Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Week In Review – September 20, 2014

Highlights of the Week

Mad Science
  1. Smarty loves all her after school classes, especially Mad Science when she gets to take little science-related kits home. This “decorate a beaker” kit was a big hit!
  2. Lowlight: I got a very painful sore in my mouth that I just can’t seem to get rid of. Any tips?
  3. My husband’s brother is on a business trip to US and is coming to spend this weekend and the next weekend with us. Smarty is excited, and so am I, since I didn’t see my brother-in-law for 6 years!
  4. Smarty finished 4th grade in math in Khan Academy and already has 35% of skills covered for the fifth grade. We are taking a short break to celebrate this milestone.


The honeymoon is still going strong here. Smarty seems to love everything about her class this year. She enjoyed being a lunch helper this week and is looking forward to her turn of being a preschool buddy. We are impressed with how well this teacher manages to challenge stronger kids – Smarty was showing us the formula she developed for calculating the number of toothpicks needed to construct n triangles if the sequence below just keeps growing. She is also challenged in writing (she is working on “a diary of an allosaurus” story in class) and in spelling. We also love that her homework remains minimal leaving enough time for her many after school adventures and for playing.

Places We Are Going

Pony-Riding Our camping trip last weekend was a lot of fun with a lot of first experiences including the first night in a tent, the first smore, and the first pony ride!

What My Child Is Reading

It’s hard to keep an overview nowadays, since Smarty is rarely interested in me reading anything to her or in joint reading. She brought two books from a school library – both from her favorite series (affiliate links): Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey and Amelia Works It Out. She was also rereading From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs E. Frankweiler from our home library.

Best Memory of the Week

Smarty: You know, Mama, I don’t want to buy lottery tickets. If we win, our life will change, and I don’t want it to change. Out life is perfect.

Post of the Week

As usual 12 Amazing Engineering Projects leads the traffic, but my second popular is October Books for 2 and 3 year olds.

Your Turn

How was your week?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Halloween Chemistry Ideas

Goos, brews, potions, and other concoctions that you can whip up at home to get you and your kids in the mood for Halloween!
13 Halloween Concoctions for Parties and Play
I am joining my friends from Kid Blogger Network in a round up of topics interesting for parents and caregivers looking for fun activities to do with their kids. During our last KBN round up and giveaway, my daughter was convinced that she wants to be a mechanical engineer. Now, she is all about chemistry, and, in honor of Halloween, I chose to share 13 interesting concoctions perfect for this holiday.

1. Open-Ended Potion Making

You don’t need much for potion making – just a few containers (fancy containers work best), food coloring, vinegar, baking soda, and imagination. My daughter went wild making potions of her choice.

2. Accessorize Your Potions

Adding Halloween accessories (think Dollar store!) will make your potions appropriately spooky. Little Bins for Little Hands packs a lot of Halloween science fun in this guest post for B-Inspired Mama

3. Make Spooky Eruptions

Good old vinegar and baking soda again, but Blog Me Mom upgraded a “spookiness factor” by adding themed containers and black tempera paint to her spooky Halloween eruptions.

4. A “Must Have” Halloween Potion

Growing a Jeweled Rose is a queen of glow play. The “magic ingredient” in most of her mixtures is glow water, which looks amazing but surprisingly easy to make.
glow water from Growing a Jeweled Rose

5.Glowing Goop

Also from Growing a Jeweled Rose comes an extension of glow water – a mysterious goblin goop – perfect for Halloween!
The glowing goop from Growing a Jeweled Rose

6. Glow in the Dark Playdough

Regular play dough is too boring? Enchant your kids by this glow in the dark homemade playdough version from Sun Hats and Wellie Boots.
Glow in the dark playdough from Sun Hats and Wellie Boots

7. Make Use of Pumpkin Guts

Don’t throw out pumpkin guts! Make a pumpkin slime instead using this pumpkin slime recipe from Learn Play Imagine.
Pumpkin slime recipe

8. Pumpkin Oobleck

Another recipe for pumpkin guts comes from Inspiration Laboratories. This time they are mixed with water and cornstarch to make pleasantly smelling pumpkin oobleck.
Pumpkin Oobleck from Inspiration Laboratories

