Pokemon Crazy!

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Poke Ball Halloween Candy Satchel

My boys are Pokemon crazy.  I can not count how many times a day I hear about lifes and damage.  I tell myself that it is good, because they are working on their math skills and learning how to barter with the trading.  They have gotten all the kids at school into it.  I don’t think they really know how to play the game, but are obsessed with the trading cards.  My oldest is going to be Pikachu for Halloween.  So, I have been forced to jump on board and get Pokemon crafty.  Yesterday I surprised them with two Poke ball Halloween trick-or-treat baskets.

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They were pretty easy to make.  I spray primed two trick-or-treat pumpkins that I bought for a dollar each.  I covered the handles with masking tape first to protect them.  Once dry, I drew the black line and circle with black Sharpie marker, and painted the top half with red acrylic paint.  They were super excited to get the surprise baskets.

The next Pokemon craft that we made didn’t come out quite as I planned, but they still love them and you can make them in 5 seconds flat.

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Large Fishing Bobber Pokemon Balls

I found these 2.5″ fishing bobbers at Academy Sports & Outdoors.  You could make smaller ones, but the large ones are more true to size.

Fishing Bobbers/ Pokemon Balls
Fishing Bobbers/ Pokemon Balls

All you do is draw the line and circle with a Sharpie marker.  You could add some white paint to fill in the circle if you want.  I think this would be an easy craft for a Pokemon themed party.  Great party favors!  I hope your Pokemon crazy crew likes these crafty ideas.  Fun Fact-  Pokemon means Pocket Monster in Japanese.

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Make Boo Bubbles and Other Dry Ice Experiments- Halloween Science Fun!

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BOO… bubbles!

I ordered the Steve Spangler Science- Ultimate Dry Ice Science Kit for our Wee Warhols STEAM classes.  I figured that the Halloween workshop would be the perfect time to try it out, especially since we could make Boo Bubbles (dry ice fog filled bubbles).  I have to admit, I had never worked with dry ice before.  I felt a little intimidated by the stuff.  Now, I can’t get enough of it.  It was so much fun and the kids were completely enthralled!  You have to try it!

What is dry ice?
Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is part of the Earth’s atmosphere. Only about 0.035% of our atmosphere is made up of carbon dioxide. Most of the air we breathe is nitrogen (79%) and oxygen (20%). Plants use it for photosynthesis and we breath it out. – from Steve Spangler’s site-

Sublimation is the transition of a substance directly from the solid to the gas phase without passing through the intermediate liquid phase.

Safety

  • Dry ice must be handled using gloves or tongs, as it will cause severe burns if it comes in contact with your skin.
  • Always use safety googles when handling dry ice.
  • Always use under adult supervision.
  • Never put dry ice into your mouth.
  • If using it to carbonate a beverage, make sure the dry ice is completely gone before serving.
  • When making bubbling, smoking water for young children, it’s best to use tall graduated cylinders filled with water and dry ice. The children are unable to fit their hands in the cylinder to reach the dry ice.
  • Never trap dry ice in a jar without a vent. The pressure will build up and the jar will explode! This could cause serious harm to you or to someone else.
  • I would recommend wrapping the ice in a towel and use a hammer to break it up.  This way the ice doesn’t fly everywhere.
  • Use in a ventilated area, since it can lower oxygen levels.

Where can you buy dry ice?

I bought our dry ice from Central Market.  Steve’s website says some grocery stores that sell it are:  King Soopers, Safeway and Wal-Mart.  I’m sure you can call to check first.  I would guess it is easier to find around Halloween.

*The best place to store dry ice is in a styrofoam ice chest with a loose fitting lid.  (Remember, you don’t want an air tight lid.)

*Dry ice does not last very long, so buy it as close to “show time” as possible.

We started out with the Boo Bubbles which was a BIG hit.  The kids all wanted to hold or pop the bubbles to release the little ghosts.

  1. For this experiment we filled the Boo Bubble Generator 1/4 full with warm water.  (Dry ice works best with warm water.)
  2. We dropped some dry ice in water.  I closed the lid enough to send the fog traveling down the tube, but still left top open enough to let a little out the top.
  3. Dipped the end of the tube in a bubble solution.  Boom, we had Boo Bubbles!

