Wednesday, August 06, 2014

a little diy project....

we (as in the hubs and pepaw) built the kids' play fort way back when amanda and anthony were toddlers.

since then it's moved from one house to another

been the scene of many accidents (including zach's broken arm)

many little army men have been sacrificed in the sandbox

it's been painted, torn down by the dog (long story) and reconstructed many times over

it's been a spy fort for the little boys

an overnight campsite for the twins

the swings have been replaced numerous times

and much more

a baby swing once hung from it and was used by every child in our family

it's been a staple in our backyard for many years

and just a simple source of entertainment (and abuse lol) for our kids.

through the years we've had various covers on the fort part of it
many of them were ripped to shreds by storms (or the kids)

this summer,
in the hopes of giving it - yet again - a little face lift, i decided to make a new canvas cover for it.

i was given some canvas fabric from a friend and i really didn't know what to do with it
there was a good bit of fabric, but it was leftover from previous projects.
even though what i was given was a lot, it was all cut up in various sizes.
in an effort to clean up some of my fabric stash (you know, so i could make room for more ;o)
i took all that canvas and cut it into squares, then i headed to the fabric store and bought some coordinating fabric and cut that into squares as well. 

as i started piecing it together i realized i was going to need a lot more fabric, but i didn't want to spend any more money - so i headed to my closet and grabbed some old jeans that were way too big for me now that i lost weight and
 i ripped those up and cut them into squares as well.

next, i just started sewing....and sewing

.....and sewing

whenever i got tired of sewing, i painted the fort

i thought it would fun to paint a chalkboard on the wall.
so, i bought some chalkboard spray paint...

then, i painted the whole thing with a fresh coat of white paint - ok, so i confess, i still need to touch up here and there, but i have more plans in store, so i will - pinky swear - finish painting it at some point.

i painted the floor of the fort and the steps grey

when i finished sewing the cover
i took some more jeans and trimmed around the edges and then cut them for a cute fringe trim.

next, i took the top part of the jeans and made them into pouches for the kids to put chalk and other treasures inside....

the end result....
(at least so far - i still want to spruce it up by painting the sandbox portion, adding new swings - yet again - and a few other odds and ends 

ready for many more years of entertainment, adventures and fun.

heck, even i like hanging out in there....too bad the kids always manage to find me.

total cost (so far)
$10 in fabric
$5 for the chalk board paint
$4 for the blue trim paint

the white and grey paint were leftovers from other projects

looks pretty good for cheap less than $20 make over

don't you think so?

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

experimenting with dry ice

what do you do with a block of dry ice?

why, fill up balloons, of course.

every month, my nutrisystem frozen meals come in a styrofoam container packed in dry ice.

i usually just throw the ice on the back porch and the boys watch it disintegrate
and release the gas causing it to smoke.

well, this month since we are working on science, I decided we should experiment with it.

we took some balloons and carefully (ok, so I wasn't so careful) filled them with chipped dry ice
you should really use some heavy duty gloves because the ice burns your fingers - just trust me on that ;)

how does it work:

when dry ice is exposed to warm air carbon dioxide is produced through a process called sublimation.
this is because dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide and it needs to be really cold to stay frozen.
the balloon inflates because the carbon dioxide gas takes up lots of space - eventually filling and stretching the balloon out to 'blow' it up.

getting bigger....

now it's as big as his head...

we did this several times, it was fun seeing how fast the balloons would blow up and whether or not they would explode from the pressure

we decided to throw them into a creek to see if placing them in warm water would make them blow up faster.

if you look closely, you can see the chunks of ice inside the balloon

most of our balloons just traveled down the creek after they were filled up, a few of them even got stuck under the bridge and we couldn't see them anymore.

so that part of the experiment was a bust.

however, one of the balloons did pop after it hit the water.

if you look closely you can see little bits of orange from the popped balloon

it takes anywhere from 5-20 minutes for the balloon to expand fully, depending on how big the balloon is and how much ice you put inside it.

and just like any other balloon eventually it will deflate.
Nathan was surprised when he woke up the next day and his balloon was small again.

Monday, August 04, 2014

elephant toothpaste

another fun science experiment

elephant toothpaste


what you need:

1/2 cup 20-volume hydrogen peroxide liquid 
(20-volume is a 6% solution, which can be found at a beauty supply store or hair salon)
1 Tablespoon of dry yeast
3 Tablespoons of warm water
Liquid dish washing soap
Food coloring

note: we used regular hydrogen peroxide, if you use the 6% the liquid will come out even more foamier.

*please make sure that if you use the 6% kind, it is a lot stronger and 
you will need safety goggles and gloves when you do this experiment

pour hydrogen peroxide into a small soda bottle
add 8-10 drops of food coloring
add about a tablespoon of liquid dish soap
swish it all around

in a small bowl or cup
mix the water and yeast together

then head outside.....

pour the yeast mixture into the bottle and stand back.

how it works:

the yeast acts as a catalyst, which makes the peroxide molecule release the oxygen atom faster. 
the reaction creates a foam that shoots up out of the bottle, as it begins to flow out of the bottle, it looks like toothpaste being squeezed from a tube.  
the bottle will feel warm to touch - this is caused by an exothermic reaction.

foamy fun....feels like shaving cream.

a bit of a warning, it will stain your clothes, so make sure you wear old play clothes or a smock.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

who knew....

science is fun

this summer we have been doing a lot of different experiments
nothing too fancy or crazy, but just enough
to have a little fun

what boy or kid, for that matter, on this planet doesn't like a little explosive mess now and then?

Nathan LOVED these exploding bag bombs.

I swear we have been buying out the local store of vinegar and baking soda this summer  haha.

All you need for these bags is

a paper towel or toilet paper
 (we found that the toilet paper works faster, less absorbent I guess)
2 TBS baking soda
1 cup vinegar
zip lock baggie
warm water
food coloring
(optional...and a lot more fun)

place the baking soda on the toilet paper 

and roll it up to make a little packet

pour vinegar into the baggie and add just enough warm water to make the bag more than half full
add food coloring, if so desired.

next, head outside
(trust me, you don't want this mess in your house)

once you are outside, place the baking soda packet in the baggie
quickly - yeah, you better move fast - zip up the bag and place it on the ground




our's started exploding and overflowing before it even hit the ground.

Nate's favorite one was the red one - he said it looked like blood and guts hahah - boys!

how it works:

baking soda and vinegar mixed together starts a chemical reaction that makes carbon dioxide.  the gas bubbles up to the surface of the liquid and then fills the top of the bag.
the pressure from the gas builds up and when there is nowhere else for the gas to go, the bag bursts open and the gas escapes.

fun stuff!