RSS Feed

Category Archives: DIY

How to Make the Best Paper Airplane for Small Spaces, According to My Dad

Posted on

Read the rest of this entry

Certified Organic Babywearing Fabric and Baby Slings: Colimacon & Cie Review and Giveaway!

 

IMG_3599

C’est la meilleur! (It’s the best!)

When I first started making my own Do-It-Yourself baby ring slings and baby wraps, I bought fabric from the local fabric shop. While the fabric was ok to get me started, when I still had an itty bitty baby, it was actually not as cheap as I had intended, and was not very good once my baby started getting heavier.  The thought also crossed my mind several times that the fabric from the fabric shop was ‘made in China‘, so was probably not ethically sourced and could potentially contain chemicals and heavy metals from the processing practices! I wanted to find something of better quality that was still affordable, and this is when (insert angels singing) I found Colimacon & Cie! Read the rest of this entry

Do-It-Yourself Engineering for All Kids (Because Not Every Child Will be Getting Goldieblox for Christmas)

I’m such a nerd.  You can take the science teacher out of the classroom, but you can’t take the science teacher out of the girl.  I couldn’t wait until Goldie (15 months) fell asleep tonight so that Margo (3 1/2 years old) and I could finish making our Rube Goldberg Machine.  We had started it earlier that day, but… have you ever tried making a Rube Goldberg Machine!?  There’s a lot of tip toeing and barely breathing going on.  So, yeah, making it with a toddler around was nearly impossible (although we did have a lot of fun knocking everything over).  Margo waited ever so patiently for her little sister to fall asleep tonight so that we could rig everything up.

The Goldieblox ad went viral last week.  Engineering toys for girls.  It’s a great idea, getting girls involved with engineering using the left side of their brain, I like it.  So, of course, since I’m a DIY sort of gal, I remembered how much fun it is to make a Rube Goldberg Machine, (since that’s what they do in the ad).  Sorry if you want to buy Goldieblox, I think it’s all sold out now (maybe?)… BUT, never fear!  You can have engineering fun in your own home with things you find around the house.

Rube Goldberg Machines are a series of chain reactions, so to say, that are deliberately complicated to result in a very simple action.

What Do They Teach Kids

Rube Goldberg Machines are fun and learning for people of all ages (ahem… look at how excited I got over making one).
For the little ones, it can just be fun to watch, or to tear it all apart, or just to say that ‘this doesn’t work‘ or ‘this does work‘.  It certainly teaches patience, logic, and trial and error.  As the child gets older, you can teach them about potential and kinetic energy.  And, then one day, when they get even older… tada… you’ve got a rocket scientist on your hands, right?! Well, you never know!

How to Make a Rube Goldberg Machine

You can include as many steps as you want to make your Rube Goldberg Machine.  For me, I had to keep it relatively simple for a three year old attention span.  But, even as simple as it was, we spent a good portion of the morning working on it.  The set up shown here actually took me about half an hour total to construct!  And then it took a lot of tries, probably at least 5 to get it right!  It can take a lot of time!  For little ones, even just one or two steps are plenty enough excitement.  My girls were pretty content just to let the bouncy ball roll down the toilet paper roll tubes that I had cut in half to use as ramps.  Here is a great list of instructions on how to make a Rube Goldberg Machine.

So, if you can’t get Goldieblox this year for the holiday season, and you’re looking for something fun for the whole family, you can try this! Give it a go!  It’s really fun!

Find Katesurfs on Facebook

Guerilla Gardening, Container Gardening, Community Gardening: Transforming Spaces

Guerilla Gardening at it's finest.
Guerilla Gardening at it’s finest.

Guerilla Gardening

See the pretty flowers in that ordinary traffic island?  The Gold Coast city council has a few larger plants in there, but they didn’t plant those colourful things there… Nope, it was a local resident Kate M (not to be confused with me, Kate B), and her son.  They bought a tray of dying plants from some gardening centre and brought them back to life, transforming this boring little piece of dirt into a vibrant little ‘guerilla garden’.  My daughter (in the photo) helped plant a few of the plants herself, so she likes to think that it’s her garden too… and, well… it IS for everyone to enjoy!

Read the rest of this entry

How to Make Your Own Toothpaste

Posted on
My toothbrushing regime minus the floss.

My toothbrushing regime, minus the floss.

(Disclaimer-the following article on DIY toothpaste is only recommended if you have first checked with your dentist, some people may have sensitive teeth and if you feel discomfort after using, discontinue use.  Many people may want to only use this DIY toothpaste only for a short term tooth whitener)

I’m such a DIY (Do It Yourself) kind of gal, when I read a post that a friend of mine wrote on her own awesome blog, InformedMama, about making her own toothpaste, I was all over it.  I couldn’t wait for our $10 tube of organic toothpaste to run out.  We’ve now been using our homemade toothpaste for over a week, and I have to say, I LOVE it.  It makes my teeth feel so fresh and so clean and since one of the ingredients is salt, it makes me feel like I just went for a surf or something… all those lovely negative ions!  Oh my! Read the rest of this entry

At Last: A Healthy Vanilla Icing Recipe!

Posted on
No sugar needed!

No sugar needed!  Even the sprinkles were ‘healthy’ from the healthfood store.

You know how it is after you eat a cake or something with icing on it… it tastes so good going down… but sometimes, the icing is so sweet that it makes your teeth hurt, and then if you can’t brush your teeth right away, you’re left with this icky residue that doesn’t go away until you brush?  Also, if you’re making a cake for a kid, you’re probably not too stoked about giving them icing full of sugar… but what to do… you really want some yummy icing?! Read the rest of this entry

DIY Fabric Memory Game Cards

Posted on
Please excuse the un-vacuumed rug

Please excuse the un-vacuumed rug

I wasn’t sure we were going to this 3 year old birthday party, until a few hours before it started.  Being Sunday, it was too early to go the shops to buy a present, and plus, I like making birthday gifts myself.  I did a quick perusal on Pinterest, (as you do), found an idea, ran it past hubby and he came up with these DIY (do it yourself) fabric memory cards.  I had Art helping me, and two kids to take care of (who were unusually crazy that rainy Sunday morning), but the finished product happened about 45 minutes after starting and cost a total of less than a few dollars in materials.  There’s still a massive mess at the kitchen table to clean up, but the production was pretty smooth. Read the rest of this entry

How to Clean an Amber Teething Necklace

Posted on
Squeaky Clean!

Squeaky Clean!

I first bought Margo this amber teething necklace when she was about 6 months old… That was just under 3 years ago.  Once I put it on her, I rarely ever took it off… except for the one night when she was about 15 months or so, and I did take it off.  She was waking up every half an hour that night!  My husband and I were beside ourselves and he asked me if I had done anything different that day… After going through every account of the day, I finally remembered that I had taken her teething necklace off, but I didn’t know where it was at 2 in the morning.  So, Art hunted it down, stuck it back on the baby, and in fifteen minutes she was asleep and stayed asleep for the rest of the night.  Coincidence?  Oh, I don’t know… Read the rest of this entry