Monthly Archives: March 2012

Colorful Baking Soda Busywork

Here’s a fun way to occupy the kids in a bubbly, colorful way.

Do some baking soda and vinegar experiments but add color!

You’ll need:

  • A box of baking soda per child (ours cost about .50 a box and we bought a bunch)
  • 1-2 cups of white vinegar (generally under a dollar)
  • Food coloring
  • One cake pan or similar container per child
  • Muffin tin (regular size if two kids will be sharing it the way ours did, or mini muffin size would be enough for one child — an ice cube tray would work too)
  • Eye droppers or pipettes (one per child)


  1. Fill the muffin tins half full with the vinegar, and tint each cup with a different color of food coloring.  We usually leave one clear so kids can mix a custom color.
  2. Pour one box of baking soda into a cake pan for each child.  Smooth out.
  3. Spread an old towel on the table (or do it outside) and put the cake pan(s), muffin tin and eye droppers on it.
  4. Show kids how to squeeze the eye droppers in the colored vinegar to fill them up, then have them drizzle and drop it on the baking soda to watch what happens.

This large amount of baking soda means that kids can happily do the activity for a good long time, making this a perfect activity for while you’re making lunch or taking a break. 

Kids can also experiment with things like pushing the eye dropper under the baking soda and then squeezing (tiny volcanoes!) and so on.

Science info:  Want to know why baking soda and vinegar bubble up?  Explain to the kids that carbon dioxide is released when acids (like vinegar) and bases (like baking soda) combine and react to each other.  If they want to do more colorful science to learn about acids and bases, consider the purple cabbage pH experiment (our family’s all time favorite science experiment).  You can also just bake something!  People make cakes and breads rise by either using yeast or relying on the same reaction with ingredients like baking soda and buttermilk. 

Have fun!



Filed under activities, crafts

10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Fiona at 5 months ~ Photo by Toria Bayer

Happy Monday!

Here’s a few ways to make some memories with your kiddos this week…

1.  Celebrate Pi Day with the kids on Wednesday (3-14).  Here’s some fun ways to celebrate this math-themed holiday (including the directions to the paper plate jumping game below).  Here’s a few pictures of ways we’ve celebrated in previous years.


And here’s a cute way to remember Pi to 7 places:

How I wish I could calculate Pi…

3.141592 (the number of letters in each word corresponds to that number)

2. Get out paint pens or permanent markers and let your child decorate an old pair of shoes or rain boots.

3. Start a “Mom and me” (or Dad or Grandma and me!) scrapbook. Find or make a blank book. Do some pages every week together about the two of you. For instance, write notes to each other (be sure to date them!) or find a picture of yourself at your child’s age and make side by side pages comparing yourselves. At age 8, what were each of your favorite books, hobbies, colors, friends, wishes?

4. Head outside and make bunches of magic wands or altered sticks.  Just find sticks and peel, carve, paint and/or otherwise personalize them until they feel right. 


5. Send or deliver a box full of balloons to a child you love.  Fill each balloon with a little love note, joke, dollar or other treat.  She’s Crafty came up with the idea to send her nephew 20 $1 bills in balloons for his birthday, but I also think it would be great fun with other things besides just cash, and to do it “just because” for a child (or two or three!) who could use a fun surprise.

6. Find a park you’ve never been to and go play together.  Bring friends, if possible!

7. Find something junky in the house and let your child alter it. One of the advantages of having old, unloveable furniture or belongings is that you have nothing to lose with this sort of project!  Let kiddos use paint pens on the old wooden chair in the basement or permanent markers on the inside of a beat up dresser (make sure it doesn’t come off on clothes though!). I once took a gold paint pen to a really boring computer monitor and covered it with swirls and polka dots. You can even designate an old T-shirt for altering.

8. Leave some leprechaun prints all around the house!  Tutus and Tantrums used a Barbie shoe and washable paint to leave these fun little prints!

9. Have the kids put on oversized t-shirts and stuff pillows inside so they can sumo wrestle.  🙂 Thanks to a reader at All for the Boys for the fun idea!

10. Hide a dozen little notes that say “Mama loves you” in unexpected places.  And perhaps a couple that say things like, “Watch out for the chicken behind you” and random gibberish.  I find that a little ridiculous silliness on Mama’s part keeps kids on their toes!  😉

And with that, my pretties, I’m off to look for that really big ream of newspaper end paper that I stashed away just for a dreary day like today. 

Have a magical week!



Filed under Ways to make today magical