Saturday, January 25, 2014

Magic Snow, or how to make a giant mess

I really truly cannot figure out how all these pristine mommy-bloggers do it! They craft gorgeous educational activities, photograph them every step of the way, engage their kids in them (neatly, of course!), put up stunning pictures and still seem to have time to do things like cook dinner afterwards! It's amazing.

 That is so not how crafty fun time goes at my house. I had been wanting to try this "magic snow" recipe and activity for ages (since before Christmas) but I always had a feeling it wasn't going to go as smoothly as it looked here, where I found it first (lovely photos of this activity happening indoors are about 1/3 of the way down the page).

I was so right. The kiddo had a great time, don't get me wrong. But neat and pretty this was not. My back porch is still recovering, and I'm pretty sure there's cornstarch in all the crevices of my phone.

We did two "scienspeewments:"  magic snow and oobleck. Of course, I didn't take the proper ingredients picture until after the hurricane of kid fun had ended.
Hopefully your kitchen ingredients don't look like this! 
To make snow, mix together baking soda and shaving cream until it's the consistency you want. It's actually cool stuff...smells like clean soap, feels a bit cool to the touch, and is kinda squishy but moldable. I'm sure there are actual amounts you're supposed to use, but we kept adding more shaving cream about every 5 minutes. Mostly because E would get ahold of the shaving cream and put more in there. He's way too good at reaching things. It did seem to dry out fairly quickly, though, so I think he was on the right track.
 We made a snowman. I used parts of the plants I have growing on the porch for the eyes and nose.
It looks like he's stoned and vomiting.
 Oobleck was next. I was excited about this, because I used to love teaching about this stuff when I worked at a preschool. Simple stuff - just corn starch and water, mixed well. I have no idea about amounts, but you've probably made this before, because I think most everyone has, so you should be ok. Just mix til it does that weird thing where it looks like it's a liquid but when you press on it, it's not.
About 3 seconds after I got this picture, he dumped the bowl on my pants
We had a good time with the Oobleck for a bit, but he kept finding the darn shaving cream and trying to add it to stuff.
All proper back porches should have an unusable desk chair
 Finally, we decided to mix the snow and oobleck together. It turned out just about how you'd expect. Half snowy play-dough, half gooey fake liquid stuff. Totally fun to play with.
Mixing, very messily
 And then, the kiddo realized the hose was right there. So he added water. Then sprayed me.
See, if I hadn't been trying to take pictures, I would've been able to get out of the way of this!
 After that, I realized any semblance of neatness was totally lost, and just let him go for it. And it was adorable! He splashed and giggled and got this stuff all over the place.
A seriously happy kid
 So to all you parents who can do this kind of stuff inside - I commend you. You must be incredibly good at multi-tasking! Or you have 8 arms. Or maybe you're cyborgs who can just take photos by blinking. And have children who actually stop spraying you with a hose when you shout "No no no stop please hey kiddo you're getting water in the house!" Mine just giggles. But then again, I did too.

How can you not smile at that happy mess of a child?
Today, I'm thankful for Pinterest, cause I wouldn't have found this fun project without it. Also for gummy bears, Diana Krall albums, ginger ale, and most definitely our washer and dryer.

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