Homemade Play-Doh

So last week was my birthday. I love birthdays but being a teacher, sometimes they are tough. I mean you have to prepare special snacks, games, activities, or just find an age-appropriate movie. Sometimes, however, you have that one parent that decides to take charge and not only collects money from all the parents for a gift but also organizes a party for you and the class – no work required. This year, that happened to me (and I am extremely grateful to that parent!)!

           This year I was thrown a science party. Not only did we get to explore the science that goes into … decorating cupcakes and colouring awesome pictures of scientists and science themes/ideas we also explored the science of combining different things to make a brand new things. We made our own play doh! How fun!!!

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But I thought that this would be a great adventure for you to try out on your own at home as well! If you have little ones, I will give you the recipe so you can have them measure it out and mix it together (and my students did all the measuring and mixing themselves and they are 5-6 years old), but if you have older ones that you would like to challenge – just give them the ingredients and see what happens.

Can they do it? How would they change the process the next time?

“How can you make play doh using only these ingredients?”

           Remember to store your play doh in an airtight container or bag to be reused daily (the play doh I took home is still going strong and it has been a while …).

The Great Play-Doh Recipe We Used

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Homemade Play Doh:

  • 1 ½ cup flour

  • ½ cup salt

  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar

  • 2 tbsp. oil

  • 1 cup boiling water

  • food colouring

Thanksgiving Weekend 2018

“As you go through life make this your goal - look at the doughnut and not the hole!”

~ Author Unknown

Do you focus on the donut or the hole? We have a lot to be thankful for. We live in a great country, there’s food on our tables, warm homes, a bed to sleep in, schools we can attend, family and friends, and so much more. There are many people who don’t have these things, people in our own communities and around the world. But there are many times that we take what we have for granted, and we complain about it - we look at the hole and complain that some of our donut is missing and that it should be bigger.  

This weekend Canada remembers to be thankful. Why not make this a big family portrait of all the things that you are thankful for. Grab a large sheet of paper, or multiple pieces of paper, some colouring things and make some thankful graffiti. Draw pictures and words that each person is thankful for.  Laminate these (I would just use mac-tack from the dollar store) and use these as place mats for each time that you sit down at the table to remember what you are thankful for. Need a little something to get you started? Print this page. Decorate the words in the middle as you discuss together the different things that you are thankful for as a family. Then take time to fill in the gaps around the words with images (or other words) that you are thankful for.

Take it to the next level by helping out those around you. Talk to your local “Meals on Wheels” organization (that’s what we call it here, maybe in your community it’s called something different – they cook meals on different weeknights for shut-ins), food bank, retirement center, or other organization that could use your help and see if you can help out in any way. Not only are you able to bless those around you, but you can see the gratitude on their faces. This also provides a great opportunity to encourage your children to look outside of themselves and their own familiar environment to realize that not everyone has all that they do.

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Apples, Apples and More Apples!

It's apple picking season and that means it's yummy food and snack season with all things apple! Take a look at some of the most delicious recipes our Curiosity Box team loves to snack on during the fall season:

Apple Oat Circles

The first recipe our team loves to enjoy is a healthy and quick snack that is a perfect pick me up in the afternoon! The little ones are sure to love this as an after school snack! This one’s so easy, the kids can even help!

 

Here's what you will need:

  • apples (whatever kind you choose!)

  • peanut butter or almond butter

  • oats

Core out the middle of the apple. Then slick the apple in slices. Spread the nut butter onto one of the slices and sprinkle oats.  Put another apple slice on top and that makes an easy apple protein sandwich!

Apple Dip - This one is seriously SOOOO good!

This recipe is perfect for functions, get together and parties all of the time! It's a family favourite and it always disappears fast! This one is dangerous too - you’ll have everyone asking for the recipe!

 

Here's what you will need:

  • Apples (we prefer the granny smith kind since the dip is so sweet)

  • Cream cheese

  • Apple Caramel Dip

  • Skor bards (or whatever favourite chocolate bar you prefer)

Spread the cream cheese over a plate. Then pour the caramel sauce all over the cream cheese. Hammer the skor bar into small bits and sprinkle over top of the caramel and cream cheese mixture. Cut up the apples and serve. YUM! 

