Learning Tools

Make, Explore, Paint Rainbows

Science and art combine in this amazing and simple rainbow experiment. The kids will love to make, explore and paint rainbows.Make, explore and paint rainbows. Use a CD and sunlight or a flashlight to cast rainbows, study and paint with watercolors or color with markers or crayons. A great piece of process art for kids. Art and science, STEAM projects for preschoolers.

The other day, my daughter picked up a CD and was fascinated by the rainbows that formed on it when she moved it around. We held it under the light and moved it all around and admired the bursts of color. The colors were so beautiful. We wanted more and had an idea to try to paint our rainbows.

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Fizzing Heart Art Eruptions

These fizzing heart eruptions are a fun way to combine science and art with beautiful and unpredictable results.

Baking soda and vinegar eruptions are a favorite in our house. The ingredients are usually always readily available, they are easy to set up and fascinating to watch. My daughter wanted to make them this week and so we did. With Valentine’s Day nearing, we thought a fizzing heart project would be perfect.Fizzing heart baking soda and vinegar heart paint eruptions. Science and art fun for kids perfect for Valentines Day or any time. Also great for fine motor skills. Arts and crafts activities for kids & toddlers.

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She has recently perfected making hearts. She draws them and cuts them out all the time, so with her love of hearts and Valentine’s approaching quickly, hearts were the perfect choice for our fizzy paintings.

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Sequin Lava Lamp

Homemade Fall sequin lava lamp - science experiments with oil & water for kids, toddlers & preschoolers

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My daughter loves to help with the dishes. Every chance that she gets she jumps up on her safety stool and washes the dishes with me. She was washing a particularly greasy item the other day & was having a hard time getting it clean. We added more soap to her sponge & discussed how oil & water react with one another.


We have done simple experiments with oil & water before, but I thought this was a great opportunity to do one of our old favorites. Here’s how.

Find an old 20 oz water bottle. Tear off the label & filled the bottle about 3/4 of the way full with vegetable oil & then pour the water almost to the top. Leave enough space so that the mixture won’t overflow once the lava reaction occurs. You will see the separation between the oil & water in the bottle almost immediately.

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Add a few drops of food coloring to the water & then insert sequins. We wanted to make a fall themed lava lamp, so we used fall colors for ours. Once the sequins settle, add a half a tablet of Alka Seltzer to the bottle to stir it all up.

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My daughter was thrilled to watch the sequins dancing around. She added tablet after tablet of Alka Seltzer to our homemade lava lamp.

Homemade Fall sequin lava lamp - science experiments with oil & water for kids, toddlers & preschoolers

Our homemade lava lamps were fun & pretty to watch.

Homemade Fall sequin lava lamp - science experiments with oil & water for kids, toddlers & preschoolers

Fall sequin lava lamp - science experiments with oil & water for kids

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Simple Balloon Experiment

A simple experiment testing the effects of pattern on the balloon once it expands and inflates & deflates. Simple science for kids.

My daughter is obsessed with balloons. There are balloons bouncing around our house most of the time. We have bags of them & she asks me to blow up new ones for her all the time. Yesterday, she picked up one of her balloons & started coloring it with a marker. Looking at her colored balloon gave me an idea. I grabbed one of our noninflated balloons and used markers & sharpies to color in a design. It did not need to be anything elaborate, just a quick design.

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Play-Doh & Rice Sensory Play

Play-Doh Sensory Craft


This has been a tough few days. Our daughter sprained her wrist & hasn’t been able to do much.  We have kept her calm & entertained with books, Highlights magazines & hours of marathon watching Stella & Sam & Play-Doh videos. We had far too much screen time this weekend & I needed to entertain her another way.

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We made a simple sensory craft using Play-Doh & colored rice. You could just as easy use sprinkles, small gems or buttons too.

I cut a cone shape out of construction paper & glued it to a white piece of paper.


I drew hash lines on the cone with a marker. I rolled out Play-Doh and formed ice cream scoops.

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We used dyed rice to press into our ice cream scoops as sprinkles.

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When we finished with this, Mai wanted to keep playing with the Play-Doh & rice. We made several other crafts using cookie cutters & free form creations.


Mai made a sweet little hand print & I made a flower.

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Mai made a bunch more too. This was a great activity that kept her happy & occupied with one hand for hours.


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Play-Doh & Rice Hand Print Activity & Craft

The Benefits Of Arts & Crafts For Children

The Benefits Of Arts & Crafts For ChildrenArt & crafting have always been a huge part of my life. I was brought up in a family of artists. All of my aunts and uncles drew, painted or created works of art in one way or another. When my daughter was born, I hoped that she would share in this passion. When she had barely turned 1, I introduced her to finger paints & she painted her first picture.