9. Pumpkin Puffy Paint

There is something magical in microwaveable puffy paint. Fun At Home With Kids shares a perfect fall scented puffy paint recipe for pumpkin and apple puffy paints.
Puffy Paint from Fun at Home With Kids

10. Gross Jell-O Play

Gross out your kids or party guests with this jelly messy play from Nurture Store.
Jelly Messy Play from Nurture Store

11. Dry Ice Magic

Dry ice bubbles create a proper atmosphere and infinitely fascinating for scientists big and small. This activity from Not Just Cute is definitely on our list of things to do!
Dry Ice from Not Just Cute

12. Fake Blood

Do not limit yourself to red paint! Steve Spangler Science offers proper fake blood recipes and discusses the differences between them. Let it flow!
Make Fake Blood from Steve Spangler Science


This jell-o blood worms from The Idea Room will be a cool addition to a Halloween party or to sensory play. Don’t they look disgustingly real? I am still undecided whether I want to try them or not!
Jell-O-Blood-Worms from The Idea Room

More Halloween Fun?

Follow my Pinterest board Halloween.
Natalie Planet Smarty PantsHalloweenNeedle Felt Spiders - Halloween40 Fun Halloween Candy Activities for Kids + CASH GIVEAWAY!40+ green Halloween crafts for kidsBest Halloween Books for Toddlers (Board Book Editions) | The Jenny EvolutionJell-O Blood Worms via Amy Huntley (The Idea Room)50 Simple Halloween Ideas | Tinkerlab.comMaking your own Halloween Lanterns? Look no further are spooky glowing tissue paper lantern is all you need. Made from recycled materials too.10 Amazing Monster Ideas for PreschoolersEasy kid-made halloween candles with pumpkins and bats. Simple and fun halloween craftNo Sew Costume IdeasBirthday party snack ideaQuick Craft Post: Halloween Lanterns (vlog) - Red Ted Art's BlogHalloween Paper Plate Wreath with an adorable hand print spider! #halloween #toddler #craftHalloween HacksLollipop Ghosts - a Halloween-time classicSimple Halloween window art for kids from And Next Comes LWe made these jello monsters again this year, with a slight twist - aren't they cute? A fun way to let your kids get creative in the kitchen! #cookingwithkidsBugs in Jello Sensory PlayCandy Pumpkin PeopleHalloween Obstacle CourseEasy Halloween Crafts - Yarn Pumpkin and Hand GhostHalloween activities for kids - make a witch's or wizard's brew! This is so much FUN!Needlework for Preschoolers - A Halloween Spider and Web - One Perfect DayNOVA Frugal Family: Kid Arts and Craft: Ghost and Pumpkin Jugs for HalloweenHalloween ideasHalloween Charades Game - Moms & MunchkinsHalloween Charades Costume Edition - Moms & Munchkinspinecone spiderHalloween Decoration: Sparkly Spiderweb & Spider~ Buggy and BuddyWhite Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies and More Bake Sale Recipes at B-Inspired MamaHalloween Learning Activities for School Aged Kids (and the After School Linky!) - The Measured MomHalloween Bubble Wands - Fireflies and Mud PiesHalloween collagesHalloween Crafts for Kids~Pumpkin and Monster JarsHalloween Games for Kids: Charades~ Buggy and BuddyDIY Acorn Pumpkins by smallhomebigstart #DIY #Crafts #Halloween #Acorns #Pumpkins10 Things to do before Halloween - from books to science playPreschool Craft: Five Little PumpkinsMelting witch dough is really quite magical.  Not only does this mold-able dough melt, but it also fizzes and bubbles.  SO FUN, especially w...Halloween PrintsHalloween Journal #110 Spooky Halloween Crafts for Kids20 Halloween Art Projects for Kids750+ FREE Pumpkin Carving Stencils - Frugal Homeschool FamilyToilet Paper Roll Ghostssimple-halloween-games-01 by A Life in Balance, via Flickrmini Halloween costumes for girlsHealthy Halloween Cupcakes: Make Your Own Natural Orange Food Dye - Alldonemonkey.comSpooky Melting Hands - Halloween science experimentCute Halloween Party IdeasSee On

Your Turn

Do you have a favorite Halloween concoction– edible or not?

A KBN Fall Gift to You

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Stay a while and discover tons of more awesome Halloween ideas!

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