I’ve been a stay at home mom since my oldest was born over 5 years ago, so I’m no stranger to having to fill all of the waking hours of the day, but this is the first time that we’re experiencing a true “summer vacation” mode of thinking. I wholeheartedly believe in
making teaching my daughters to entertain themselves but I know that after spending 6 hours a day in class with almost 30 friends, I’m going to need to have some activities on hand for the days that the dreaded “I’m bored!” chorus starts. I have been a fan of Holly Homer and Rachel Miller’s website Kids Activities Blog for a while now, so I was very excited to learn that they have published their first book, 101 Kids Activities and I immediately contacted them to see if I could do a review!
The reason that I wanted a physical book is simple: it’s so much easier for me to give my daughters a book and let them pick an activity that sparks their interest than try to browse a website with them. Ashlyn came home from her last day of JK, dropped her backpack on the ground, noticed the 101 Kids Activities book and immediately sat down and started flipping through it. I think she wants to try a good 3/4 of the activities! I really appreciate that most of the activities use items that we already have around the house (cornstarch, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks) so we can usually jump right in when the mood strikes us. Fizzing Sidewalk Paint was our first activity (I made a half batch which was plenty) and it was a huge hit! Fun to make, fun to paint with, fun to explore (it turns into goop when you grab a handful) and using a water gun filled with vinegar to cause the reaction? Possibly the best part of Ashlyn and Rowan’s summer. I can’t wait to see what they pick next!
Fizzing Sidewalk Paint
From 101 Kids Activities by Holly Homer and Rachel Miller, printed with permission of Page Street Publishing June 2014
This activity trumps ordinary sidewalk chalk with a little science magic by creating a
chalk-based paint and then spritzing on a little fizz. It all starts with pH. When
solutions that are pH base mix with an acid, action happens!
+ Large mixing bowl
+ 1 (1-pound [454 g]) box baking soda
+ ½ cup (63 g) cornstarch
+ Warm water
+ Several containers to hold the paint
+ Food coloring
+ Spray bottle filled with vinegar—1 per child
+ Buckets for cleanup
In a large mixing bowl, mix the baking soda and the cornstarch together. Add the
warm (almost hot) water, stirring until it is the consistency of pancake batter. Split
the recipe into several containers, adding the food coloring color of your choice to
Use the homemade paint to create a scene or flick it with a paintbrush into a modern
masterpiece. It is best to work fast because the paint dries quickly (but can always
be diluted with the addition of more warm water).
Once the painting is in place, it is time for something a little extra. Spray the artwork
with the vinegar-filled bottle and watch what happens. Your artwork will sizzle and
A bucketful of water splashed across the art can make it disappear. Because that is
fun, too, you might not want to wait for rain.
Modifications for Younger Kids
If a paintbrush is hard to negotiate in the paint, give your children a spoon and let
them drip or drop spoonfuls of paint onto the pavement. For the little ones, be sure
to fully supervise when they spray vinegar. It can sting little eyes.
Modifications for Older Kids
This activity is an easy way to work in a lesson on reactions between acids and base
chemicals and talk about why this works. Maybe you can have your budding
scientists adapt the recipe to see whether they can get bigger bubbles and more fizz
in their next batch of paint.
Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter to win a copy of 101 Kids Activities and $50 (this giveaway is not hosted by Not Just Baby Brain but I thought you might still be interested)!
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