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Friday, June 21, 2013

Painting Sticks!

My kids LOVE to collect sticks on walks or in the backyard.  Usually they end up being used as some type of sword to "fight the dragons" but today...they became works of ART!  It was a fun project.

This is what we did:


  1. We collected dry sticks of all sizes.
  2. We painted the stick using acrylic paint.
  3. Big Guy and Little Guy went for quantity.  The girls went for quality!
  4. The girls added feathers using tacky glue.
The project took us about 30 minutes.  Acrylic paint will stain clothes.  Be sure to wear "play" clothes.  Little Guy was covered in paint.  The paint  washes off skin with some scrubbing.  I think we'll put the sticks in our garden.  Aren't they cute? :)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Better Alternative Science Projects for Kingdom Rock VBS!

I put more thought and TESTING into the science projects since my original post for alternative science experiments for Imagination Station, Kingdom Rock VBS.   I think this is what I am going to do instead of the previous ideas I blogged about:

Day 1:  Stand Strong in God's Love

This is so super cool.  I tested it with my 2.5 yr. old son.  He loved it and I think it will wow and amaze the older kids too.  You just need to try it!

Oobleck Egg Drop: 
In a disposable baking tin, mix:  2 cups cornstarch with a little over 1 cup of water using your hands.  This forms the weirdest mixture.  It is a solid and a liquid at the same time!  I know, weird.  This recipe is all over PINTEREST.   The kids can put their hands in it and just play with it.  Then, POUR it in a Ziploc bag.  Put a RAW egg into the mixture.  It will float.  Have a child stand on a chair, hold the bag above his/her head and DROP itThe Egg will NOT BREAK!  You can even throw the bag on the lawn.  The bag will rip before the egg breaks!  I'm completely serious.  I tried it myself!

Here is a video explaining Oobleck:
How to Make Oobleck Video

I think this activity is best done outside so that you can clean the kids' hands using a hose.  It's messy.  If a bag broke inside, it would be a big mess too!

The message:  God loves us and is our protector.  Love is mushy and soft but it is also strong.  The oobleck is soft (liquid) but does not allow the egg to break (strong).

We finished this activity at VBS.  It was a huge hit!  Next time, I will put down plastic tablecloths.  It was a pain trying to wash the tables without the use of a hose. 

Day 2:  Family and Friends Help Us to Stand Strong:

I tested this activity with my five year old.  He was able to do it but struggled.  It will be beneficial to him to be in a group with older kids.

The kids will be challenged to work in their crews to build a tower as tall as the tallest person in the crew!  They will get play-doh to use as a base and then a huge bunch of drinking straws and masking tape.  Then, they just build.  It would be cute with a crew flag attached to the top of the tower.

This picture is a little deceiving.  The tower was not as tall as the doorway!
Does anyone need a play-doh recipe?  I can add one, if needed.

The message:  Your friends and family are your support in loving and relying upon God.  You are stronger when you have God-loving friends and family.  The tallest towers have a strong base (big play-doh ball and several straws).  The base keeps the tower from falling.  Your friends and family keep you strong-keep you from falling.

The kids did a super job with this activity!  Every group completed it differently.  We walked around with tape measures to help encourage the kids.  This was one of our favorites!

Day 3:  Prayer Helps you to Stand Strong:

Everybody loves bubbles.  This activity will use something everyone loves to teach about prayer. I'm going to set up several bubble stations with different solutions and wands out on the lawn.  My favorite station is the bouncing bubbles.

Bouncing Bubbles:
Mix 1 cup of distilled water with 1 Tablespoon Dawn dish soap (don't use anti-bacterial) and 1 tsp of Glycerin (I bought mine at a Walmart Pharmacy).  Let it sit over night.  Have the kids put a clean sock or glove on one hand.  Blow bubbles.  The kids can gently catch a bubble in the gloved hand and gently bounce it up and down.  This is a good bubble solution.  I made it this evening and tried it out with my kids.  It didn't work as well as it shows on the video BUT I didn't let it sit over night.

Video from Steve Spangler Science:
Bouncing Bubble Video

The message:  God wants us to pray for big things and little things. God doesn't care what we pray for or how we pray. He just wants us to talk with him, to pray.   Prayer helps us to stand strong.  The bubbles are different shapes, sizes, and strengths.  They represent everything God wants us to pray for or about.

I ended up making about 15 gallons of bubble solution.  I used hose water (not distilled) and Dawn dish soap.  I added glycerin but not nearly as much as the recipe called for.  Next time, I won't add any glycerin.  It is $3.88 for 6 ounces at Walmart!  I made the bubble solution in my cooler that has wheels to make it easy to transport.  We were outside, so we only made three kinds of bubbles:
1)  Snake bubbles:  Poke a hole in the bottom of a Solo cup and insert a straw.  Put a wash/dish cloth around the open end of the cup and secure it with a rubber band.  Kids blow into the straw and a long snake of bubbles is created!
2)  Bubbles on the table surface:  Use a sponge or cloth to get the table wet with bubble solution.  Dip the end of the straw into the bubble solution.  Blow gently on the straw (close to the table) and you will get bubbles on the table.
3) Bubble Wands:  I bought a variety back of 27 bubble wands at Walmart for about $6.00.

This activity was a huge success.  It took quite awhile to clean up (30 minutes). The kids did get wet but not soaking.  They loved it and could have played longer.

Day 4:  Trusting God helps us to Stand Strong:
This activity is going to be a lot of fun.  I tested it in my bathroom that doesn't have windows.  I was worried that it would be too dark and the kids would be scared.  We could actually see quite well.  Kids won't be afraid.

Black Light Painting:
I purchased 60 watt Halogen Black Lights at Walmart ($4.97 each).  I'm going to shop the Dollar Bin at Target or the Dollar Store to find glow bracelets and/or necklaces.  I'm also going to get neon washable paint.  I will set up a black light (using a regular lamp without a shade) on a table for each crew.  I will ask the kids to paint a picture of God or a prayer that God has answered or a prayer that they would like God to answer.  Under the black lights their pictures will be illuminated.  The glow bracelets are just an added wow factor.

The message:  Even though we can't always see God - He is there.  If we trust that God is with us, we will stand stronger.  Our pictures will be better illuminated under the black lights.  That represents our trust in God.

I ended up NOT painting.  I didn't think it would be worth the mess.  Instead, we did three other things:
1) We made Trust bracelets:  We used NEON bendy things with NEON pony beads.
2) We made Trust cards:  The kids drew a picture with regular markers on a NEON index card.  It was a picture of "Trusting God".
3) Finally, each kid got a NEON or WHITE balloon to play with under the black lights.

Glow in the Dark doesn't work under Black Lights.  It needs to be NEON!

We aren't going to have a Day 5 at Imagination Station - so I only have four days!  Let me know if you come up with something great that I could use!  :)