Famous Apple Crisp

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Ingredients

  • 5-6 apples

  • ¼ c. water

  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp. Salt

  • ⅓ c. margarine

  • 1 c. brown sugar

  • ¾ c. flour

Preparation

  1. Peel and core your apples. Slice them into thin strips and place them into the bottom of your baking dish.  

  2. Pour the water on top of the sliced apples, and sprinkle the cinnamon and salt on top.

  3. Mix together the remaining ingredients and then sprinkle overtop of the apple mixture.

  4. Bake for 40-50 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Tips

When giving an apple crisp away, bake in a tin foil pie plate or baking dish (you can typically get these from the dollar store).  Add some caramels to create a fall fair flavour. Serve warm with some vanilla ice cream.

We hope you love our apple recipes as much as we do! Be sure to share your apple creations with us! We’d love to see all your apple desserts!


Weekend Activity: Fall Flowers

Here is an activity for families to do this weekend! 

Fall is the ideal time to begin planning for spring! Who knew right?!

There are certain plants that need to hibernate in the cold in order to properly germinate. And it is always best to get them in the ground before the ground freezes. Where I live, this weekend is supposed to be a beautiful weekend for being outside. Why not plan to brighten up the outside of your house by having some flowers grow … in the spring!

Seriously! I mean, who wouldn’t love getting down and dirty, digging in the mud. But what if you don’t have a garden around your place? You can grow bulbs in pots on the patio, or even on your windowsill. 

Why not take it to the next level and plant some bulbs on your counter … minus the soil! Yes! This actually works!

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Grab a glass jar and fill it 1/3 to ¼ of the way full with little pebbles or river rocks.

Cover the pebbles with water so that it is just touching the top of the rocks.

Gently place your bulb on top, ensuring that the flat/round part of the bulb is on the bottom and the point is on the top.

The water should barely be touching the bottom of the bulb – a bulb sitting in a puddle of water will rot.

Try paperwhites also known as narcissus, amaryllises, or hyacinths for these – I have had the best results with these ones. You can also try tulips. As the weather turns cool outside, you will begin to have some beautiful blooms in your home.

Be sure to share us your awesome fall plants with us on Facebook! We’d love to see your weekend creations!

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

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Arrrgggh! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is upon us!

What better way to celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day than by transforming your little ones into some awesome looking pirates?

Here's a quick and easy craft to give your kids one great looking pirate hat. All you will need are:

  • Bristol board (Black unless your kids want to get colourful with their hats!)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • White paper
  • Colouring utensils (Best to use markers)

Step 1: Create your hat stencil (2 times for each hat)

 Best to search for a stencil online and then trace it onto the bristol board.

Best to search for a stencil online and then trace it onto the bristol board.

Step 2: Cut out your hat

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Step 3: Draw Your Pirate Logo

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Get out the white paper and draw your best skull! Let your kids get creative with the colours!

Step 4: Glue the 2 Pieces Together

  Thanks to wikiHow for showing us how to create this amazing craft. International Talk Like a Pirate Day wouldn't of been the same without your help!

Thanks to wikiHow for showing us how to create this amazing craft. International Talk Like a Pirate Day wouldn't of been the same without your help!

Make sure to not glue along the bottom edges or else you won't be able to wear your new awesome pirate hat! Argghh, that'd be frustrating!

After gluing, leave your hat for an hour to dry properly. After that let your little pirates run wild and be sure to show us your creations on Facebook or Instagram!

Want even more for your little pirates? Like a parrot perhaps?

Check out this Pretty Parrot Craft to give your little ones a colourful companion! 

3 Crafts to do Before Summer Ends

School is right around the corner which means there is only a few weeks of summer left! 

Enjoy the remaining few weeks of summer by having some fun with these awesome crafts. We're telling you, these are MUST DO crafts that your little ones will be sure to love! 

Awesome Craft #1: Homemade Fireflies - That REALLY Glow!

