Balloon Valentine

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Wow, it’s not even February and I’m done with the kids Valentines. Go me! I’ve had this site pinned for a little while and I decided this is the year is the right year for this.

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To do this Valentine, you need your pictures, with or without added text. Have your kid hold their hand up, as if holding a balloon. Then you need a straight blade, I used my trusty work box cutter, and balloons.

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When you are cutting, cut your lines above and below the fist. You don’t need wide cuts, like the picture on the left. Thin, almost invisible lines, like those on the right, work just as well.

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Then you thread the balloon through the cuts. The easiest method for this is to gently bend the photo and thread through both cuts in one motion.

Then you have your finished Valentines. Ready to offer balloons to your children’s classmates.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Balloon Rockets

Super fun and super easy! Is there anything else I need to say about this activity? It’s summer. Kids need activities, or kids get bored, and bored kids make mommy and daddy crazy. End of story!
This was an interesting pin I found a few months ago, I decided today was perfect! The kids were fantastic while we had someone in to look at the basement today, so they deserved something fun.
This was really easy, so I liked it that much more. All you need is a straw, a balloon, some yarn and tape. I blew up the balloon (be sure you don’t tie it off!), then I had Tony tape the straw to the balloon. He then fed the yarn through the straw.

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I had taped the yarn to the wall across the living room, the original pin says to use chairs, but I wanted a good distance.

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Tony held the string tight, I was holding the balloon closed, we did a count down and released! We ended up doing this about a dozen times before I wanted a break. The kids were loving it though! We’ll definitely be doing this again, in fact I left the yarn attached to the wall. It’s curled up on the fish tank and waiting for action!
The original pinner was talking about how this has scientific applications, a force exerted in a direction, and so on and so forth. I’m sure when the kids get older, I’ll get into all that, but at 7 and 4, they couldn’t care less about the physics of it all.
I did have a video of this working, but apparently I can’t upload it without paying some kind of fee. If I ever work it out, I’ll come back and fix it!
So just have fun with it!

Another Way to Blow Up a Balloon

Another Way to Blow Up a Balloon
This was a fun, snowy day activity for our family. Kids get to be a little crazy when they’re cooped up in the house during a snow storm! Mom and dad can quickly follow suit if you can’t shake things up. This was a simple thing to do, and I had all of the requirements on hand. If I did, I’m sure you will too.
All you need for this fun little activity is a plastic bottle, like a soda bottle, baking soda, vinegar and balloons. You start by filling the bottle about 1/3 of the way up with vinegar. The next step was a little interesting to figure out, but Tony and I made it work. You need to put baking soda in the balloon, we filled it about half way (half of an empty balloon is a few tablespoons). I held the balloon open with both hands while Tony put in the baking soda. Next step is to stretch the balloon opening around the bottle opening without spilling any of the baking soda. A little tricky, but possible!
Before Inflation
The next part goes fast so be sure everyone is paying attention, even though I’m sure you’ll do this multiple times. Once everyone is watching, flip the balloon up so that the baking soda falls into the vinegar. The reaction is fast and intense. I’ve always loved the way these two elements interact. If you want to get science-y you can tell your kids this is called a double replacement reaction. It’s the same chemical combination you would use to make “lava” for the science experiment volcanos.
Inflation
Sadly this doesn’t make helium, which would’ve been the coolest ever, but it will inflate fast! My kids were giggling like mental patients every time we did this. We went through almost a half a bag of balloons before I decided that was enough vinegar for the day. Since Pinterest has taken over my life I’ve started buying vinegar by the gallon! We did play a bit of a guessing game to find the right vinegar-to-baking soda ratio. Some of the combinations barely inflated the balloon and others bubbled the solution into the balloon. It doesn’t really matter if it bubbles up, it will all settle back down.
Enjoy your own experiments with your family! Remember it’s just a good time for everyone!
Original idea came from http://www.momto2poshlildivas.com/2012/01/blow-it-up-exploring-gas-with-balloons.html

Balloon Powered Lego Car

Balloon Powered Lego Car
This was a fun afternoon for the whole family. We got hit with a snow storm, one of many to hit Northeast Ohio, and the kids were starting to go a little stir crazy. Meaning mommy and daddy were going a little nuts too. I dug this one out of my Pinterest hat and started playing with Arthur’s Legos. They were conveniently spread over the living room floor, so it seemed like the thing to do. Arthur likes playing with me, so he was ok with it! Tony was relaxing on the couch, asked what we were doing, so I explained: “I’m going to build a little car with an opening on the back for a balloon, so it will move across the floor.” His response was to join us on the floor.
The kids weren’t really sure what we were doing. Arthur continued to build whatever struck his fancy and Chiara started playing with the balloons. Tony and I came up with several styles of cars.
My sad little car
Tony’s, the one up top, was the best design, but you have to expect that from the crazy guy who modifies lawn mowers for his own purposes! The one shown here was my design. It did move, but not near as well as Tony’s did. The amount of space you have for air to exit the balloon is very important. My first attempt had too little space, the refresh had too much space. Tony discovered the secret:
proper opening
Tony used one of the arches from Chiara’s Lego set and it seemed to let just enough air out to give it a nice long run. My style had a nice burst of speed, but it fizzled out really fast!
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My car in action
The picture on the hardwood is my sad little car only making it half the distance of Tony’s! It was really interesting blowing up the balloon while it was in the frame we built. I would say if you have Legos, to give this a try on a snowy or rainy day. I know a lot of the US is getting hit with crazy amounts of snow, so hold this one in reserve!
Original pin came from http://thecraftymummy.com/2013/03/balloon-powered-lego-car/
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