We quickly noticed that the bubbles were less likely to pop when they touched the table cloth, my knit gloves, or clothing.  I asked the kids why that was so.  No one knew, so I explained.  A bubble’s three worst enemies are oil, dirt, and gravity.  The bubbles would pop, but the cloth shields them from their enemies.

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For the next experiment, we left some dry ice out on a plate and some normal “wet” ice out.  We noticed over time that the dry ice evaporated and the normal ice melted.

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Observing the difference between dry and normal ice.

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Then we just played (safely) with the dry ice.  Bubbling and fogging away.

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One observation that we made drove me crazy. Screaming Silverware- Whenever a metal object was held to the dry ice, the metal would scream.

Steve Spangler Science also has Halloween Kits.  You may be able to get one in time for your Halloween party.  (I am not an affiliate, I just really love Steve Spangler and his products.)  If you experiment with dry ice, I would love to hear all about it in the comments below.  Have fun!

 

 

 

 

 

How to make everything GLOW! Create Fun Halloween Sensory Experiences

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Glow “Worms”

I am so excited to share with you a super fun trick that I learned from 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids, by Asia Citro.  (What a great book!)  Two words, Glow Vitamins .  We had some spooky sensory fun with them today at Wee Warhols.  We made glow paint and played around with some other glow sensory materials, by using a black light and glow vitamins.

What you will need:

  • Glow Vitamins You can find them at your local grocery store.  Look on the back label of B-Complex or B-50 vitamins.  This is what works best: thiamin-50mg, riboflavin-50mg, niacin-50mg, vitamin B6-50mg, folic acid-400mcg, vitamin B12-50mcg, biotin-50mcg, and pantothenic acid-50mg.
  • Mortar and Pestle for crushing vitamin into fine powder
  • black lights (I suggest getting two, but one can work fine.)
  • diet tonic water (with quinine added) -diet is less sticky
  • aloe vera gel or cheap gel shampoo
  • shaving cream
  • cooked pasta or anything else you want to use as a sensory material
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Homemade Glow Paint

We started out by crushing up a glow vitamin and adding the fine powder to some aloe vera gel to make glow paint.  It was a little thick, so we added some tonic water to thin it out a bit.  The quinine in the tonic water makes things glow, but mostly it is the glow vitamin powder that does the trick.

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Glow Shaving Cream

Next we added a crushed up glow vitamin to shaving cream and played around with that using the black lights.  You could also paint with this using a brush or your fingers.  For the glow finale we wet some left over pasta with some of the diet tonic water and added glow powder to make “glow worms”.

Tis the season to make everything glow.  It is a fun sensory experience tactilely and visually.  Tomorrow we will make some glow slime.

 

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Process Art- Bubble Wrap Wall Printing

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This summer I created a mesh and PVC frame on our fence, for the Wee Warhols to engineer a large water wall on.  It was a great success!  I was worried that the kids would argue when building it, but they worked together amazingly.  It helped that I had everything ready to go for them at build time.

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Wee Warhol’s water wall in action!

It was a lot of work for me to build the frame.  I was going to take it down after our water day, since I had an art party at the house the next day, but I decided to take down the attached pieces and turn it into a huge canvas for the birthday goers to paint a mural on.

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Birthday Collaborative Mural

A friend of mine, Bar suggested I leave it up and make a large bubble wrap print making wall.  Brilliant!  I wanted to drag out the life of this thing for as long as I could, before my husband made me take it down for being an eye sore.  Plus, I had been inspired by a bubble wrapped tree image that I saw of Bar’s on Instagram and really wanted to try that.  Check out Bar’s bubble wrap tree post here  or see more bubble inspiration here: Art Bar’s Bubble Wrap Posts .


The Wee Warhols in print making action!

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Painting the Bubble Wall

I hung a variety of sized bubble wrap for the kids to paint.  Yes, I save EVERYTHING!  We used tempera paint, then made prints using thick paper.  I would have used acrylic paint, if I knew that we were going to repurpose the painted bubble wrap to make more art, but I didn’t think that far out.  Remember when I said that I save or reuse EVERYTHING?

Reusing the painted bubble wrap to make more art.

