Monthly Archives: August 2013

Ridiculously Fun Colourful Bubble Foam

Colourful Bubble Foam | Mama Papa Bubba

Oh my word… I’m so glad we finally got around to trying this!  I pinned the idea over a year ago and I knew it was going to be fun, but I had no idea just how much Miss G would love it and how much play it would bring about (just wait until we get to those pictures!)  

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For our bubble foam, we used an eco-friendly dish soap (only because that’s what we use in our house – I’m sure the regularly variety would probably make even better, ‘stronger’ foam) and an assortment of gel and liquid food colouring (both worked well – we just used a little less of the gel because of its strength and a little more of the liquid).

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While Amanda of Dirt and Boogers put both her blender and food processor to use when making her foam, we got out our supplies, and decided to try using our Kitchen Aid mixer instead.  I wanted to make a lot of foam, and I figured its big bowl would allow us to do so in fewer batches, and I figured that it would be able to whip the foam just as well as, if not better, than a food processor or blender (I also think a hand blender would work well too!)

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To make our foam, Miss G added 2 tablespoons of dish washing liquid, 2/3 a cup of warm water, and 2 drops of gel food colouring (or 4 or 5 of liquid) to the machine’s bowl.  Then we fired up the mixer on its highest speed, and let it whip the mixture into foam for 2 solid minutes.  The result was this thick, luxurious foam that formed soft peaks when a spoon was lifted out of it.

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We continued the process with 4 other colours of Gracen’s choosing, working quickly so that the foam would maintain its thick texture.

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After completing all of the colours in about 10 minutes or so, you can see that the purple foam we made first was starting to ‘air up’, but Grae didn’t mind one bit.  She was just thrilled that it was time to dive in finally!

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While I did consider bringing some items to use while playing in the bin (I thought maybe cups to hold foamy drinks or cars to put through a foamy carwash), I ended up skipping that part and I’m glad I did.  Sometimes less is more, and in this case, the foam was plenty of fun on its own.  Gracen immediately started swirling the colours together which made me wonder if next time we should try just 3 colours – red, blue, and yellow – to see how well a little colour mixing experiment would turn out.  Either way, swirling the rainbow colours together was brilliant fun.

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With her hands and arms absolutely covered in foam, the clapping began…  And goodness gracious, did she ever find flying foam hilarious!

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Next up, this silly slippery hands position took form…

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And before long, a certain someone’s head was in the bin!

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She popped up with hair full of foam, and I knew exactly what was happening next.

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Please tell me I’m not the only one whose kid strips off their clothes and jumps into their sensory bins in order to get the full effect…

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And who am I to deny this sort of crazy, messy, foamy fun really?

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Fully covered in bubbles, Miss G told me that they felt ‘so soft and cozy on her bare skin’ and I don’t doubt it for a minute!  At this point I was sort of glad we’d used eco-friendly soap as her skin can sometimes be quite sensitive, which led me to wonder if the same sort of results could be reached with a baby shampoo, bath wash, or bubble bath instead?  Another experiment for another day, I guess. ☺  The good news is that this foam didn’t irritate her skin in the least, and they lasted for a ridiculously long time.

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One thing I hadn’t thought of when we put together this sensory activity was the possibility of bubbles… And boy, oh boy, were there ever bubbles!  Big, giant, huge ones that formed in the space between her two legs and between her arms and her body each time she’d stand up.  (It’s hard to see, but there’s a giant one coming from in between her shins in this photo.)

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Without a doubt, this has been one of our most fun and engaging sensory activities in a long time, and for a little bit of dish soap, some water, and some food colouring, I’d say that’s pretty amazing! 

Colourful Bubble Foam

  • 2 tablespoons of dish soap
  • 2/3 cup of warm water
  • 2 drops of gel food colouring (or 4 – 5 of liquid food colouring)

Place all ingredients in a bowl.  Using a kitchen mixer or a handheld mixer, mix the ingredients on the highest setting for 2 minutes (or until the foam forms stiff peaks).  Repeat with as many colours as desired.