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I think we all remember those rare summer nights when we were lucky enough to see some magical fireflies. So how awesome would it be if we could recreate those magical summer nights with our children with a quick and easy craft?

Here's how to create LED Fireflies to help your kids feel a little bit of summer magic:

For this craft all you will need are: plastic Easter eggs, pipe cleaners, LED lights, duct tape and some scissors! That's it, so easy and so fun to do with your kids.

Instructions: Just pop the flameless LED tealight into a plastic Easter egg. Poke holes through the egg with a thumbtack to insert the pipe cleaners. The eyes are drawn onto white sticky labels or you can use googley eyes, and the wings are silver duct tape. Quick, easy, and totally cute! This is a must do craft for your kids before school starts!

Craft Credit: Katie Steuernagle

Awesome Craft #2: Homemade Mason Jar Aquariums

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This is a hands down, a must do activity. Keep summer going and bring it inside with these homemade mason jar aquariums. 

Craft Materials:

  • Mason Jars

  • Blue Food Colouring

  • Water (Suggest using filtered water to give a clearer look, but tap water is fine to use)

  • Aquarium plastic figurines or toy fish (Can be bought at pet store or dollar store)

  • Aquarium rocks and plastic plants (Can be bought at pet store or dollar store)

Once you have the gathered materials, get creative and have some fun! Your kids will be sure to enjoy this one!

Craft Credit: Delia Crates

Awesome Craft #3: Colouful Squirt Gun Painting

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Easily the best summer boredom buster. Squirt gun painting is a great way to get your kids outside and to stop saying "Mom, I'm bored!".

Grab a few squirt guns (or even spray bottles), a few water paint colours and paper, and an easel (stand), and boom you're set!

Craft Credit: Melissa Lennig

Gonna do one of these 3 amazing activities before summers up? We'd love to see! Send your pictures to us at hello@curiositybox.ca or tag us on Facebook or Instagram!

Happy Crafting!

 

 

The Best S'more Recipes

Celebrate International S'mores Day in style this day this year with these awesome s'more recipes! You're little ones will be sure to begging you for s'more!

 1. No Fire S'mores:

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On rainy days, or days when you don't have a campfire, this treat is a perfect snack to cover that s'mores craving! Use Golden Grahams cereal, chocolate chips and marshmallows. Also a perfect snack to pack in baggies or containers for the long car ride to the camp to get the kids excited for camping and real s'mores around the fire! 

2. Easy S'mores Hack:

Get S'mores in the blink of an eye! SO easy and SO YUMMY!! All you need is two Family Digestive cookies and a toasted marshmallow...s'mores have never been so easy!

3. S'more Cones:

A campfire favourite - S'more cones! All you have to do is put some chocolate chips and marshmallows in the cone and wrapped them in foil and placed them on top of the grill of the fire. They were delicious!! 

Looking to make your s'more cones even more delicious? Try adding banana, M&M's, or caramel sauce! 

4. S'more Brownies

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What better combination than brownies and s'mores! Simply bake some delicious fudgy brownies and sprinkle marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate over top! 

5. S'more Muffins - THIS IS A HOUSE FAVOURITE

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This s'more recipe will be a sure crowd pleaser for your friends, family, and little ones to enjoy! 

The recipe you'll need for these awesome muffins: 

  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons marshmallow creme
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour

6. Pot of S'mores - This one is just too easy not to do!

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Delicious, simple, and a sure way to get your crowd to ask for s'more! Grab some chocolate chips, butterscotch chips (yes, trust me, you need them), marshmallows and graham crackers, and some butter and sweetened condensed milk and voila, a masterpiece! 

Grab the full recipe here: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/pot-of-s-mores/ 

7. Mini S'mores but Double the Deliciousness! 

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This one is fantastic, easy, and a twist on your traditional s'more. Make your s'more like you normally would, but then dip them in some melted chocolate and let them cool! Serve cold with a nice glass of milk. Important Safety Note: These ones are hard to put down!

We hope you and your family enjoy International S'mores Day and create some awesome s'more recipes! 

Be sure to share your awesome creations with us on Facebook or Instagram at @curiosityboxcrafts !

