Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Taking Volcano Building to the Next Level

How to build a volcano with Plaster of Paris 
by Kiah and Milo
(special thanks to storm the castle)

Here we go...
First, get a cardboard box and cut it how you want it. It is helpful if you keep the sides up a little and the back at least as tall as the volcano. This will prevent a huge mess and allow you to draw a picture on the back of the inner workings of a real volcano. You will also want to cut a hole on the bottom of the box so you can remove the plastic bottle for cleaning later.

Next, take a plastic bottle and wrap it in a plastic bag (so it doesn't stick to the plaster of paris).

Lastly, cut out a bunch of cardboard strips to place around the bottle like Milo is doing.

Place the strips in a fashion that looks similar to a volcaco and tape them all together.

Next, stuff your cardboard volcano with wads of newspaper.

Begin to mix your plaster of paris according to the directions on the box. We mixed it 2:1 (plaster:water)
Measure the water...
 Add the water to the plaster in a big tub.
 Mix away...

After the water has been added to the plaster, be sure to work quickly as the plaster will set up quick! Begin to dip strips of newspaper in the plaster mix and then carefully place pieces on the cardboard volcano. Try to keep them as smooth as possible while overlapping them different ways.
Keep mixing up plaster of paris in small batches until you have enough to cover your entire box and volcano.

Let the plaster sit until it is completely dry...about a day or two.
Then get out the acrylic paints and have fun! Paint scenery if you like...we used red, yellow, blue, green, brown, and grey.

Voila! This volcano is ready for action! We will take out the bottle from the plastic bag, put the bottle back in the volcano and add the ingredients for a great explosion!

For the explosion, we suggest you do it outside the first time!

Here are the ingredients for those of you that just can't wait for the next volcano eruption post...

1.Take the bottle out of the volcano and fill it just about full with water.

2. Put 4 or 5 drops of Dr. Bronner's Liquid Soap or any dish soap right into the water.

3. Add 2 Tablespoons of Baking Soda to the water.

4. Put the Volcano over the bottle so it is in place and ready to go.

5. Pour some vinegar right into the volcano bottle and watch it Erupt!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Virtual Baby Shower with the EtsyKids Team!

Reposted from a sweet mama over at Avery Lane on Etsy...

Baby showers are one of the ways to celebrate the anticipated birth of a new baby. It is also an excuse to pamper the mama to be and help her with the overwhelming amount of baby supplies she will need, especially when it will be her first child. Friends and relatives get together to socialize, play games, and share many, many memories.

Through the numerous showers that I have attended, I've noticed that the gifts given often reflect the gift givers’ style, interests, and parenting emphasis. I have often given handmade gifts as baby shower gifts, and have seen others doing the same. Giving handmade gifts, whether it is made by you or someone else, shows thoughtfulness and the gift is often unique, which is always appreciated. After all, each person is truly unique, biologically and in personality, so it is so appropriate to express your uniqueness with the gifts that you choose to give, as well as appreciating the uniqueness of the mom to be and her baby.

Many first time moms have to make important decisions they have never had to think about, like "cloth or disposable," "bottle or breastfeeding," and "natural versus plastic toys". Your gift can open up a wealth of natural alternatives and sustainable choices to the recipient as she embarks on her child rearing journey.

From natural teething rings to cloth diapers, mama pads to diaper bags, first toys to nursery d├ęcor, one need not look farther than Etsykids. Here are some of the many products that I would love to give to an expecting mom, all of which help support sustainability, handmade, and individuals instead of corporate CEO’s.

Reading to your baby can foster a secure attachment and emergent literacy. Touchable cloth books also offer sensory stimulation, which promotes cognitive development. This one is lovely by WoodenPondDesigns:

Wooden teething rings by BirchLeafDesigns are not only a natural choice for baby, but will also help strengthen those finger muscles:

MaggieSueDesigns offers some adorable diaper bags that allow mom to not give up her stylish ways while toting around the assortment of diapering supplies and necessities.

Babazoobee offers an upcycled choice for those that appreciate sustainability:

KeikiBoutique has some modern looks in compact diaper bag accessories:

Let’s not forget mom. So often a new mom doesn’t know that certain things are helpful, until they are needed.

TheCrazyElephant offers many such items. This shop even has an entire section dedicated to the mama. Making sustainability stylish:

Etsykids member DeniseJacobsohn creates privacy covers for mom, using beautiful fabrics, as well as makes shopping easier with her gift sets. Any new mom would be so lucky to receive one of these:

Nursery Art is important for baby and often overlooked. WeAndTheBean has some beautiful designs that encompass the mother child bond. I especially love this one:

With all the strollers and car seat research to do, nursery art can be a comfort to the mom to be as she and her baby will spend many hours together in the nursery. A nursery lamp, mobile, or picture can stay with a child for years. I still remember my Peter Pumpkin Eater musical lamp fondly. Giving such gifts can help build fond childhood memories for child as well as mum.

Another etsykids artist who does extraordinary work is MyArtsyBaby:

Babywear: There is so much to choose from Etsykids! With warmer months coming and ease of dressing, snap bottom tees are the staple for a new mom.

Greensies make some really creative and unique designs. I love her momma and baby giraffes snap bottom tee:

I love everything from ChirpAndBloom. Designer Rebecca Harkin has such wonderful style and her pillowcase dresses are CSPIA compliant as they do not contain drawstrings. This vintage set is sure to be one the mom saves for years to pass on:

The CleverKitty is so clever indeed with her felted baby shoes. Helps keep those sleeping infants’ toes comfy and warm, as well as high in style. Many to choose from for lads:

OR for lasses:

For those who like sew gifts themselves for a new baby, FunkyFriendsFactory has a large assortment of wonderful first friends or lovies. I know each of my children has a favorite stuffed animal that has been with them for as long as they can remember. Here’s just one of the many patterns available in her shop:

Hope this gives you some inspiration for the next time you are lucky enough to be invited to a baby shower or know someone who is expecting a special little bundle of joy.