Archives for the month of: May, 2012

Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog Muppet

Jim Henson and Bert and Ernie Muppets

Jim Henson and Ernie Sesame Street Puppet

“Kids don’t remem­ber what you try to teach them. They remem­ber what you are.” – Words for Wednesday a  Jim Henson quote.

Drop your line in for some splish splashing water play fun! It’s A Little Fishie alright!

Try this easy DIY from Minieco; a plastic fishing set to play with in water plus  another set to play with on dry land.

You will need:

♥ a stick for each player
♥ some thread (or string/wool)
♥ a magnet
♥ plastic (for the ‘wet’ version)
♥ paper (for the dry version)
♥ paperclips
♥ holepunch
♥ superglue

1. First of all you need to collect a good stick to use as a fishing pole.
2. Tie your string to one end of the pole.
3. At the other end of the pole you need to attach a bead which has a magnet glued to it. The bead is important as it adds some weight to the end of the string which is pretty important if you are playing in water.
4. You can use any kind of plastic to make fish for the ‘wet’ version of this game. We seem to collect no end of the stuff in our recycle bin! Once you have cut out some fish shapes, punch a hole in the ‘nose’ and attach a paperclip – easy!
5. For the dry version you simply have to cut out some fish. If you want a pdf template click here. (For best results set your printer to ‘photo’ quality). Again, punch a hole in the ‘nose’ and attach a paperclip.

Thank you Minieco for sharing another one of your fantastic ideas.

PLEASE REMEMBER
Because of all the small bits, this game is not really suitable for under 3′s
Please remember to fully supervise your kids around water at all times.

Rain, rain, go away, but while it pours stay dry inside and learn while you play.

We began this May with a drought, but now have broken the all time rainfall record for May in Minneapolis. The rain continues to fall.

Say Yes to Hoboken has a super idea and excellent pictorial for Rainy Day Marshmallow Building.

Your kids will learn the basic Engineering Design Process about load and balance with this week’s Science Saturday project.

So gather up some marshmallows and toothpicks – see what your little engineers can construct!

Thank you Liz at Say Yes to Hoboken for sharing your rainy day project. Question, how much of the building material disappears?

It’s Memorial Day weekend, why not whip up some cookies that everyone will remember?

If you’re after the popular sweet and salty combo, you are bound to get hooked on these.

Memorial Day Cookies aka cookies to remember
Makes 24 cookies

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup broken up pretzel pieces
  •  Sea Salt

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a larger bowl, beat the butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). On low speed, slowly add the beaten egg and vanilla extract. Beat to combine, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the flour mixture and beat just until there are no more streaks of flour. Stir in the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and pretzels. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop out well rounded tablespoonfuls of the dough, flatten slightly then sprinkle with sea salt. Leave about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake for 10 minutes. If you prefer crispier cookies increase the baking time by 1-2 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing.

This week’s Recipe for Fun as well as yummy eating is from Sugar Cooking.  You can find many other delicious and unusual recipes that you may like to try on her blog. She also tells us that if you have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe you could use it for the base instead.

Thanks Sarah for this memorable recipe.

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Have you ever experienced cookie failure? The dough is so good and definitely worth eating, but somehow when you pull the cookies out of the oven they are way spread out and flat.

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie blog has this helpful chart to help correct cookie flops. As the name implies, it is your go to source for you know what, everything chocolate chip cookies.

Problems

prob

Do any of these cookies look familiar? I have seen number 4 several times and now I know why! Silly me, I never knew the dough could be over mixed – hello number 5.

There are many variables in baking.  Pictured are cookies with various problems using the same dough (with flour adjustments in numbers 3 &4).
1.  This cookie is done just right. It is pictured to compare with the rest.
2.  This dough was not refrigerated.  It is still good but a little flatter than it should be.
3.  This dough contained too much flour and did not spread much at all. It is interesting to note that the dough looked identical to the correct dough, but was much stiffer and drier.
4.  This dough had too little flour.  It spread too much and didn’t bake evenly.
5.  This dough was over-mixed.  It had a poor color, baked flat and had a strange consistency.
6.  This dough was formed too small.  It was overcooked at eight minutes. It is fine to make smaller cookies, just bake them for less time.
7.  This dough was formed too large.  The outsides were done while the middle was too high and underdone.
8.  This dough was baked in an oven 25 degrees too hot.  The outside was overdone and the inside was slightly underdone.
9.  This dough was baked in an oven 25 degrees too cool.  It fell flat and became too crisp without much of an inside.
10.  This dough was frozen when baked.  It took longer to bake and didn’t cook as evenly.  To use frozen dough, set on cookie sheet at room temperature while oven is preheating, 15-20 minutes.  It takes the frost off and bakes perfectly.

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Totally Kids fun furniture & toys has many pretend kitchens for beginning bakers. Stop by or visit us online!

Help us select our Bed of the Week!

Choose a bed from our website, then post your pick here or on our Facebook page. A random winner will be announced for a $15.00 Totally Kids fun furniture & toys Gift Card.

This week’s Bed of the Week is the Monahan Stairway Twin Over Full Bunk Beds. The drawer front colors are interchangeable or all white if no color is desired.

If you are searching for kids’ beds, weather first BIG bed or college loft bed, you must take a look at all the amazing beds available at Totally Kids. Knowledgeable personal shoppers are always available to help you find just what you are looking for.