The next day I cut up a large drop cloth we funnel painted on that week, to use as the starter canvas for our bubble collages.

I got the drop cloth canvas idea from Mer Cherry .  (Good thing I am surrounded by creative art teacher friends.)  Canvas Inspiration

The kids cut sections of the bubble wrap and glued them onto the painted drop cloth canvases.  Like I mentioned, they flaked a bit, but still looked cool with lots of fun textures and colors.  All of these art making experiences were layered with wonderfully fun action / process art.

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Bubble Wall

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Bubble Wrapped Tree

img_8729

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One More.
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Find more bubble wrap process art here.

 

 

 

The Mama Succulent Leaf Gives All – Propagating By Division

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I would like to start out by admitting that I find it very hard to keep plants alive.  This is probably because I often forget to water them.  That is why I am a huge fan of  resilient succulent plants.  (Did you know that succulents are the only thing that can lose 90% of it’s body and still survive!?)  They contain so much water in the leaves and stems, therefore they are super low maintenance.  Luckily, I have a succulent expert neighbor Renee (whom we have labeled the “The Plant Lady”) who has taught me everything I know regarding succulents.  “The Plant Lady” turned me on to a grow project that I was really moved by, and shared with my Wee Warhols.  I would like to share it with you.

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Propagating by Division is a the technique where new succulents sprout from cuttings.  The mama succulent leaf cutting will give all of the water and nutrients that she has to grow new babies.  She will eventually wither and die, but the the babies can be replanted to live on.  I see this as good lesson for children about what a mama will do for her young.  What we are willing to sacrifice for our children.  Or maybe is just a cool lesson in growth and Botany.

What you will need:

  • A succulent plant that has become leggy (Plant having an excessively long and straggly stem.)  We used Baby Blue Kalanchoe Succulent leaves, which worked well.  Not all varieties of succulents will produce babies.  Also, note that each leaf has it’s own growth characteristic.
  • a tag for labeling
  • dry window sill with indirect light
  • time
  • If replanting you will need: succulent soil and small pot

Instructions:

  1. Gently remove the leaves from the bottom of the plant by wiggling them side to side, careful to retain the base of the leaf.  You could also use a leaf that has fallen.
  2. I labeled the cutting with dated tags, so the kids could keep track of the start and the end of the project.
  3. Let the cutting sit out in a warm, dry place with indirect sunlight.  (If you wanted to replant this leaf, this is where you would let the end of the stem callus or dry before planting it.  Otherwise, if you replanted them right away they would absorb too much moisture and rot.)
  4. Wait.  After a few days or a week or so you will start to see little pink roots sprouting from the ends of the leaves.  Then little baby plants will grow.
  5. When you feel like the “parent” leaf has given it’s all and withers, remove it carefully, keeping the new roots in tact.
  6. Replant the babies in well draining soil.
  7. Don’t over water the new plants.
  8. Avoid placing the new plants in direct sunlight.

 

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The kids were so excited about the process and the growth of the baby succulents.  My boys checked on the leaves daily.  It was sad when we set the mama out in a planter and separated the babies.  Well, maybe it was just sad to me.  I thought this was one of the sweetest STEM projects that we have done.  This grow experiment teaches children about Botany, which is the science of plant life.  It also involves math, since we are keeping track of time and counting down the days till we see new growth.  Since succulents produce new growth, this project is super inexpensive to try.  Older kids can expand the project by researching other plants that also produce babies externally like the velvet leaf kalanchoe, donkey ear succulent, pregnant onion, mother of thousands…  For instance, the donkey ear succulent can be torn in various places and grow babies where the leaf is torn.  Botany is its own world of science with endless possibilities.

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If you liked this project you will love our new book STEAM KIDS , where this project is among other creative STEAM activities.You can purchase the ebook here STEAM KIDS Ebook.

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Slime Stress Balls With A POP Of Fun – How To DIY

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Slime Stress Balls with POP Of Fun

I saw a cool video on Facebook that inspired this project.  They were called Infectious disease slime filled stress balls or something like that.  I thought, “We can make that!”  So we set up our little test kitchen and got to work.  We tried a few different recipes to go inside the balloons.

