Thursday, June 09, 2011

Getting All Martha Up in Here...

Summer is approaching. That means all over the country, moms everywhere, of the stay-at-home variety or otherwise, are gearing up for 8-10 weeks of hearing the whining timbres of "I'm booooooored," and "there's nothing to doooooooooo." This will happen regardless of how packed a summer schedule is, no matter how many hours of soccer camp or arts & crafts camps a child is engaged in or if you've taken out a second mortgage on your house or cashed in a chunk of your 401K to cover the cost of said camps to ensure that your child is adequately stimulated creatively, kinesthetically and academically during those long summer weeks (nevermind that when I was a kid, my grandmother said, "go outside and play!" and it was free and we did it because grandma said to, and we all still got into college. End of story.)

So that means that I am starting to pack my bag o' tricks full of crafty, arty, field-trippy kind of plans. I need to be ready when the lamentations of boredom start. I do plan on implementing the "go outside & play!" cure as often as possible (of course with the necessary 21st century revision of "in the back yard. That's fenced in. And invisible from the front yard. So no one tries to steal you. Or touch you inappropriately. While I"m inside folding laundry. wondering if I should have given you a baby monitor to take outside with you so I can hear everything that's happening while you're outside and I'm inside. On second thought, stay inside and play a video game." I kid.).

But I know there are going to be times when Ethan and I are staring at each other, counting the seconds until bedtime (well, he can't tell time yet, so I'm probably projecting a bit there), and I want to be prepared with FUN! FAMILY! BONDING! arts & crafts.

This week Ethan was home most of the week (happy summer vacation preview!!!) with the most unstrep throat strep throat in the history of strep throat. Had a fever for about 10 minutes, complained twice that his throat hurt. Other than that, business as usual, except contagious. So he stayed home with me.

Awhile back I found a cool blog post about making colored sand art & bookmarked the page for future reference. Well, yesterday was that future. So as not to mislead anyone into thinking I came up with this idea, I got it (along w/ eleventy billion other ideas) from this fabulous blog
and I'm a little less afraid of summer now.

A little warning: this craft is not really for the mess-phobic. Fortunately, I don't fall anywhere even in the neighborhood of that category. Sometimes I think our lives would be a lot more serene if I were a bit more concerned with the mess, and I've tried, made countless resolutions to be a neater housekeeper and teach Ethan how to be neater. But, at almost 40, I've concluded that it's just not who I am (it feels much better to announce it as a revelation rather than a resignation), and so I will embrace the mess and worry about cleaning it up later.

You need: salt, colored chalk, paper & glass bottles w/ caps, corks, etc.

You start out pouring some plain salt onto a piece of paper. Ethan needed to play with the salt for a few minutes before we went any further....

"Look, Mommy, a latte!" Perhaps we go to Starbucks a bit too often...

Then you take one piece of chalk and rub it against the salt until all the salt has turned that color.

Then pick up the paper, making it a little funnel, and pour the colored "sand" into the bottle. I got these for $1 at Michaels, but Ethan liked the project so much that I'll likely be frequenting our local Goodwill to find cheap glass jars--our house is going to be full of them soon. And if we ever give you a handmade gift? You're looking at it right now...

And...lather, rinse, repeat....



Ethan was quick to inform me that his was better because my layer of yellow was "just way too big. Next time, remember not to use so much salt for the yellow layer, Mommy, okay?"

Um. Okay.

Like I said, the project is a bit messy. You can see in the pictures that my dining room table definitely got more than its daily recommended allowance of sodium. Take a moment to image what the floor underneath it looked at. Neat freaks (and I say use that term affectionately) are shuddering in horror right now, I know.

FORTUNATELY, I have a kid who has a new-found love of the dust-buster. Dust-bust away, little man!! Dust-bust away!!!

Tomorrow Ethan graduates from preschool. Be prepared for the sap, people, because I will be bringing it.


Sarah said...

So cool! We have got to try that (on our new deck b/c I am mess phobic)!

When we got into our preschool, we signed up for year-round because the parent coordinator said that would help our chances of getting spots b/c most people sign up for 9 months. YEAR ROUND PRESCHOOL. It is genius.

Laurel said...

How fun!! And what a cutie.

Becca said...

Hurray summer preschool!

Great project. I'm not mess phobic, but I do like it to be all put back the way it's supposed to be before bed. Or at least clear the path to the coffee maker, KWIM?

lonek8 said...

I saw that project too (did you tweet about it when you first saw it or something? cause I don't frequent crafty blogs) and of course would never bring myself to do it with my kids because of the mess and I'm such a control freak that i have to do it all myself and everything turns into a big pile of mommy stress and kids not having any fun. I rock as a mom. Anyway, i think I could definitely handle doing it outside - all I have to do is buy a patio table since ours got blown over by the wind last year and shattered. So not a glass table this time.

Grandma Bear said...

That is cool...I want one :-)

cicadalady said...

totally stealing that craft idea!