Grass Pets

What’s more fun than playing with dirt, water, and a fast growing plant you can cut often?  The hot topic of my kids at the moment are their new grass pets. The idea started with Pinterest (of course!) and a Cub Scout activity. The original idea used at Cub Scouts included a pantyhose sock, adding grass, seeds, and fleeing on a face. After a few days it became exhausting watering them twice a day, do I knew a modification was necessary as both kids loved the Grass Man!

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Materials needed:

  1. 2 letter bottle (or other container)
  2. Scissors (to cut the bottle)
  3. Duct tape (for the cut edges)
  4. Paint and other things to decorate the container
  5. Grass seed (I found a 1 lb bag for $3 at Walmart, that’s more than enough!)
  6. Water and container easy for the kids to poor the water out of (like a measuring cup)
  7. Dirt

Suggested prep work before kids start to help (some kids could do some of the prep work, use your best judgment)

  1. Take an empty 2-leter or other container and rinse It out, then cut the bottom part off.
  2. Use duct tape to cover the edges, I did this to make sure the kids didn’t accidentally cut themselves when playing with it.
  3. I wanted to give my kids a fresh canvas to paint, so I painted each one a base color, one white, one green and one pink.

Kids of just about any age can help with this part

  1.  Paint any design on the container, or if you prefer decorate it in any way. My kids love things that glow in the dark, so we added some glow in the dark paint.
  2. Once the paint is dry (I made a 2-day event out of this), I had the kids fill the containers with dirt. We used a measuring cup to scoop out the dirt.
  3. After the container was full with dirt I used a liquid measuring cup to let them add water and mix the eater into the dirt.
  4. Make sure to have them flatten out the dirt, then add grass seed. I put some grass seed in a plastic container for them to sprinkle or dump on.
  5. At this point I added some wet dirt on top.  I should suggest not to, after a few days the grass was pushing the layer of dirt off and I ended up pealing it off. I wash I took a picture, but at the time I didn’t think about it.

Now all you have to do is watch and water!  The kids and I enjoyed looking at how much they grew each day and compare the two. We ended up watering them every two to three days. After about a week it was long enough to cut the grass if we wanted to (we may try that tomorrow, exactly one week after planting the grass).

Here are a few pitchers of the first day, third day (when we took the layer of dirt off) and fifth day.

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Paper Mâché Pumpkins

This post was inspired by both rotting pumpkins and this pin about paper mâché pumpkins.

This was a bit of a last minute craft so after work one day I did a quick search for how to make paper mâché. I found three ways to make it and decided to try with glue and water. After going through two glue bottles I tried the flower, water, and salt in a bag trick. I must say, the flour and water worked better. It was also really easy and fun for the kids to mix it in a bag.

We also used what little news paper that we could find, some worked. Enter than others. The glossy paper didn’t work well except for the bottom. The thiner paper also worked the best (we had some thicker news paper in the mix too). When working with the paper I found longer rectangles worked the best with the sides, thin long rectangles worked best for the stems and square or thick rectangles worked best for the bottom. Also, it was not easy tying the string around the balloons to get the pumpkin shape.

Overall the kids had a great time! I also really enjoyed the craft a lot as well. A word of warning, if you are doing this with younger kids they may not finish all aspects. With both of my kids they did almost a full first layer and I finished it up for them. Both kids had a great time and even named the pumpkins Rolly Polly.

Here is what we started with.

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The top two are from the first round, the middle was the last, and the bottom are after painting.

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Octopus – April 19th 2014

I have recently started to “paint”. I thought it would be neat to post pictures of the paintings and a little about what I learned. This is one of my most recent pictures, one of two in my ocean series.

I painted both backgrounds at the same time to make sure the mixed paints matched. I love the multi-color background. I started with painting it all blue, then mixed lighter and darker colors on the canvas. After a few days (or months) of drying I took them out to add the rest. I love the gobs of paint and am still trying to figure it all out.

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