Top 10 Popular Posts of 2012

Top 10 Popular Posts of 2012

Top 10 Popular Posts of 2012

I can’t believe that today is the last day of 2012. What a great year this has been. We have done so many fun things and started this blog to be able to share them with everyone. I thought I would share our top 10 popular posts of 2012. These are the most popular, non-seasonal posts according to our stats.

Top 10 Popular Posts of 2012

Our first most popular post of 2012 is our DIY light table. This light table is made with a plastic storage tote, some rope lights and piece of acrylic plastic. The kids have had a lot of fun with this light table.

Top 10 Popular Posts of 2012 Our second popular post of 2012 was our post on The Popcorn Book by Tomie de Paola. For our activity as part of the Virtual Book Club for Kids in November, we read The Popcorn Book, then coloured some popcorn kernels and then Sammie played and made a  picture with these coloured popcorn kernels.

Top 10 Popular Posts of 2012 Our third most popular post of 2012 was our Glass and Glue Suncatchers. These suncatchers were fun to make and look so pretty hanging up in the window.

Top 10 Popular Posts of 2012 The next most popular post of 2012 was our post on helping Sammie learn her name. Sammie had fun doing some activities to help her learn to recognize and spell her name as she got ready to start school.

Top 10 Popular Posts of 2012 The next popular post of 2012 was our activity for July’s Virtual Book Club for Kids. We read the Napping House and did some fun activities to go along with the book. The girls did some colour by number sheets and a sequencing activity based on the book as well.

Top 10 Popular Posts of 2012 This popular post of 2012, glowing vinegar ice cubes and baking soda, was one of our favourite activities of the year. I froze some vinegar mixed with tonic water and glow water. Then the girls played with these ice cubes and some baking soda under the black light.

Top 10 Popular Posts of 2012 This popular post of 2012 was so much fun to make and play with. Our sandy playdough was such a different kind of play dough than anything we’ve ever made or played with before. The girls loved the idea of having sand in their play dough and the texture was so cool to touch.

Top 10 Popular Posts of 2012 The funnels, tubes and water was one of our most popular posts of 2012. I made this water toy by myself and am so proud of being able to do it without help. The girls love playing with it in their water table. Coloured water looks so neat running down through the tubes.

Top 10 Popular Posts of 2012 Our beaded wind chimes is one of our most popular posts of 2012. Sammie had so much fun making these wind chimes. They are very easy to make and a great way for a child to work on their fine motor skillls. They also look and sound so pretty.

Top 10 Popular Posts of 2012 This painted fingernail counting game is another of our popular posts of 2012. I made up this fun game to help Sammie with her counting as another way to get her ready for school. Included in the post is a link to a 10 sided die to use with the game.

We had so much fun this year. The girls made so many great crafts and did so many great activities. I can’t wait to see what we do in 2013.

I would like to wish each and everyone of you a very Happy New Year and I look forward to sharing many new posts with you in the new year.


If you like this post, please join us at our Facebook page for more fun ideas. If you have completed one of our crafts or activities, we would love for you to share a photo on the Facebook page :) You can also follow us on Pinterest :)





Funnels Tubes and Water

funnels, tubes, water, water table

Manic Mother
Today I’m joining JDaniel4′s Mom for a Playing Outside Blog Hop. My amazing co-hosts are Rainy Day Mum, Two Big Two Little, Inspiration Laboratories, Train Up a Child, and Mama Pea Pod. Our theme is Water Play.

As you know, we love playing outside and love playing with water. I think any type of water play is Sammie’s favourite thing to do while outside.

I’ve been wanting to make some new way for her to play with water for a little while now. And I also knew that I wanted it to be done with funnels.

Shortly after we got our outdoor water/sand table, I added a couple of funnels with plastic tubing to our water play toys. Sammie liked playing with them, but they always had to be held up by someone while someone else poured the water into them, which was a bit of a pain. We tried attaching them to the wall behind the table, but they just wouldn’t stay very long.

