Pinewood Derby Treat–Banana Car Splits

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I am currently assigned to work with the Cub Scouts within my Church group. It is a job that at times I really enjoy although somedays make me want to pull my hair out! Just sayin’! But this is only because the boys have so much…{how should I say this?…} unrestrained ENERGY! Don’t get me wrong…I really enjoy each and every boy and their fun personalities, but sometimes when they are all together, it gets a little crazy! Know what I am talking about? Ever been there?
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DIY Make A Lego Table & Paint a Camoflauge Wall

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Today I want to share with you a Lego Table my sister and her husband built for their 3 boys all of whom are HUGE Lego fans. They seriously spend hours playing with and building amazing lego creations. So…they have a lot of Legos.

My sister was tired of the Legos being scattered everywhere and underfoot. Ever step on a stray Lego? Yeah…me too! So you can understand her dilemna.

So my sister and brother-in-law purchased an activity table from Pottery Barn that had a lip (wood strip) around the top of the table.

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But any table could really work for this. Even if it doesn’t have a lip around the top. What is the purpose of the lip you ask? Well, I will explain that here shortly.

After you have your table, you can add a top lip using quarter rail or flat moulding that you can find at your local Hardware store. Cut the strips to fit on all four sides of the table and cut the ends so that they are cut on a 45 degree angle and fit together snugly in the corners. Then glue with wood glue or use small finishing nails to attach the wood strips to the top of the table.
After the glue has dried you will want to putty (or use painter’s caulk if painting) the seams along the edges of the quarter rail. Then either stain or paint them to match your table.

Photobucket Then they had a piece of plexiglass cut so that it fit perfectly on the table and in between the lip of the table. The lip will prevent the plexiglass from slipping around the table top. Very important so your child’s lego creations don’t get knocked to the ground. That usually causes some major trauma…not that I would know :)! Then they took some 12 x 12 lego base plates and glued them right onto the plexiglass. *But before you glue, be sure to place Legos onto the bases where they connect to one another. If you glue them with the plates right next to one another, the legos will not connect to the base around the edges of each separate place correctly. Does that make sense? And that’s it! Pretty amazing huh?!

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My sister also has some storage organizers to help keep some of the important Lego pieces organized so the kids can find them. I can’t imagine how she keeps them so organized…but she inherited a bit of the same OCD that I have. And, if you noticed, they have a wooden bin under the table that holds all the other Lego bricks. And I am sure you couldn’t help but notice the awesome Camoflauge wall. Yep, she painted it that way with the help of her sister-in-law. She got the idea from a pair of her son’s camoflauge pajama pants that she really liked. She simply took the pants into the hardware store and they were able to match three of the colors and mix her up some paint. Then using the pants as their pattern guide, they drew the odd shaped patterns onto the wall using pencil. Then they labeled each paint with a numbers, 1,2 and 3. Each shape was given a number so they would know what paint color to fill it in with. Then using small brushes they outlined each shape in the proper color and then filled them in with larger paint brushes! All paint colors are Ralph Lauren brand. Main background color: English Tan Camo-spot colors: Kauai Jungle, Neutral Brown, Prince, and Artist Brown. Isn’t that so fun? Her boys love their room! Can’t say as I blame them!

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Silly Putty

Sorry it took so long to repost…but I have been super BUSY today finishing several projects (and reading all your comments) that were only half finished! I am so excited to share them with you in the coming days.

I also have some awesome GIVEAWAYS. You won’t want to miss it…I PROMISE!

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We recently made some silly putty for each kid for one of our summer activities. It was a big hit! It was so simple…anyone can make this and have it turn out! I promise!

Here is the recipe:

1. Take a small mixing bowl and add 2 Tablespoons of Warm Water. Then add 2 Tablespoons of White Elmer’s School Glue (other glues might not work as well) and a drop or two of food coloring. Mix together thoroughly.

2. Sprinkle in 1 and 3/4 to 2 Tablespoons of Borax into your glue mixture while stirring constantly. Your mixture will thicken up quickly. When the borax is all added, gather the mixture into a ball and knead together for a few minutes till firm. That’s it!

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Make sure to keep it away from the carpet! Store in a plastic baggie when not is use.

And for those of you opposed to the use of Borax…here is a different recipe for Silly Putty that uses liquid starch instead of Borax. We have tried both and personally I like the Borax recipe best!

Ingredients:
1 cup Elmer’s glue
food coloring, your choice of color (optional: coloring can stain!)
1 cup liquid starch
Pour glue and coloring in plastic container.

Stir until color is thoroughly mixed in.

Add starch a little at a time, stirring with a spoon or kneading with your fingers as mixture thickens.

Keep stirring until mixture holds together like putty.

Test with your fingers: if too sticky, add more starch in small amounts until mass is smooth and rubbery.

★Amy

Make Bouncy Balloon Balls

Been SUPER Busy! May and June have FLOWN by and I have been going from one thing to the next. Luckily the next few weeks should slow down a bit. Things round here should get back to normal and I have some fun projects in the works for you. I thought you might want to see a few pictures of what we were up to the last few weeks.

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Can you relate?? But the good news is…I do have a little summer activity for you to do with your kids! Make some super balls…

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My boys and I found a fun and super simple way to make a bouncy balloon ball. Do you remember this ball from last summer? Well, it was fun to make but was not very bouncy like the super balls I grew up with. But…this new ball is a lot more like the super ball from the 80′s.

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All you need are a package of round water balloons. We used the 9 inch size. First we took one balloon and filled it with a small amount of water, just enough to make it expand a tiny bit. Then we tied it off and cut off the excess end of the balloon.

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Then take the rest of your balloons and cut off the long end that you tie off so you basically just have the round balloon. Cut off less first as you can always cut more off it you need to!