Enjoy!

 

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A Vist to Kangaroo Creek Farm

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It took us a while, but we finally made it to the Kangaroo Creek Farm in Winfield today.  It’s been on our radar since visiting the zebra farm last summer, and I’m so glad we snuck it in before leaving.  

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The farm, which feels as rural as can be, is {sort of surprisingly} tucked in right behind the A&W when driving through Winfield on Highway 97.  We arrived early this morning, found a free parking spot on the road above, and headed down the long driveway excited to see our first ‘roo.  After making our donation (the farm works on an honour-based donation system), we entered the kangaroo enclosure and immediately ran into this little guy.  

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At first, Miss G, our little animal lover, was quite apprehensive and didn’t want to go near the ‘roos, but in a few minutes time, this was her…  Loving on the animals in true Gracen style.  Perhaps a wee bit too comfortable!

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It was very neat to be able to wander around an open enclosure with the kangaroos, but without a doubt, Gracen’s favourite part was holding the babies.

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We lined up not once, but three separate times to do so.  Each time, Grae patiently waited the 10 or 15 minutes it took to get to the front, then hopped up on an empty chair, and waited another few minutes until she was passed a tiny ‘roo in a terry towel pouch.

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While some of the babies were {understandably} pretty sleepy, others were quite alert and enjoyed sniffing and interacting with her (one even began nibbling on the lace collar of her dress!)

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True to her very nurturing personality, she was super kind and gentle with each one.  She’d run her cheek along the fur on their heads, greet them with a warm and soft ‘hello’, and tell them that they were ‘good little baby kangaroos’ and that she loved them sooo much.

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We really enjoyed our morning spent with kangaroos.  It was a totally unique experience and I loved how informal and non-commercial it all felt.

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Miss G loved it too.  So much so, that as we were driving out of Winfield (not 2 minutes from the farm), she excitedly proposed, “I have an idea!  How about after my sleep we come back to the kangaroo farm for ANOTHER visit!”

Next summer for sure, Miss G.  Next summer…

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Simple Summer Fun: Seashell Painting

Simple Summer Fun Painted Seashells | Mama Papa BubbaWhile cleaning out our vehicle yesterday, I realized that we still had a big stash of beach shells we’d collected a couple months hiding in our hatch (you know you’re a parent when…)  We’d originally collected them with the intent of painting them, so that’s just what we did.  

IMG 0693First, we gave our shells a good scrubbing in some hot soapy water and laid them in the sun to dry for a few minutes.

IMG 0691Then Miss G chose a few colours of acrylic paint, and we got started.

IMG 0694Since acrylics will stain clothes, Gracen often wears a painting shirt or no shirt at all while using them.  And with the Okanagan weather being as hot as it has been lately, going without was a perfect option.  She quickly chose a shell, a paintbrush, and her colour, and got started.

IMG 0699While I often like setting out an activity, letting Grae discover it on her own, and standing back to see how she engages with the materials, I love sitting down and creating with her too.   I find that many times, some of our very best conversations take place when we’re sitting beside one another, hands busy.  Today we chatted about our upcoming move to Kuwait and some of the changes that will soon take place.  Just as it’s always been, she seems nothing but excited about it all.  We talked about her new bedroom, how she’d like purple things in it, how she’s anxious to have her very own bathroom, and how she’s looking forward to being closer to Uncle Daniel (our very dear friend who will live just 7 floors above us).  We also chatted about how, although we’ll be in the exact same apartment we had last time, the nursery she had as a baby will no longer look the same (she was excited to jump in her baby crib, but everything was sold when we left and we’ll be returning to an empty apartment).

IMG 0707Our conversation carried on shell after shell…  While we talked, Gracen experimented with different colours, colour mixing, paint layering, and painting both the insides and outsides of her shells.