One night, while laying in bed, trying to sleep, this idea came to me :) I think it took me an extra couple of hours to fall asleep that, as I thought and figured out how to make what I wanted lol

I took a trip to Home Depot and bought the following supplies:

-1 piece of 46″ 2×2 wood (I think the piece that I bought was actually deck railing support)
-2 piece 48 1/2″ of round doweling (approx 1 1/2″ across)
-6″ screws
-1 metal washer
-some various sizes of plastic ties
-two sizes of plastic tubing (I took my funnels with me to make sure the funnels fit into the ends of the tubing)
-some wood glue

I wanted this to fit into a bin from her water table, so I measured the bin from corner to corner, diagonally and I cut the wood pieces into the following smaller pieces
- 2 20″ pieces of the 2×2
-2 3″ pieces of the 2×2
-1 22 1/2″ dowel
-2 17 1/2″ dowel
-3 13″ dowel (I only used two of these pieces, Sammie claimed the leftover piece to play with lol)
 I originally tried to screwing the screws up through both pieces of 2×2 and up into the piece of dowel, but because the wood of the dowel is much harder than the 2×2, my screw just kept right on going into the 2×2. So I ended up pre-drilling all my holes. I also put a little wood glue on the end of the dowel that was against the 2×2, to help hold better.
I set the 2×2 pieces into an X shape with the dowels pieces standing on the center and at the end of each piece of the 2×2. When screwing the center together, I put a metal washed in between the two pieces of 2×2, that way, the pieces of 2×2 will pivot without loosening the screw and it can be folded almost flat. I used the 2 3″ pieces of 2×2 to make feet for the higher piece of wood, without the feet it wouldn’t stand straight. The feet make it sit levelly.
I used the longest piece of dowel in the center and used the other 4 pieces on the ends. I think I just used them however, I didn’t put them in a certain order.
I then cut random lengths of the tubing and attached it to the funnels. I had 2 sizes of tubing and funnels. I then started attaching the funnels and tubes to the dowels with plastic ties.
For one of each size of funnel and tube, I just attached the funnel at the top of the dowel and ran the tubing straight down. For the next two, my tubing was longer, so I wound the tubing around the dowel to make a spiral. For the center dowel, and the tallest dowel, I join the two sizes of tubing into one tube and just ran it straight down the dowel. I left this one a little longer, so the end can be moved around a little and the water can be sprayed where Sammie wants it.
I think that I might change the different sized tubing in the center, as the water runs out the larger tube and out the bottom of it. The water doesn’t really get into the smaller tube. I might try to join the two sized together a bit differently. 
This is the stand, folded almost flat. This should make it easier to store it over the winter.
I put it into the water bin, added some water and let Sammie play with it. :) She thought it was so cool to have the water run down the tubes :) She really likes putting coloured water down the spiral tubes, as you can see the water moving through.
This is a lot of fun to play with, both Sammie and Maddie like pouring the water through the different tubes and funnels :) I can see it getting a lot of use over the rest of the summer and beyond. I might even try it in the sandbox, to see how well sand moves through it.
I am quite proud of myself for thinking this idea up and making it all by myself :) I am not the handiest person around, so for me to cut, drill and screw all this together, was quite the accomplishment :)
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Manic Mother

You can link up your outside water play or just check out some of these fabulous ideas for playing with water outside :)

Sponge Water Bombs

I saw these Sponge Bombs on Pinterest quite a while ago and have been meaning to make them. I just never got around to it. Well, with the hot weather here, I finally got around to making them.

I bought a few packs of the thin colourful sponges from the dollar store and Maddie and I set about making them.

To make sponge water bombs, take your thin sponges and cut each sponge into 5 even long strips. Lay the strips in 3 layers of 5-6 strips per layer. (We tried making patterns, but once they are the sponge bombs, you lose the pattern.) Take some strong thread and wrap around the centre of your sponges, pull as tight as you can, without breaking your thread, and tie in knot. Fluff the strips into a ball shape.

And there are your sponge water bombs :)

I threw the sponge water bombs in our little pool, along with some regular, thick sponges. :)

Apparently the water was very cold lol

Sammie loved trying to hit me with the bombs

The water finally warmed up a bit and Maddie was willing to get in the pool :)

After his nap, Austin got in for a little bit. He wasn’t too sure about it lol

The girls had a lot of fun playing with the sponge water bombs. :) They were chasing each other around the yard, trying to get each other wet. I wish I had gotten more pictures of them, but I was busy trying not to get wet myself lol

I can definitely see us playing with these a lot more this summer. They are a great way for the kids to cool off and get wet :)

 At A Little Tipsy, they made the sponge bombs and used mops strips and drawer liner strips, as well as sponge strips. They tied their sponge bombs with plastic cable ties, which I think would hold up better than string.

If you like this post, please join us on our Facebook page for lots more fun ideas :)

Sandbox Instructions

I’ve had a few people ask for directions on building our sandbox

So I decided to try and write up some instructions for it. Please remember that I did not build this, a friend did. But I will do my best to explain as best I can :)

Materials List

for base
2 – 2″ x 10″ x 4′ 8″ long
2- 2″ x 10″ x 6′ long

for lid
12 – 1″ x 6″ x 6′ long (these are deck boards, the edges are slightly rounded, not square)
4 – 2″ x 4″ x 22 1/2″ long – for back supports, slightly angled at one end
8 –  2″ x 4″ x 12″ long – for supports
8 – 3″ x 1 1/2″ hinges

I’m not sure how many screws were used or what size they were.