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Then put the water balloon into the one of the cut balloons. Always place the open end of the balloon so that it is completely covered by the rubber balloon. Continue with balloon after balloon until you have a nice sized ball. This should give you a nice and thick balloon that is really durable! Then bounce away to your heart’s content.

My boys loved this little project and have found made up some games to play with their new bouncy balls.

**Be extra careful with the cut up balloon pieces as they are choking hazards. Be sure to keep them away from small children!
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Marshmallow and Toothpick Buildings

**Be sure to enter the Giveaway for a fabric key chain here!

Need to keep the troops busy a bit longer before school starts? Have them design their own three dimensional buildings and designs using only mini marshmallow and toothpicks. My boys were entertained for over two hours seeing how many different designs they could come up with. I was amazed at their building skills and their creativity. Here are just a couple of the structures they came up with.

The best part is that they are developing their spatial awareness without even realizing it! You might discover you have some future architects.

Make Glow-in-the-Dark Slime

Learn how to Make Glow-in-the-Dark Slime like we made the other day. My kids ranked this as one of their favorite of our summer projects so far. Even I was enjoying playing with it. It just feels so cool.

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We added a few drops of glow in the dark craft paint to get the glow-in-the-dark effect. The more borax solution you add, the stiffer your slime will become. If you want runny slime go easy on the borax solution. We wanted our a little stiffer so we added a bit more Borax solution. Ours turned out really nice.

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You can roll it into a perfectly round sphere, that slowly flattens when left alone. It really does glow. But I was not smart enough to figure out how to take a picture of it. The version I made is “mom-friendly”. It will not stick in carpet because it is fairly solid. I cannot make any guarantees though if you choose to go with the runnier slime version.

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**Thank you for all of your fun and kind comments as of late. You can just keep those coming :)! And just to set the record straight…I am a normal mom like the rest of you. I just choose to show you the best in our home. My kids would get a kick out of those “cool mom” comments. They would have no clue who you were talking about! Just so you know, I have those “bad mom days” like every one else. Days where I just might make and eat an entire rainbow cake for myself :)!
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Make a Bouncy Ball

My boys loved making these “bouncy” balls. They are not super bouncy like the plastic super balls that became popular when I was a kid, but they are pretty bouncy and fun to play with. We discovered that on the carpet, they have a lot more bounce then they do on the kitchen floor. I ended up with this recipe when I was teaching science and can not remember where I got it.

To make these, you will need:

Borax (found in laundry section)
warm water
corn starch
glue (clear glue makes a see transparent ball and white glue makes an opaque ball)
2 small mixing cups
a stirring stick (plastic spoon)
food coloring (optional)

Label one cup ‘Borax Solution’ and the other cup ‘Ball Mixture’.

Pour 2 tablespoons warm water and 1/2 teaspoon borax powder into the cup labeled ‘Borax Solution’. Stir the mixture to dissolve the borax. Add food coloring, if desired.

Pour 1 tablespoon of glue into the cup labeled ‘Ball Mixture’. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the borax solution you just made and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Do not stir.

Allow the ingredients to interact on their own for 10-15 seconds and then stir them together to fully mix. Once the mixture becomes impossible to stir, take it out of the cup and start molding the ball with your hands.

The ball will start out sticky and messy, but will solidify as you knead it.

Once the ball is less sticky, continue rolling between your hands until it is smooth and round!

You can store your plastic ball in a sealed ziploc bag when you are finished playing with it. (The ball tends to flatten out a bit when sitting and does not normally last longer than a couple of days before drying out).

Make a Miniature Marshmallow Gun

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Finally…I have a fun project you can make for and with your boys. This blog has leaned a bit toward girls lately, so I am excited to have a fun idea for the other half of the population (although I know plenty of girls who would love these too).

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These minature marshmallows guns are so much fun. If your boys are like mine EVERYTHING becomes a gun.

My SIL threw a birthday party for my nephew and they made all the boys their own marshmallow gun. My son loves it!

You place a mini marshmallow into the end of the gun, blow on the other end and shoot the marshmallow at your target. They are amazingly accurate!

It is ALWAYS a good idea to have your kids wear safety goggles when using these guns, because everyone knows that it is only fun until someone gets an eye shot out!

I did a little searching on the internet about making these marshmallow guns and found this great idea for making a pair of safety goggles out of a 2-liter soda pop bottle. I followed these directions but used duct tape to line the sharp edges and make the head strap.

To make the head strap, I simply folded about 20 inches of duct tape in half length-wise and then put another 20 inch peice on the folded peice and folded it in half also. So it was 2 layers thick. Then I just cut it to fit with a little extra on each end of the mask so it can be adjusted for different size heads, after I threaded it through the 2 slits I made on each side of the mask.

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You will need:
a 12 inch length of 1/2 inch PVC pipe (sprinkler pipe)
1-1/2 inch end cap
2-1/2 inch elbows
1-1/2 inch T joint

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Take your 12 inch length of pipe and with a hacksaw, cut off three peices of pipe that measure 2 inches each and then cut two peices of pipe that measure 3 inches in length.

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Take your parts and use the above picture to put them together to make your gun. This is a very simple gun style. If you want a different style, all you would need to do is buy a longer length of PVC pipe and some more joints depending on what shape you are trying to achieve.

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I ended up making a gun for my other boy and they spend a lot of time in the backyard having marshmallow wars. They played with them so often that I never had any marshmallows left when I needed them. They buy their own marshmallows now!

So if you have a birthday party coming up, these might be something you would like to make as a party favor, or as a gift for the birthday boy. I was also thinking how much fun these would be at your next family party with Grandma and Grandpa and that pesky brother-in-law!

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