RSS Feed

Category Archives: Kids Activities

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

Posted on

Read the rest of this entry

Diverting a Minor Upset: A Celery Science Experiment

photo-5

This poor kid has a science teacher for a mother.

I’ve been trying to get this plant to grow on my balcony for a couple of weeks now.  Today, Margo came over to me with one of the leaves in her hand.  She had picked it off the plant, because she said she, “though it was pretty.” Read the rest of this entry

Yes, Please, Help My Kids, (if they need it)

photo-4

A while back, I read some parenting article that went viral.  This lady was on a rant about how she didn’t want people to help her daughter on the playground.  It was all ‘tough love‘, my girl’s gotta learn that life ain’t easy and that you’ve gotta stand up for yourself, etc.  She went on and on about how life is full of disappointments and upsets and how if you can’t figure out how to be tough on the playground, then where else will you learn your life lessons?  Most people wrote comments like, “You go girl!”  Or, “Oh… your daugther will grow up to be so strong.” etc…  But… not me…. I was rolling my eyes as I read.  I see the situation all so differently. 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

Rainy Day Button Play

20130917-111133.jpg

What is it about buttons that kids (and I) love? Button soup? Button money? I bought this bag of assorted buttons from the craft store ages ago for $5. It’s come in handy on more than one occasion! Just watch out for little ones if they like to swallow things!

Instant Pick-Me-Up: Yoga Stretches You Can Do With Your Kids Milling About

'I like being tired and grumpy with the rooms spinning...' said no mother ever.

I like being tired and grumpy with the room spinning…‘ said no mother ever.

You feel like staring at the wall, or curling up under the covers, or dropping to the floor, or maybe even like running down the street screaming!  But, nope… You’re home with the kids and you’re stuck.  Forced into being attentive, alert, understanding and super-human-ish.  No matter how tired you are, or how much the room is spinning, you are mom (or dad) and you are on duty!   Energy sliding into oblivion… what should you do?   Reach for the coffee?  Turn on the tube?  Check facebook (again)?  No!  You can do something much better! 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

Salt and Watercolor Kids Craft

Posted on
Kept this kid busy for ages!

Kept this kid busy for ages!

Recommended Ages: 2-ish to 48 (well… my husband did one and he thought it was really cool).

Materials

Paper: watercolor paper, card stock, poster board

watercolor paint

white school glue

table salt Read the rest of this entry

Water Color, Water Play, on a Rainy Day

Posted on
I took out the measuring spoons for extra precision :)

I took out the measuring spoons for extra precision 🙂

You know you’ve lived in Australia too long when: you go to spell ‘colour’ like ‘color’ and even though you grew up in America, it feels weird.  Anyway, here’s a quick, easy (and potentially messy) idea for preschool age kids.  I only say preschool age kids, instead of toddlers, because I’m thinking food dye.. stains on carpets.. well, it’s up to you, I don’t mind messes too much 🙂 Read the rest of this entry