IMG 0704Here are some of our colourful creations in progress.

IMG 0701After seeing my pink shell with aqua polka dots, Miss G wanted to do some polka dots of her own.  She painted her entire shell aqua, waited patiently for it to {mostly} dry, and then dabbed blobs of purple on top.

IMG 0710Like rock painting, collecting seashells and painting them seems like a summer staple to me… Something that just begs to be done year after yet because of its simplicity, beauty, and all of the possibilities. 

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Bubble Painting

Bubble Painting | Mama Papa BubbaYesterday Miss G and I finally got around to something that’s been on my mental activity list forever now… Bubble painting!  Now if you cruise Pinterest, you’ll see that bubble painting is all over the internet and everyone seems to do it a little bit differently.  Variations include all different sorts of bubble solutions, wands, and methods, so we just made up our own.  

IMG 0602Since we’re staying with Brad’s parents until our big move and Grandma Charlotte seems to be stockpiling bubble solution for an upcoming bubble solution drought (Hi Charlotte! ☺), we used store-bought bubbles to make our bubble paint.  We simply divided a small bottle between 4 mason jars, then added some food colouring.  We went for liquid food colouring this time around and added between 8 and 10 drops to each jar in hopes of some fairly vibrant colours.  Then we chopped the bendy part off of 4 straws, and popped one into each jar to use as bubble blowers.

IMG 0603To set the station up, I taped a large piece of paper onto a chunk of cardboard and set it out on the back deck.  Of course you could set this up on a table or easel, but I liked the fact that Gracen could get up above her canvas and blow the bubbles directly down towards the paper.  Same goes for our straw bubble blowers…  You could easily use traditional bubble wands, but I felt that the straws helped guide the bubbles in the right direction.  As for the outside part, since food colouring does stain and the Okanagan has been absolutely gorgeous, it was just the best option.

IMG 0606Gracen began blowing bubbles and we anxiously awaited for them to hit the paper.  As soon as they landed, the paper below the bubble immediately flooded with colour.  Some bubbles popped right away, and some stuck around for a while.

IMG 0676We worked on our painting for a little while yesterday, then tucked it away to come back to today.  As you can see, Miss G thought it was just as neat on day two.

IMG 0671It also seemed like our bubble paints had evaporated a bit in the Okanagan sun, leaving our colours even more vibrant than before.

IMG 0848Here’s a look at some of our finished artwork… Pretty, right?

IMG 0841And how cool is this bubble up close?!  You can just see the ‘POP’ right in the print.

I love activities like this one… It’s simple, requires materials we always have in the house, and is really fun. Bubble painting is definitely being added to our list of summer favourites. 

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Summer As it Should Be

IMG 0613IMG 0620IMG 0625JUMPThis is pretty much how we spent our entire day today…  Basking in the Okanagan sun and soaking in as much of the mountains and green grass as possible.  Oh, and there was a whole lot of watching our little fish jump full force into her pool too. 

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Incognito

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Sweet & Stretchy {EDIBLE} Marshmallow Dough

Edible Marshmallow Dough | Mama Papa BubbaWhile Gracen napped this afternoon, I decided to finally put the bag of marshmallows I’ve been carting around for the last couple of weeks to good use.  And oh my word, am I ever glad I did!  

IMG 0527I originally came across this post via Pinterest and immediately fell in love with the idea of marshmallow dough. As insane as it sounds, I often find myself thinking, hmmm…. what can we mix with cornstarch today?  (Totally crazy, I know.) We’ve tried water, shampoo, and hair gel, but I had never thought of marshmallow goo before!  I filed the idea away and knew it would make for an extra special day one day soon.  Today, when it came time to make it, rather than retrieving my computer from the other end of the house and pulling up the recipe, I decided to wing it.  And I must say, it turned out really well.  Turns out that our dough is missing 2 of the ingredients in the original recipe, but I think it would turn out well either way. The finished product is soft to the touch, yet firm, tacky, but not so sticky that it makes a mess of your hands, and it smells absolutely amazing – like Rice Krispie treats or cotton candy.