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Gel Filled
  1. We mixed liquid watercolors with a cheap gel-like shampoo or you could just use cheap hair gel.  This worked well, but we did find that it popped easier than the others and was not easy to clean up once popped.

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2. We tried making slime using one bottle of glue, liquid starch, and some color .  Once you work it into a good consistency , you can feed it into a balloon.

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Cornstarch Slime

3. We tried mixing corn starch , shower gel, and color.  This worked well in the balloon, but hardened after a few hours.  You could work with it again, and get it loosened up.  It wasn’t the best choice, because of it hardening.

4. We filled the balloons with water beads .  See how above.  You can also use this technique using a water bottle and the gel in #1.

What worked best?  #2. SLIME !

Once you fill your balloon, tie it off.  Wrap the stress ball with black fishnet stockings, and tie tightly.  You will need fishnets with larger holes.  If the openings are too small it will not work as well.  The kids went crazy over the stress balls.  We kept making them and the kids kept bringing them home with them.  A parent said that their child wouldn’t go anywhere with out his stress ball for a few days.  They were pretty durable, especially the ones with the slime in them.  This was a fun project, since who doesn’t like making slime and experimenting?  We figured out what works best, so you can get straight to making your own stress ball and be stress free.

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Test Lab

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slime, Figment Creative, stress balls, sensory, relax, diy, Wee Warhol's, Austin Art Class

 


Large Outdoor Nature Loom- Garden Branch Weaving

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Large Outdoor Weaving Loom

Along time ago these huge sticks fell in our yard after a hard rain.  Can I tell you how much life we have gotten out of them?  I’ll just show you.

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Okay, this was the only photo I could find, but we have painted the sticks, yarn wrapped, fabric wrapped, and glittered them…

This is how I built it:

There is no real right and wrong way to do it.  You just want to have enough twine to weave the nature elements into.

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This is a close up though.

Once the loom was built the kids went on a nature hunt and added sticks, vines, berries, and little little birds to it.

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nature art, nature loom, nature weaving, branch weaving, earth loom, nature crafts, Wee Warhols, Austin, art class

nature art, nature loom, nature weaving, branch weaving, earth loom, nature crafts, Wee Warhols, Austin, art class

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There is no right or wrong to this project.  Leave the nature loom out and just keep adding to it with anything feathers, twigs, yarn, leaves…  It encourages exploration, discovery, getting outdoors, and creativity.  Have fun!



Exploring Prism Play, A STEAM KIDS Project

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We were so excited to receive our new STEAM KIDS book the other day.  My Wee Warhols student “M” and I wanted to try out Buggy And Buddy’s Prism Play project right away.  I got out my three different size triangular prisms for us to explore.

M’s first question was, “What is that?”  Good question.  We talked about a prism as a shape.   In geometry, a triangular prism is a three-sided prism; it is a polyhedron made of a triangular base, a translated copy, and 3 faces joining corresponding sides. A right triangular prism has rectangular sides, otherwise it is oblique. -Wikipedia  All of those words seem to complicate things for a 3.5 year old, so we felt the prisms, exploring all the sides that create the form, getting to know the shape.

Reading the book, I explained to M that “Prisms cause light to refract and each wavelength of light bends at a different angle, separating the light into a spectrum of color.” – Chelsey Marashian

We placed the prisms on lined paper and observed how the lines appeared differently when viewing them under the prisms.

This was cool, but when I explained to M that we could make a rainbow, none of this other stuff seemed to matter any longer.  We NEEDED TO MAKE A RAINBOW!!!

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Rainbow

We placed the prism on white paper and played around with it until we saw a rainbow.  I asked M if she wanted to trace the rainbow.

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Tracing the Rainbow

I decided we should get out some Geometric Solids and explore what happened when the light passed through them.  We placed them out on the paper.  M traced the colored light that was created.

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tracing the colored shapes

We noticed that as time passed and the sun shifted the shapes and the intensity changed as well.  M went home, but I continued to record the changes (whenever I remembered to).

 

M and I also read Light , My First Discoveries book.  This is a good resource when talking about many aspects of light.

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If you haven’t gotten your copy of STEAM KIDS , you should.  It is filled with fun STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) projects that will make your child question, explore, and create.

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If you are interested in downloading the STEAM KIDS ebook Click HERE.

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