From that day forward, she has not stopped creating. I am teased often for the emphasis I put on arts & crafts. There is hardly an inch of our home that is not covered with a craft project or drawing made by my daughter & there is rarely I day that goes by without her picking up a paintbrush or crayons. The truth is my daughter has learned so much from every craft made & every picture drawn.

Learning about various textures, the combination of shapes & how to mix & blend colors are just a few of the things that art has taught her. There are many other benefits.

It teaches focus & concentration. Each project keeps her engaged & shows her the process & steps that it takes to turn a blank canvas or object into something beautiful.

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It helps develop a strong attention to detail. Whether she is making sure that her butterfly has an antennae or adding a trail of slime to the bottom of a snail, she observes & recognizes the details in everyday things.

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It boosts creativity & imagination. We have experimented with several different types of craft materials over the years. In the beginning, I would come up with an idea for a project & show her what to do. Now at only 3 years old, my daughter takes the lead. One day she asked me for pieces of an egg carton. Since we usually have them readily available for crafts, I obliged & handed her pieces of one. With a few random pieces in hand, she told me that she was going to make a tutu with legs & red high heeled shoes. I was unsure of how she was going to accomplish this, but I watched as she carefully painted each piece & listened to her as she told me all about her girl in the tutu. When she was done, she proudly assembled her pieces. She was not the only one that was proud.


Encourage your children to express themselves. Remember art is all about expression. If they want to paint a purple sun, let them. Allow them the freedom to create & sit back and enjoy the ride.

I was inspired by and asked to write about youth art. Invaluable is an advocate for all forms of artwork, whether it be children’s paintings or classic fine art.



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Fake Snot Experiment

Fake Snot Experiment


I have said this several times over the last few months, but I will say it again. It was a rough winter for us. Our whole house was sick more than we were healthy this past winter & unfortunately the spring has not been much kinder to us. There has been plenty of nose blowing & snotty noses in this house, so when I saw this experiment it seemed to be right up our alley. This experiment show how mucus is formed, which is with sugar & proteins. There were many variations on this, but I found this on Yeah I Made It.

The Fake Snot Experiment

What you will need:

1/2 cup of boiling water

3 packets of unflavored gelatin

1/4 cup of Caro (corn syrup)

Food coloring



Add the boiling water to a bowl & add a drop of food coloring. Mix in the packets of gelatin and let it soften & stir.



Add the corn syrup to the mixture. Pull the fork up & watch as the mixture forms stringy snot-like strands.



“Ugh gross, mama! It looks like boogers.”


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It will thicken up as it cools. Add water if needed to keep it from getting to thick.



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Raining Sponge

Teaching your children science doesn’t have to be complicated. Here is a simple experiment that toddlers and preschoolers will love.
Raining Sponge Experiment


Science for kids does not need to be complicated. The simplest of things can be fun & educational. I like doing experiments that require very little set up, clean up & are done with items that are easily accessible. This is about as simple as it gets.

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Puzzle Pieces For Teaching Sight Words

Puzzle Piece Sight Words


One of our favorite learning tools in our home has always been puzzles. Picture puzzles of course are fabulous for teaching them problem solving & matching up their shapes & colors, but many puzzles have an extra layer of learning to them. Puzzles have taught our daughter her US. States, a good portion of her countries & all of her planets.

We have puzzles everywhere, board puzzles, jig saw puzzles & large floor puzzles that clutter up our whole house.

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The benefits have outweighed the mess.

We have been working on sight words & writing lately. Mai recognizes & can write & spell her name now. We have been trying to work on the other basics as well.

We used a blank puzzle that we have had lying around for a long time. You can purchase a blank puzzle for about a dollar at a craft store or you can just flip over your old puzzle & work on the back or paint over the front & let dry before adding in your sight words. As with most families of a small child, I am sure that you have several puzzles that are missing pieces.

Puzzle Piece Sight Words

Write out your sight word using magic markers or paint. Make a design across the pieces that you will be using to have a color & shape reference to join them back together. Make a small picture scribble of your sight word on the connecting pieces to help them understand what the word is. Mai knew right away that this was supposed to be her mama.

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“Who is that Mai?”

“It’s Mama.”

“How do you spell mom?”

“M. O. M.”


We made an assortment of different words. We put each together & spelled them together. We also found another fun craft project with our extra puzzle pieces in the process. Stay tuned for our cute puzzle piece craft.


Puzzle piece sight words - this would be  agreat way to use recycled puzzles

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