art · Crafts · Science · Things to do · toys

Art attack with chalk paint!!

Need a quick, fun thing to do outside? Have you tried “chalk paint”? We got some for my son’s birthday, along with this cool paint roller:

But you don’t have to buy paint chalk from the store — or a paint roller! You can make it, and then use paint brushes. It’s easy! Here’s what you need:

  • colorful chalk – can be sidewalk chalk or regular chalk
  •  Ziploc (or plastic) bags
  • something heavy to smash the chalk (if you use a hammer, make sure a grownup is there to help!)

First, separate the chalk into different colors — put all the blues together and all the yellows together, for example. Otherwise, all your colors will get mixed up and may look brown and muddy!

Second, put one color of chalk (for example, all the blues) into a Ziploc bag. Close the bag tightly.

Third, smash the chalk into powder!

Fourth, pour the powder chalk into a container (a bowl or empty yogurt cup works well) and then add about half a cup of water. (The more water you add, the lighter the color will be, so it is up to you how much water to add.)

Fifth, stir the chalk powder until it is mostly dissolved into the water (there might still be some powdery chalk at the bottom, but that’s okay!)

Now, do the same thing with all your chalk colors. Once you’re ready, dip a paintbrush into the “paint” and start painting! (Try mixing colors to make new ones if you like.)

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art · Crafts · dressing up · Things to do

Super-easy Halloween costumes!

Do you celebrate Halloween? If so, are you going to dress up? Here are a few quick costume ideas in case you don’t have a costume yet!

A bunch of grapes – blow up about 10 purple or green balloons and stick them all over you! Then cut out a “stem” from green paper to stick on your head!

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Photo by Melly Kay

A “punk” rocker – hang your head upside down, and ask a grown up to spray your hair with hairspray until your hair is messy and sticking up. Then find a tee shirt and turn it inside out. Ask a grownup to help you stick some safety pins onto the front of your shirt. If you can find a tie and black boots, put those on, too!

A birthday present – cut holes for your head and arms in a big cardboard box. Then wrap the box with fancy paper. Tie a ribbon into a bow and stick it on your head!

A donut – cut out two circles from a big cardboard box. Then decorate the circles with pink tissue paper (or brown if you want to be a chocolate donut!). You could also glue confetti on the paper to make “sprinkles.”

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You can also stick an empty coffee cup on a plastic hairband to make a “hat” to go with your donut!
animals · art · Cool places · Crafts · Nature · Things to do

Sculptures in the garden!

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Have you ever made a sculpture? A sculpture is something you make that has a shape; it’s not flat like a picture. It could be a tree made out of Legos, or a clay monster, or rocks piled up into a tower, or just about anything!

A few days ago, we went to see a lot of sculptures at a place called the North Carolina Botanical Garden. Every year, they have a sculpture show. Here are some of the cool things we saw… (Oh, they also have a kids’ area, too!)

I just realized that we saw a LOT of animal sculptures that day! These two buddies are masks made out of concrete and steel by the artist Forrest Greenslade from Pittsboro, NC. And here are more animal sculptures… Aren’t they cool!

There were even some creepy-looking sculptures – good for Halloween! Can you spot the faces in each of these photos?

Oh, one more sculpture… we can’t forget the fairy garden! Those are little trees made out of pine cones!

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If you live in North Carolina, see if you can visit the Botanical Garden. The sculptures will be here until December 9, 2018.

Cool places · Crafts · Things to do

Make it and take it!

IMG_2499Have you ever tried “Make and Take”? It’s when you make something and then take it home! It’s lots of fun. We tried it a few months ago at a place in Greensboro, North Carolina, called Reconsidered Goods.

 

 

Inside, we found a store full of goodies — old toys, fabric, postcards, black-and-white photographs, yarn, buttons, and just about anything you can think of! In the “Make and Take” area, we found all kinds of crazy stuff…

Old trophies!

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A peace sign made out of plastic bottle caps!

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Soon, we started creating…

The Scrap Exchange in Durham, NC, is another place where you can create things out of the stuff most people throw away! Is there a “make and take” place near you? Maybe you can have your own “make and take” at home, using boxes and bottle caps and whatever else you can find!

animals · Nature · Science · Videos · weather

Adventures with caterpillars!

Check out this little movie about the Monarch butterfly caterpillars that have camped out near my house! They have survived Hurricane Florence and can walk for miles!

Right now, they are all getting ready for their chrysalis stage — after a few days, they’ll turn into Monarch butterflies. I’ll try to film that stage for Part 2 of “Adventures with Caterpillars!”