I started by pulling into the kitchen three helpers.  Izzy grumpily asked why and I informed her it was a life skills lesson.  She stated that she already knew how to cook.  I laughed and stated that it takes more than a know-how of garlic bread and bean soup (with assistance) to feed yourself for life.  Plus, I informed her that I LOVED spending time with her so she had to be my helper.  The helpers responsibilities were to spray down the cupcake pan, to open two containers of refrigerator biscuits and then flatten them down into the pan.

I started cooking the sausage, my favorite – Jimmy Dean Sage pork sausage and then Jennie-O lean hot turkey sausage.  Steven started preparing the egg custard mixture.

I then asked the helpers to raid the refrigerator for any items they felt would be good in eggs and wound up with the following items on the counter – spinach, Mexican shredded cheese, sliced American cheese, diced turkey, diced ham, pepperoni slices.  I sent Steven outside for a garden fresh zucchini and I sliced up a onion to caramelize.   I diced up the zucchini and steamed it in the microwave and then we displayed all of the available toppings.

Each guest and family member lined up and prepared their mini quiche then I poured the egg mixture over them.

 

Mini Personal Quiche

Mini Personal Quiche

Mine of course was the best – caramelized onions, spinach and some American cheese.  Izzy loved hers – ham with cheese, turkey with cheese.  I was worried before baking that there were too many toppings that that it wouldn’t taste quiche like.  I have to tell you – there was not a single drop left on anyone’s plate.  Izzy – my wonderful, but incredibly picky eater has stated several times that we need to make quiche more often.  My guests stated disappointment that there were no leftovers and I’m craving spinach and onion quiche.

Onion, spinach and cheese mini quiche

Onion, spinach and cheese mini quiche

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tubes of refrigerated biscuits – 10 biscuits each
  • 10 eggs
  • 2 cups of millk
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Ms. Dash Garlic and Herb
  • Optional:  bacon, sausage, ham, turkey, cheese, zucchini, spinach, onions, black olives

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).  Spray 12 muffin tins and a glass casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. Flatten biscuits.  Place biscuits in bottom of muffin tins and remainder in the glass casserole dish.
  3. Prep the fillings appropriately – cook meats as directed.  Steam veggies in the microwave with 1 tablespoon water.  Caramelize onions in 1 tablespoon butter on stove top.  Never use raw meat.
  4. Have each diner place their toppings into their designated muffin tin.  Place toppings of your choice in glass casserole dish.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine milk, eggs, and seasonings.  Pour into each muffin tin until full.  Pour remaining mixture into the casserole dish.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a fork inserted into the center of the quiche come out clean.

 

personal mini quiche

Personal mini quiche – fillings

 

personal mini quiche

Personal mini quiche ready to be baked

Baked mini quiche

Baked mini quiche.

cheese mini quiche

Cheese quiche – toasty brown side down

Sausage, pepperoni, onion and cheese mini quiche

Sausage, pepperoni, onion and cheese mini quiche

 

Enjoy and if you like what you find here please share with your friends!

 

Science Fun – Lazy Elephant’s Toothpaste

Today’s science fun project was making elephant toothpaste. I wanted to try this experiment but didn’t have everything on hand. I didn’t want to make a special trip to the store just for 6% Hydrogen Peroxide so we made do with 3%.

I started with a 2 liter bottle from our recycling. As I’ve read that it’s very messy I grabbed our red sensory tub. I pulled together my kiddos and the ingredients and took them out to the back yard.

Elephant tooth paste

Elephant tooth paste set up

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Hotel for Kids or Respite Parenting

My name is Heather and my life completely changed June 7, 2013.  It wasn’t your typical major life change of marriage or a birth of a child but it changed everything I knew about life just the same.  My husband and 8-year-old daughter embarked on a journey that has been a blessing, a curse and all that in between.  We became the new Respite family.

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