We've been making our way through the rainy-day project list, and with the slightly horrifying 10-day forecast showing nothing but rain, we might just get all the way through the list this week. I think (with the oh-so-notable exception of my shaving cream fiasco) all of the activities have been really successful.
Here's the latest one we tried: Crayon Melts, as suggested by Alli.
This was lots of fun, super easy, and had NO cleanup. First we dug all the old, broken crayons out of the bottom of our crayon bowl, which thrilled me to the bottom of my thrifty little heart. Then Ro and Ree peeled the crayons (there was some grumbling and complaining from the girlies when this took a little longer than they expected, but secretly I was all for anything that kept them in their seats and quiet for any length of time).
We broke the crayons into the smallest pieces we could and threw them randomly into silicone baking cups. (Note: We got these cute flower ones from the dollar bin at Target yesterday, but you could use any silicone shapes or foil cupcake liners, just don't use the paper ones.)
We preheated the oven to 250 degrees, then baked our little cups for about 10 minutes. (Ok, ok, actually we did about 15 minutes, but don't do that. We overbaked them a little and a bunch of the colors ran together and made sludge. See how the tops are all one color? So seriously, check them at 10 minutes and then keep an eye on them. You want things to be melty but not pure liquid.)
Then we left them on the counter to cool and get hard again. (At this point we went upstairs to try round 2 of the rainy day shaving cream project, which was in the bathtub this time, and I STILL failed at it. Sigh. More on that later.)
Once the crayon melts were cool and not squishy, the girls popped them out of the molds, and woohoo, we had multicolored crayons in neat shapes!:
The resulting crayon melts were cool and fun, and the girls immediately started fighting because they both wanted the same ones. (If I hadn't made any sludgy ones I bet we wouldn't have had this problem...) So we played the Hide Fingers game (that's how we solve all disagreements lately, just hide a certain number of fingers behind your back and whoever guesses the right number gets to choose first) and Ree got first pick.
Then they ran off to test out their new multicolored crayons at the art table. These are going to make really cute school-friend gifts for the next holiday. Yes it's true, I'm one of those mean ogre moms who refuses to bring candy for the school gift bags—I don't have anything against sweets (I guess that's obvious if you spend any time with me), it's just that I figure it's the parents' jobs to sugar up their own kids.
PS: Wondering what went wrong with that rainy day shaving cream project this time? Well... keeping last time's fiasco in mind, this time I got only one can for each girl, set up the dry bathtub with non-slip mats and a little plastic bench to use as a table, restricted the number of implements, had the girls remove any clothes that would be a pain to get off later, and sealed the bathtub curtain shut with those little suction cup thingamajigs. Sounds foolproof, right?
Yeah... Not so much.... I handed them the stuff and prepared to relax. And that was pretty much the last time I sat down for the next hour.
They liked it. Really they did.
I think they just liked it too much. They were so active and that shaving cream got flung around so jubilantly that I was constantly jumping up and getting shaving cream out of eyes.
And then, once they were done, I still had a hard time cleaning them up, even though they were already in the tub:
Turns out two cans was still too much—I needed a power wash to get that foamy stuff off them and down the drain. My wimpy little spray nozzle head was just not up to the task. So the poor girls stood there shivering while I slooooooooooowly got them and the bathtub (relatively) clean and then drew a nice warm bath. Hmmm. I guess I'm admitting failure on this one. I still think this project would work really well with kids who weren't so enthusiastic about completely immersing themselves and their siblings in the shaving cream—you know, kids who weren't Ro and Ree. Heh heh.