Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wave Bottles - A Project For Infants/Toddlers

This is an off-topic post, but that's ok. It's not too far off, since it's crafty and it's for my job. I nanny for an almost-2 year old and a 7 month old, and I thought I would bring them a little present that I've used in child care centers before: wave bottles! These are really fun, easy, cheap, fast, and very versatile. I chose to do simple ones, although you can also add glitter and other goodies in the water to make it more interesting. I chose to do rainbow colors and leave it at that for now. The point of the wave bottle is that you basically have a wave in a bottle...children can experiment with all types of motions, speeds of shaking, and see what the water does. You can also make bubbles when shaking, because the water and oil can get trapped inside each other when they separate. Anyhow, onto the tutorial!
Here's what you'll need:
Water bottles, half full :)
Clear oil, baby oil works well
food coloring and any other goodies you want to add to the water
a hot glue gun 

I chose the small aqua pods because they have a neat shape and they are easy for little hands to hold. The wrapper also slides right off, so no mess with sticky residue! You can use basically any size, and 2 liters can be really fun for older children. The biggest thing to remember is to glue the tops shut. If you don't, you will have a HUGE mess on your hands if/when your child figures out how to unscrew a bottle cap.
Start by adding the food coloring to your water.
Next, add the oil. It may bubble, but don't worry, that will settle when it separates.
Heat up your hot glue gun. This should not be done with the children.
Apply a ring of glue around the cap of your bottle. I put mine around the thread so it would glue super tight. Screw on the cap, let sit until cool, and enjoy!
 It was a little hard to capture the waves with one hand, but they are a lot of fun. Larger ones allow for bigger waves, but I like this size for infants and young toddlers. My next project will be gathering natural materials for dry bottles to observe in the house. The little boy and I have been searching around the neighborhood for different types of tree seeds, talking about how the seeds are eaten by birds and little animals, and are planted when they fall from the tree or are left behind by a bird or animal after they have eaten it (in their poo, you could say). We have been talking about what seeds are used for, and investigating all the shapes they come in. It is pretty interesting!
As usual, Slinky is always checking out what I'm up to. As for sewing projects, I haven't had a lot of time with all the graduate school stuff, work, and some other things. I finally passed a kidney stone that popped up this past week, so today I had a lot of energy and worked on a lot things. One thing I worked on was a dress for our trip to Hawaii in October for our friends' wedding (which we will almost 90% be able to go to...if not, I will have some great summer dresses anyway!). I am patterning this after this dress:
(picture from our last apartment...I was really excited over the big closet!)
I bought this dress a few years ago on clearance from a White House/Black Market outlet store for about $10. It is awesome, easy, breezy and must be belted, otherwise it looks like a mumu. It has an elastic collar (weird! but cute) and little cap sleeve-like straps. I am struggling a little with that part, but I have the basic shape done. Right now it is a maxi dress that will have elastic sewn in in place of a belt (which can be hot and I want this to be cool and breezy). My boyfriend likes the idea of an asymmetric hemline with a big gather on one show a little leg. ;) We will see how it comes together. It is taking me a long time but I am excited to wear it. :)

What are you working on? Happy Father's Day everyone!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Broke Now or Broke Later?

Quick opinions...I got accepted to graduate school, but it is costly. The only financial aid I got was government loans, which can cover the costs and then some (but why borrow when you don't need to?). My question is...should I accept the small subsidized loan and bust my butt to cover the additional costs myself, or borrow it all and worry about paying it back later with interest?

Broke Now or Broke Later? I CAN'T DECIDE!

I wish I had more to share but life keeps throwing me curve balls. Poor Jel still hasn't received her giveaway prize, and she is being VERY PATIENT with me! Thanks Jel! I swear I have not forgotten about you, or my family's gifts that are a month late, or my new outfits I am meaning to work on, or the stuffies I have been meaning to make for months and months and months. So far my sewing room is a "get ready for work" room. Not nearly as fun. Eating cereal, keeping an eye on one cat eating so the other cat doesn't eat her food, and watching Good Morning America.

Must put room to better use. Just another thing I have to do. *sigh*