Friday, February 27, 2015

February Project :: Baked Cotton Ball Rainbows

Hello there!  Emily here, it's time for a February project post!  Hooray!

Jenny did such a perfect introduction for my last post, she is simply the best.  At the risk of getting overly wordy and sentimental, I'll keep it at that for now, but I have to say a public, "Thank You!"

Along with my love of celebrating, comes a natural love of holidays.  ALL holidays!  Like I have considered converting my children to different religions in order to celebrate MORE holidays!  (J/K, but I do make them learn about different cultures with the selfish intention of getting another holiday out of the deal!) With that being said, it KILLED me that I did not do a Valentine's Day craft in January!!  What was I thinking?!  Since I couldn't let it go, Jenny said I could do a quick collage of the Valentine's Day crafts we did this month.  That way you have some ideas for next year.  I am more than happy to share any of these with anyone who would like to recreate one (or all!!  Although I realize I am a little holiday crazy and don't expect anyone else to be!) .  I promise not to do this every month, but Valentine's Day is seriously one of my FAVORITES!!

1 :: tissue paper suncatchers :: 2 :: thumbprint heart sparkle trees :: 3 :: washi tape & craft stick frames with "I love you because..." pictures :: 4 :: Candy heart filled love jar :: 5 :: Our masterpiece wall with the babies' fingerpaint heart trees, K's dinosaur watercolor and snowman, D's Abe Lincoln and music hearts (both from school). :: 6 :: chalkboard heart jars, melted crayon hearts and another washi tape frame :: 7 :: Fingerpaint (and back end of a paintbrush!) heart tree

Okay, now I feel better and we can move on to the official February Craft :: Baked Cotton Ball RAINBOWS!

:: Supplies ::
  • flour
  • water
  • 7 cups or bowls
  • 7 forks or spoons
  • food coloring or liquid watercolor
  • foil
  • cookie sheet
  • cotton balls
  • hammer or wooden mallet (not pictured because I forgot!)
 :: Process ::
  • Pre-heat over to 300* 
  • Cover one cookie sheet completely with foil for each child doing the project
  • Mix equal parts flour and water (I used 1/2 C flour and 1/2 water) in each cup.
  • Add food coloring or liquid watercolors to the cups to create the colors you would like (we made 6 for rainbow colors and left one white for clouds)
  • Stir with forks or spoons until well mixed
  • Dip, submerge or dunk cotton balls into the flour mixture one at a time. Remove using the same fork or spoon used to stir and place on foil.  The kids can use their hands, but food coloring tends to stain, so be careful if you choose to try it.  I left the placement fairly open-ended.  I told them to create a picture.

  • Continue to dip cotton balls until your child has A. used all the mixture  B. is bored or C. has finished creating a rainbow or other picture of their choosing. Two of mine made rainbows (because I had said the name of the project was cotton ball RAINBOWS), one chose to make a "puke colored snake on candy balls".
  • Carefully place their creations in the oven and bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes (longer if they thoroughly coated the cotton, less if they just dipped)

A was not feeling well this day, so the twins didn't participate, but she loves watching things bake!

  • Remove the cotton balls from the oven and let cool.  This is where I made my kids observe the differences between what we put in the oven and what came out.  We had made predictions (they would melt, get smelly, shrink, get softer, change color, get hotter, EXPLODE!....) and now we got to see if the predictions were right (much to everyone's dismay, they did NOT explode).  My favorite observation was when V said they smelled like pizza crust, which they did!

D in his silly hat with his cotton ball rainbow!
Now for the fun part..... :)
  • Let the kids smash the cotton balls!  My boys were a little disappointed that the balls didn't completely shatter (are you sensing a pattern of destruction here? hmmmm....) but even that didn't stop the fun, they had a BLAST!  There were constant exclamations of  "HULK SMASH!!" and the like.  There is something so satisfying about demolishing things, and this is a great/appropriate way to do it!

I hope everyone has had a fabulous February!  Can't wait until next month!

Since the twins didn't participate this month, I  thought I'd throw them in at the end, because EVERYONE wanted to see them, RIGHT?!

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