Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dragons, Dora, and Dyeing

Before we get into the detailed stuff, I have to share the funny moment of the week.  I asked Mary to tell me a story because she was pretending to be the mommy for the day.  This is what she came up with:

"There was a princess in a castle who was going to be eaten by a dragon.  But the prince saved her first.  And then Dora found Boots.  The End."

It is now my go to nap-time story - I love it!  ;)

Anywho, I know it has taken me eternity but I have finally taken some time to blog about a craft/activity that kids seem to love!  

This has been tested by two separate families for a total of 4 children (ages 6, 4, and 3) and it has been kid-approved!

So what is this wonderful idea?  Dyeing Noodles!  

Yes, I know...sounds a little messy...BUT, totally worth it.  And, in reality, there really wasn't much of a mess!  

What you need:
- Food Coloring
- Ziploc Bags
- Noodles (duh! Almost forgot that one...)
- Cookie Sheet or Other Container/Space (for drying)
- Paper towels (optional)

The first tutorial I found on this had me soaking noodles in bowls.  While this may have worked, I really wanted to get the kids involved and didn't want to risk spilling a bowl full of food-coloring ANYwhere...  So I got to thinking and decided ziploc's would do the trick!  (Though I thought I had pinned the original tutorial, I can't seem to find it...but I obviously don't claim the genius behind this...just HAD to share!)

Step 1 - Place about a handful or a little more of noodles into a ziploc bag (one bag for each color you are doing).  This is obviously something the kids can help with, but for them you need 2 or 3 handfuls.  ;)

Step 2 - Add 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol to each bag.

Step 3 - Put 3 or 4 drops of food-coloring in each bag.  Feel free to mix and match - creativity is a plus!  (I let the kids do this step while I held the bags)

Step 4 - Seal the bags VERY tightly.

Step 5 - SHAKE AWAY!!  This is the kids favorite part.  Shake, shake, shake.  They even danced at the same time.  :)

Step 6 - I laid a few paper towels on top of an old cookie sheet to prevent staining and then dumped all the noodles out to dry.  I tried to spread as thin as I could...but I only used a small cookie sheet for 4 bags of noodles.  Leave sit for a few hours to dry.

Step 7 - CREATE!  Grab a glue stick and some paper and make all kinds of designs.  I prefer black paper to make the colors pop!  We made flowers and numbers and letters and the list goes on...and on...and on...

Both families I did this with asked to create for days afterward: "Can we make another noodle picture Bri?"  It was a blast and kept them busy for awhile!

Educational possibilities:

- Counting - we had to count the drops of food coloring, you can count the noodles as you create (how many green ones, how many in your hand, etc.)

- Measuring - for older kids adding the alcohol gives them a glimpse of measurements and being precise.

- Colors! - You could talk about the rainbow, mixing colors, color identification...whatever fits!

- Letters/Numbers - This worked well for the twins - we had been working on identifying the letter "A" so I created one and they loved it!  

When it comes to teaching kids, hands-on stuff is the way to go I think.  Get creative, use your brain...the possibilities with stuff like this are endless!

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