Each week there is a featured bed that has an additional discount.

Did you know that there are bunk beds for three?

There are oh so many theme beds for boys and for girls. Please give us a call at 952-881-2425, we would love to talk with you.

Every day now through June, kids 8 years old and younger who bring their report cards into Totally Kids fun furniture & toys will go home with a FREE prize!

Tell all of your friends – yippie….

*one prize per child

You know the California Raisins, right? Now we would like to introduce their cousins, the Science Saturday Dancing Raisins. You can teach your raisins how to dance too.

Before we begin the dance lesson, let’s first have our Science Saturday lesson.

Raisins are denser than the liquid in the soda, so initially they sink to the bottom of the glass. The carbonated soft drink releases carbon dioxide bubbles. When these bubbles stick to the rough surface of a raisin, the raisin is lifted because of the increase in buoyancy. When the raisin reaches the surface, the bubbles pop, and the carbon dioxide gas escapes into the air. This causes the raisin to lose buoyancy and sink. This rising and sinking of the raisins continues until most of the carbon dioxide has escaped, and the soda goes flat. Furthermore, with time the raisin gets soggy and becomes too heavy to rise to the surface.

Carbonated beverages are prepared by putting the beverage into a can under high pressure of carbon dioxide gas. This high pressure causes the carbon dioxide gas to dissolve in the liquid. When you open a can of soda, the noise you hear is produced by the carbon dioxide gas as it rushes out of the can. When the can is opened, the decreased pressure allows some of the carbon dioxide gas dissolved in the liquid to escape. This is what makes the bubbles in a soft drink.

What You Need for Your Dance Lesson:

  • Clear, carbonated soda water
  • Clear drinking glass
  • 4-5 raisins

Instructions:

  1. Pour clear carbonated soda water into a clear glass.
  2. Drop four or five raisins into the glass.
  3. After about a minute, you will observe raisins moving up and down in the glass. Watch how the bubbles control the movements of the raisins.

Nicole and her adorable daughter from the Journey to Josie blog share their pictorial of this fun experiment.

The bubbles attach to the raisins and makes them float to the top.  When the bubbles pop, the raisins go back to the bottom.  They kept dancing for about 30 minutes. Josie loved it!

Thank you so much for sharing with us Nicole. Be sure to check out all of the other great ideas at the Journey to Josie blog.

Crock Pot Play Dough, and so easy peasy.  Thanks Repeat Crafter Me for sharing another great inspiration for this weeks Recipe for Fun.

Oh how I love the Crock Pot. Did you know you can use it to make things other than food? Like, Play Dough! This was our fun little project for the day. Something about making and playing with your own play dough is much more fun than just scooping it out of a plastic can from the store.

Here is the recipe I used from Crockpot365.blogspot.com:

Ingredients:
– 2 cups flour (or you can use rice flour to make it gluten free)

– 1 cup corn starch
– 1 cup salt
– 1/4 cup cream of tartar
– 2 cups hot water
– 2 t cooking oil
Directions:
1. Plug in your crockpot and turn to low to warm up slowly.
2. Dump in your dry ingredients, stirring to evenly distribute.
3. Add the water and oil. Close the lid and switch the heat to high.
4. Set a timer and check your play dough every 30 minutes, stirring well each time. Mine was done after a half hour! But others could take up to 2. I think it was because I used a larger Crock Pot.
You will know it’s done or close to done when the playdough begins to form a ball when you stir it.
5. When that happens, remove the stoneware insert from your crock pot and stir some more. Dump it out onto a smooth surface and begin to knead—-be careful—- it’s going to be hot. If your dough is overly sticky, add a bit of cornstarch; if overly dry, add a touch more hot water. Each time you make the dough, the water required will be a bit different, depending on the humidity in the air.
6. Separate the dough into manageable lumps and push a hole into the center for a few drops of food coloring.

Squish the dough around to distribute the desired color.

It’s a perfect day for building snowmen (inside) with today’s 90 degree May weather.

Believe it or not, if you have scratches on CDs or DVDs you may find this to be An Appealing Idea for repairing them.

We have not taken it to the test yet, but sounds like an inexpensive easy trick.

The Banana CD scratch remover

What you’ll need:

  • A banana
  • A banana peel
  • Some glass cleaner
  1. Take a CD / DVD that has smudges and minor scratches on it.
  2. Using a circular motion, apply a freshly cut banana to it.
  3. Next, wipe it down with the banana peel. The wax from the peel will help polish and further clean the disk.
  4. Take a clean cotton cloth and wipe the entire surface of the CD / DVD. Be sure to apply moderate pressure while moving in a circular motion. This should be done for around 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Finally, spray the disc with glass cleaner and wipe it clean.

Voilà! Your scratched CD or DVD should now look like new! Please note that this trick will also help you repair scratched PS2 and Xbox CD’s and DVD’s.

Thanks Geeks are Sexy for sharing this not so geeky idea.

For another A-pealing Idea, go bananas with Bananagrams!

This award-winning word game needs no pencil, paper, or bulky board. It is
fast and fun. One hand can be played in as little as 5 minutes. Play at home, at the beach,
in restaurants, campgrounds, etc. Great for travel entertainment for the entire family!