To make base, screw 4 boards together with the shorter end pieces on the inside of the long side pieces.

To make lid (this is where it gets slightly confusing)

Attach 2 1×6 pieces together, leaving approximately 1″ gap between boards, by using 2 of the 2x4x12″ pieces (the short supports). First one is 22″ in from end of board, next one is 21″ from first piece, leaving 22″ from the other end of board.. Do this twice, so you end up with 2 sections of 2 2x4s.

Using hinges attach the 2 sections together. The hinges should be on opposite side of boards from the supports.

With 2 more pieces of the 1×6 boards, attach them together, leaving approximately 1″ gap between boards, with  2 of the 2x4x22 1/2 boards (the back supports). Attach the back supports the same measurements as the first sections (22″, 21″, 22″) They should be level with the top of the top board, with the angled end sticking out from the bottom of the section.

Attach this section to the first 2 sections by using hinges. These hinges should be on the same side as the short supports.  The back supports should be on opposite side of the short supports. Do not attach the back supports to the first sections.
Attach the lid to the base by screwing only the first section with the short supports. The back supports should be on top, with the short supports facing down toward where the sand will be. Use screws on all three sides above base. Leave approximately 6″ of the lid overhanging each side of the base.

Repeat for second half of lid.

When the lid is open, the back support should be outside the base and touching the ground.

Close up of hinges on lid while closed and the angled ends of the back supports
Close up of inside of lid and supports and hinges
Close up of lid as it is being opened or closed

Hopefully I explained this well enough for you to understand. :) If anyone has any question, please feel free to comment here or join us over at our Facebook page and I will do my best to help :

DIY Light Table

I am a huge fan of the  Play At Home Home Mom blog. They are a huge inspiration to me and I especially like all the activities that they do on the light table.
I decided that I wanted to get one for here, but after searching around, realized that I couldn’t afford to buy one. So I decided to try and make one.
I did some searching and found these ideas and went from there
It’s TEEA Time has instructions to make one
Play At Home Mom has instructions on converting a train table to a light table. They also have lots of pictures of DIY light boxes on their Facebook Page
I bought a fairly large, shallow tote (I think it’s a Sterilite brand). You want to try and find a tote with a reasonably flat lid.
I started by spray painting the bottom of it black. Once it was dry, I cut a small hole on the side near the bottom.
I bought some outdoor rope lights. You don’t want lights that will get very hot. At first, I only used one set, but it wasn’t very bright, so I put in a second set.
When I tried it out, I found that the lights didn’t come through the lid very well. I then lined the tote with tin foil, to make it more reflective, and sending more light through the lid.
This is how it looked so far. :)
With the lights on
At first, the lights were too glaring and it just looked like a tote with lights in it. I cover the inside of the tote lid with a piece of parchment paper to diffuse the light.
It worked great :)
With the original tote lid
We have used it for lots of play so far :) Every time I’m out, I look for anything transparent or clear to use on it.
Here are some of the ways we’ve used it so far.
Sticking tissue paper to contact paper
Glass gems that Sammie likes to sort
Plastic diamonds
Glass mosaic tiles. Sammie likes to build and stack these.
After using it a bit, I decided that I didn’t like the lid on it. It was not smooth or flat. So I got a piece of clear acrylic and cut it to fit the tote. I made it short enough that the handles of the tote will still come up over and hold it in place.
Once I got the acrylic cut to the right size, I taped some parchment paper to one side of it. I put some duct tape around the edges, as I’m not the best at cutting acrylic and there were some rough spots. I didn’t want anyone to be scratched or cut on it.
Now it works really great :) The surface is smooth with no ridges or bumps, making it perfect for writing on or playing on.
What it looks like now, with the acrylic instead of the lid
Here are some more ways that we’ve used the light box
Stringing beads to make a necklace
Random items that Sammie was exploring the light with  :)
Large buttons
Small shape beads
Train, tracks, and house that Maddie built out of the glass mosaic tiles :)
Sorting large buttons by shape
Even Austin likes our light table :)
This light box has been a great addition to our play :) Maddie has even used it for her homework a few times, for tracing

If you like this post, please join us at our Facebook page for more fun ideas. If you have completed one of our crafts or activities, we would love for you to share a photo on the Facebook page :) You can also follow us on Pinterest :)

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