Backyard Bubble Snakes

Backyard snake bubbles is a quick, relatively mess free and fun activity for your backyard. And let's face it, kids could always use a bit more soap in their lives.

Supplies Needed for Backyard Bubble Snakes:

  • Socks
  • Scissors or knife
  • Dish soap (any brand will work)
  • Disposable water bottle
  • Large container
  • Water

Step #1: Remove the lid of the water bottle. Get an adult to cut off the entire bottom of the water bottle.

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Step #2: Pull the sock over the water bottle all the way to the top. 

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Step #3: Fold back the sock to secure it in place.

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Step #4: Liberally add soap to large bucket start with a few good squirts, you can always add more.

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Step #5: Place the sock end of the ‘bottle’ into the bucket and swoosh around for roughly 30 seconds. 

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Step #6: Have child blow into the top of the bottle and watch the magic happen! 

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Pro Tip: Add food colouring to the water for even more fun and awesome colourful bubbly snakes!

Note: This may stain the socks.

The crew who completed this task had the following things to say: 

"WOW look how fast the bubbles started!"
"Oh wow, the wind pulled the bubbles off the sock, look, we have bubbles everywhere."

When asked to clean up and dispose of the materials, one participant said: "This was fun, I want
to keep the materials to do this again!" 

Always fun when the activity is a crowd pleaser! Create backyard bubble snakes with your little ones this weekend using only: socks, water and dish soap, a water bottle and container, scissors and some fun creativity!

Paint Chip Fun

Who would've thought you could have so much fun with paint chips?

Take a look below at all the fun and awesome things you can create this weekend with some paint chip samples!

Paint Chip Colour Match - Perfect for Outdoor Fun

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Paint Chip Bookmarks - Perfect For Both You and Your Child's Books

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Paint Chip Wall-Art - Let Your Kids Help Decorate

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Paint Chip Calendar - Stay Colourful and Organized

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Get crafty this weekend by using some paint chip fun! 

Disclaimer: All ideas and photos are not owned or created by Curiosity Box. We simply pulled them together so you can enjoy some great inexpensive weekend fun!  

The Importance of Outdoor Play

It's time to put down the devices and get your kids outside this weekend! Outdoor play works wonders on your kids well being and Curiosity Box is here to help encourage your childs creative play all weekend long!

Get outside with your kid this weekend and discover the colours of the world with our free printable Rainbow Scavenger Hunt!

Download and Save Your Free Copy Here

Why Outdoor Play is so Important:

According to ParticipAction, Canadian kids between the ages of five and 17 spend 8-9 hours a day in sedentary activity, and only 8 percent get the recommended hour a day of physical activity; some of which happens indoors.

Technology is arguably the main culprit, but parental attitudes toward, sending children outside for unsupervised, unstructured playtime is also to blame. We’ve become overly risk-averse, worried about what others will think or afraid of abduction. In the past decade, the number of kids who play outside after school has dropped by 14 percent. Also, many of these children just don’t have time for play on top of their organized sports, music lessons, homework and more.

What Outdoor Play Can Do For Your Little One(s):

Boost Academic Performance

In a 2010 National Wildlife Federation report, 78 percent of teachers said they believe that children who spend regular time in unstructured outdoor play have more concentration and perform better in the classroom

Get a Better Sleep at Night

Let's face it, playing in the sun and running around is enough to tire anyone out, especially our little ones.

Increase Happiness

Who doesn't love playing outside? A recent study found that if we give our kids time and freedom outdoors, say the experts, we’ll see a dramatic shift in their stress levels, self-esteem, self-regulation and overall happiness. To the outside we go!

And of course, have fun!

Everything is better in the sun and the fresh air. Take advantage of the nice summer weather and encouraging your child to play outside. And like always, Curiosity Box will be here to provide free printables and activity ideas to enjoy!

If you haven't downloaded it already, make sure to download your free Rainbow Scavenger Hunt printable and enjoy adventuring with your little ones while you search for the colours of the world!

Thanks to Today's Parent for this great article, if you want to read the full thing, click here