Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Diving Ketchup

Next time you go through the drive through and the person gives you way more ketchup packets than your family can use, don't throw them away.  You can actually use them to do a fun little experiment.

Supplies:-Plastic bottle
-Ketchup packet
-Cup or vase

First fill a large cup or vase with water to perform the float or sink test.  My kids had fun doing this experiment by itself.  They performed the test three times, even though we knew that only two of our packets would sink.  When ketchup packets are sealed at the factory, an air bubble get trapped inside, which makes it float.  If the ketchup packet sinks, it means that the air bubble is too small to make it float.

My son is watching the ketchup packet sink.

Next put the ketchup packet into a plastic bottle. You will need to bend the packet a bit to get it through the neck of the bottle. And please be careful not to break open the packet.

Fill the bottle completely with water, until full, and then put the lid on tightly.

I tried this experiment on four different sized bottles.  The smallest bottle (16.9 FL OZ) was too flimsy, so it didn't work at all.  It worked great with the 1.5 L (50.7 FL OZ) & 2L bottles, however it was too difficult for my son to squeeze the bottle.  But the 24 FL OZ bottle was just right!  I'm starting to feel like Goldilocks over here. =)

To make your ketchup packet dive, just squeeze the sides of the bottle, and hold.   Then let go to make it rise again.

Why does this happen?  When you squeeze the bottle, you are increasing the pressure inside the bottle. This compresses the air bubble, which then increases the density of the ketchup packet.......making it sink. For more information visit Steve Spangler's website.

Friday, February 24, 2012

No-Bake Energy Bites

I was on Facebook the other day and another blogger was raving about how delicious these No-Bake Energy Bites were.  She wasn't kidding.  They were so good I was afraid that my kids would eat them all before I could even get a picture of them.

1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1/3 cup honey
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Mix the ingredients thoroughly and let it chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Once the mix is chilled, roll into balls and enjoy!

Perhaps make 2 batches...these will disappear fast!

My son gave these energy bites a two thumbs up!

If anyone in your family members have allergies to any of the ingredients, you can substitute almost anything .  Some suggestions mentioned in Smashed Peas and Carrots are:

-Almond butter
-Cashew butter
-Sun butter
-Agave nectar
-Maltitol syrup
-Crushed cereal
-Wheat germ
-Whole wheat flour

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Magic Potion Spoons

Today we decided to try an experiment that I saw from one of my favorite bloggers, Mom To 2 Posh Lil Divas.  Rather than tell my kids we were doing an experiment, I told them we were going to have fun with some magic potion spoons.  What kid doesn't love magic?   My kids definitely had a lot fun, especially when trying to guess what color potion they would get next.  We'll definitely be doing this again soon!

-Clear cups or containers
-Food coloring
-Baking soda
-Tray or baking sheet (to contain mess)

First you'll want to make sure your kids are occupied while you prepare this first part (that way it's magical for them).

Then take your spoons (the # is up to you) and place a couple drops of food coloring on each.

Next, fill the spoon with baking soda, and make sure the food coloring is hidden.

Fill the same number of cups with vinegar, and for easy clean up, make sure you place the cups on a baking sheet.

Then have the kids choose a spoon and stir it inside a cup.

For this first one, my daughter was so amazed by the fizz that she didn't stir in all the baking soda.

I had her come back to stir in the rest of the baking soda and she excitedly said, "Oooooooh it's yellow!"

My son's first cup of magic potion was red.

So for his second cup, he kept saying "I hope it's blue, I hope it's blue, I hope it's blue...." and amazingly it turned out to be BLUE!  He had the biggest smile on his face!

Look at the beautiful colors we created!  The kids had so much fun that I might have to stock up on vinegar and baking soda.  This is one activity they'll be asking to do over and over again!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Elephant Toothpaste

I've seen quite a few pins on Pinterest lately about Elephant Toothpaste, which is such a fun experiment to watch.  It took a while to try it out ourselves because one of the ingredients needed is 6% hydrogen peroxide (the grocery stores only carry 3%).  I finally went to the beauty supply store and bought a 20 volume developer as noted in Preschool Powol Packets instructions. However, I re-did this experiment later with 3% hydrogen peroxide, and I felt that it worked just as well, for the purpose of having fun with it. So my suggestion would be to just use what you have.

-Baking pan
-Water or soda bottle
-Hydrogen peroxide 
-Warm water
-Dish soap
-Food coloring

Measure 2 tablespoons of warm water in a separate container (we used the glass bowl below, and I later transferred it to a smaller measuring cup that would make it easier to pour into the water bottle).

Next, add 1 teaspoon of yeast.

Stir well.  The yeast will catalyze (speed up) the reaction.

Next, put your water bottle in the middle of the baking pan.  Add 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide, a squirt of dish soap, and 4-5 drops of food coloring. Swish the bottle around to mix the ingredients a bit.

Then add your yeast and water mixture.

Watch the foaminess begin!

My daughter's reaction: "Dad can we go find an elephant so we can brush his teeth?"  My son's reaction: "Why did we make elephant toothpaste if there aren't any elephants around here?"  That's when you tell your kids that it's called Elephant Toothpaste because it looks like toothpaste coming out of a tube that's big enough for an elephant to use.

Scientific Bob explains: "The foam you made is special because each tiny foam bubble is filled with oxygen. The yeast acted as a catalyst (a helper) to remove the oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide. Since it did this very fast, it created lots and lots of bubbles".

