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I am always looking for fun crafts and activities to do with my kids, but I am NOT creative. I also hate complicated projects that require a ton of craft supplies, since I am lucky if we have glue in my house. I know it is important for my kids to enjoy science projects and crafts that build their imagination… but beyond coloring and the basic baking soda/vinegar volcano, I don’t even know where to start! When three bloggers that I love announced they were writing a book ALL about the power of play, I knew I had to have it.
If you have ever visited the blogs Parenting from the Heart, Twitchetts, or Views from a Stepstool… you quickly realize that these gals know what they are doing when it comes to encouraging play-based learning. They are always sharing simple, yet fun activities kids love, while also teaching critical life skills simply by playing.
Recently, they decided to team up and share their creative genius in their new book: The Undeniable Power of Play: 101 Tips, Activities and Play-Based Learning Strategies to Engage Your Child. The book explains the research behind why play is not only enjoyable for kids, but a crucial part of learning and development. The the book is full of crafts, activities, printables and recipes to help you create memorable playtime experiences while turning your kids into little smartys without them even realizing it! 😉
There are SO many crafts in this book! All of them are simple and can be created with items you likely have on hand! (I already had everything I needed to do this mini lava lamp craft!) Pinterest is fun and all, but I rarely attempt the crafts I find on there. With this book, I have all the crafts right there, to grab whenever I need something creative to keep the kids busy. Almost all of the activities have a variation for infants/young toddlers and older kids. There is also a ‘more ways to play’ section with ideas on ways to switch up the craft each time you do it.
We did the lava lamp science craft and my kids were so impressed. My son asked me at least 5 times where I found out how to make it and to explain it to him so he could tell his friends! It was so much fun and they have already asked to make it again. (it was also super simple, which was a total lazy mom win for me!)
Mini Lava Lamp from The Undeniable Power of Play
You will need:
- Glass or clear jar
- Vegetable Oil
- Baking Soda
- Food Coloring
- Dropper, Pipette,or Syringe (the ones that come with your kids medicine works well since you know you have tons of those)
- Pour a layer of baking soda at the bottom of the glass
- Slowly pour vegetable oil on top
- In a separate bowl, mix a few drops of food coloring in with vinegar. (I made 3 bowls with different colors)
- Use the dropper to drop the colored vinegar into the oil and sit back and watch the fun!!
If you are constantly stumped when it comes to fun and educational things to do with the kids, you should grab a copy of The Undeniable Power of Play!