IMG 0530With the dough made, I set out a few fun things to explore it with on Grae’s little picnic table outside.  Included were some sundae cups and spoons, a knife, some heart-shaped cookie cutters, some birthday candles, some sugar crystals, and some candy sprinkles.  Then it was time to wait for the little miss to wake up.

IMG 0540I was so anxious for her to discover the play invitation I’d set up that it was just my luck that she’d ask to stay in her room for quiet play time upon waking up, rather than coming out and getting her afternoon started like she normally does. ☺  When she did come out of her room though, she spotted the marshmallow dough station through the window almost immediately.  Her eyes lit up with excitement and curiosity and she was off to play.  

IMG 0542After a little bit of cutting and pulling, it was straight to the candy sprinkles – and who can blame her really? They’re just so darn colourful and fun-looking!

IMG 0550Of course, what pairs better with sprinkles than birthday candles?

IMG 0555I think she may be getting anxious for the birthday party that’s happening next weekend…

IMG 0552The really cool thing about marshmallow dough is that other than being soft and smooth and smelling {and tasting!} delicious, it has an incredible amount of stretch.  It can be pulled and pulled and pulled without breaking.  Even when you’re trying very hard, as Miss G clearly is in this photo. ☺

IMG 0556Though it’s quite a bit firmer and stickier than a regular play dough, it still cuts well with cookie cutters, which Grae was pleased about.

IMG 0566And the plus side to the slightly sticky nature of the dough is that candy sprinkles cling to it really well.

IMG 0561Next up was some cutting practice.  Gracen really enjoys cutting, and I really should have brought out a sharper knife for her to continue practicing with, but a butter knife did work.  Because the dough is quite heavy, it provides a good amount of resistance, which is great for building up those little hand muscles.

IMG 0564Gracen loved exploring marshmallow dough, and though I really don’t want her eating corn-syrup filled marshmallows just yet, the beauty of this play material is that it is fully edible, so you don’t have to worry about little ones who are inclined to put things in their mouths getting sick if they do sneak a taste.

IMG 0548One thing to keep in mind is that because marshmallow goo eventually does set, you’re really only guaranteed one day of supple, mouldable dough.  For us, this wasn’t a issue as Grae played with it for a good long time and I felt we got more than enough play out of it to be worth the cost of the ingredients and the effort that went into making it.

If you’d like to make your own batch (which you certainly should!), here’s our modified version…

Coloured {Edible} Marshmallow Dough (inspired by My Buddies & I)

  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (or other high temperature tolerant oil)
  • 1 one pound bag of large marshmallows
  • 3 – 4 cups of cornstarch
  • food colouring

Over medium heat, melt coconut oil in a pot.  Once liquid, add the entire bag of marshmallows.  Stir frequently until marshmallows are completely melted.  

Working quickly, divide the marshmallow mixture into four bowls (approximately 1 cup per bowl) and stir in 3 drops of liquid food colouring into each.  Add 3/4 of a cup of cornstarch to each bowl to start.  Using a spoon, stir vigorously until marshmallow goo and cornstarch begin to come together.  Use your hands to knead in the extra cornflour once the dough is cool enough to handle.  If needed, add an extra 1/4 of cornstarch to each bowl to firm up the dough, however, be careful not to add too much as the dough will become overly hard.

Enjoy!

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Dog & Girl: Best Buds

IMG 0568Just look at how far these two have come…  

The relationship started off a little rocky (Bella was over keen and Gracen was terrified), but after some serious effort on Grandma Charlotte’s part, they began getting used to one another and eventually began a friendship.  Now these two are inseparable.  When Bella’s around, everyone else may as well be invisible, and when Gracen’s around, Bella can be off her leash and not run away.  Now if that’s not a match made in heaven, I don’t know what is. ☺

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