Friday, February 17, 2012

Apple Tree Painting with Wine Corks

It was such a beautiful day that we decided to do a little painting outside.  We used wine corks to paint an apple tree, an idea that I got from The Picky Apple.  

-Wine Corks
-Paint brush

My daughter loves to get messy, and one of her favorite art projects is to paint her hand and make hand prints.  So to make the tree's trunk I decided to take a paint brush and paint her hand and arm brown.

After placing her hand and arm print onto the paper, I poured some green and red paint onto a plate.  Then I told her to make some leaves and apples onto the tree trunk by stamping the paint onto the paper with the corks.

First she painted some leaves...

And then some apples.

Then she decided to do some two-handed stamping.

Here's her final painting.  She told me that there was a big apple falling from the tree.  Which is why there is a huge line of red to the right of the tree.  =)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine Jell-O

We want to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day!  To help celebrate, we made the cutest Jell-O Jigglers with  strawberry hearts that we found over at the Pint Sized Baker.

-Big box of Jell-O (We used Strawberry Banana)
-Cupcake tin
-Non-stick spray
-Boiling water

Select the pointiest strawberries to create the hearts. Simply insert a paring knife inside the strawberry and run it around that circle and you should be able to pull the hull off.  Cut the strawberries in half length-wise
and cut a deep V in the center.

Next, mix boiling water and Jell-O together.

Stir until Jell-O completely dissolves.

Spray cupcake pan with some non-stick spray and then pour Jell-O in each cavity.

Then place a strawberry in each cavity.

Place the pan in the fridge for 2 hours.  If you need to, dip bottom of pan in warm water for 15 seconds to loosen the gelatin.  Pop Jigglers out of the pan and store in small  containers for school lunches.  These aren't just for Valentine's can be for any day you want to show your kids you love them.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Thumbkin and Friends Personalized Prints Giveaway!

Valentine's Day Handprint

A dear friend of mine, who is an amazing artist, started out doing hand print/foot print art for fun with our mommy playgroup.  We were all so impressed with her creations, that we encouraged her to start her own little business, and so Thumbkin and Friends Personalized Prints was born.

Last year, I asked Siara to create a dinosaur hand/footprint art for my son's bedroom. I can't even begin to describe in words how much I love the piece she created for him.  The pictures I have posted don't do her artwork any justice, but without a doubt I must say each one is amazing.  I've definitely had lots of friends who have come by the house admire her work.

Dinosaur Hand and Footprint

Siara truly captures your child's hand and/or footprint in an original custom made art piece that will become a sentimental keepsake.  

Superheroes...with footprint capes!

I am truly excited to be able to bring my readers the chance to win a free customized art piece by Siara. Unfortunately I can only offer it to those living in Orange County, California, unless of course you and your child are willing to make the trip to Orange County to meet with Siara.  =)

No worries if you don't win my giveaway...For a limited time, my readers can also receive a free print if you book a Thumbkin and Friends Personalized Prints Party of at least 5 people or more. Siara is also offering my readers a $3 discount off of any one print you order from her when you mention Juggling With Kids.  To see more of her prints please visit and "like" her Facebook page Thumbkin and Friends Personalized Prints.

Beautiful Princess Handprint

How to Enter: Please wait as it may take 30 seconds or more for rafflecopter to load below: 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cinnamon Snowflakes with Nutella Whipped Cream

Every time I go to Costco, my kids always want me to buy a churro.  Unfortunately sometimes the lines are just too long, that I don't have the time or patience to stand there and get one for them.  And so we had a bit of a meltdown the other day, because I left without buying a churro.  Luckily, I had just read a post by Come Together Kids about these super simple Cinnamon Snowflakes, and better yet, I had all the ingredients sitting in my house!

-Flour tortillas
-Cooking oil (spray)
-Kitchen scissors
-Baking sheet
-Whipping cream

First preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Then fold your flour tortilla in half twice.  If your flour tortilla cracks or breaks while folding, place them in the microwave for about 10 seconds to soften them up a bit (timing may vary with microwaves).

Next have your child cut the tortilla, just like you would a paper snowflake.  My daughter is still learning how to use scissors (and these were obviously too big for her), however she did a good job at cutting straight lines into the tortilla.  

After they are done cutting their snowflake tortillas, spray them with a little cooking oil. (This is to help the cinnamon and sugar stick to the tortilla).  You can use melted butter, if you don't have cooking spray.

Then sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar onto your tortilla, and bake them in the oven for about 7-10 minutes, or until the tortilla becomes golden brown.

While we were waiting for our cinnamon snowflakes to bake, we decided to make some Nutella Whipped Cream to dip our cinammon tortilla snowflakes in.  I found a recipe here, however I made up my own measurements since I didn't want 3 cups of Nutella whipped cream sitting in my house waiting for me to eat every last drop of it. It wouldn't have lasted tasted like heaven!

Get a little bowl and add a 1/2 cup of whipping cream.

Using a hand held electric beater, beat the whipping cream until you have stiff peaks.

Then using a spatula, fold a 1/4 cup of Nutella into the whipped cream.  Yes, I realize we are still using the electric beater, but only because my kids were having so much fun with it.  Honestly didn't ruin it at all.

It was so good, they couldn't help but to lick the beaters clean.

Yummy!  Time to dive right in!

This was the second time we made these cinnamon snowflake tortillas.  The kids honestly said that they enjoyed eating this more that a Costco churro.