Make your own Storytelling Games!

storytelling

Storytelling, in its traditional sense, in an art that is being slowly forgotten. The great oral traditions of old have been replaced by movies and songs and even books. In the old days, travelling communities like the gypsies brought you news from towns you would never have visited – latest inventions, news about politics and the current state of affairs etc. Nowadays, everything is relayed the minute it is breaking and it is delivered to our fingertips. You don’t need an uncle visiting from Canada to know that there was x inches of snow this year. However, there is a forgotten charm to sitting around in a circle, sometimes around a fire, and narrating stories that have captivated your imagination.

In a bid to do so with my family, I’ve compiled a list of storytelling games that you could be your next pet DIY project.

Draw a Story –

If you have two or more people to entertain, start the activity by giving out art equipment and freedom to draw whatever they please. Once the activity is done, swap drawings and come up with a story for the image you have in hand. It’s a great way to keep your kids occupied for more than a few minutes and also a great way to exercise your imagination. An alternative version is to either collect previous artwork from your kids or draw more than one on cards and shuffle them up. The one rule would be that the story couldn’t be repeated more than once.

Once Upon a Time –

I found this idea at a beautiful blog called Blackboard and Brush and I don’t want to go on when Kim has done such a lovely job of it. Kim has described a lovely game that can be played during game night and can also be great lesson plan. In her words, “In this game I call ‘Once Upon a Time’, students become storytellers, not of someone else’s stories but of their own. Students will be presented with three sets of story sticks, the green sticks represent the place where their story will take place, the blue will be their main character(s) and the red (my personal favorite) will be the central problem of the plot or a problem their main character must endure or overcome” Don’t forget to click on the name of her blog for instructions.

Make it up –

You sometimes hear that the best songs, the best ideas – they come from last minute panic or from just winging it in an unforeseen situation. This is a game like it. I had my nieces and nephews apart from my own kids to take care of. I suddenly found myself in a situation where I had to babysit around 10 kids and wasn’t prepared to keep their attention. If you just leave them to play with whatever toy was lying around, you could almost guarantee there would be a fight. So I took an old laundry bag, stuffed it with toys and had the kids sit around in a circle. Like in scrabble, one kid would have to blind pick a toy and then make up a story that included that prop. The next kid who would pick up the next toy would continue the story and think of a way to include his or her toy in it. The game can go on for as long as you like.

Do you have similar games you have made up or ideas you have heard? Feel free to comment with your favorite games and camp hacks that bring out the inner storyteller in your child.

My Family’s Fall Bucket List

I love fall – the crisp cold air means you get to snuggle up in a sweater and nurse a hot cocoa but it is not yet cold enough to be miserable. Because we love making lists, every year this time we create a fall bucket list. Here is ours for the year. I would love to hear what would be on yours.

Fall Bucket List

Candy for a Cause – Science Fair Projects for the Sweet-Toothed

Science is a highly competitive field so if you’re aiming for the top, this is a good time to get your science fair project ideas in order and start planning. Avoid last-minute panic, impress the judges and grab top grades with these three delicious and easy candy-based science fair projects. Ready to start?

Expanding Balloons with Pop Rocks

pop rocks

Pop Rocks” by Carolina Alves Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

As all candy lovers know, Pop Rocks RULE! And in case you were wondering, there’s an interesting science angle to these fizzing popping little dudes. Here’s how you can explore it.

You will need

  • Pop Rocks
  • Balloon
  • A 12 oz. bottle of soda
  • Funnel

What to do

  • Dump an entire package of Pop Rocks into a balloon. This is easier said than done, so place a small funnel in the mouth of the balloon to avoid spills.
  • Open the soda bottle and carefully stretch the balloon over its mouth. Make sure the candy doesn’t slip into the bottle before you’re ready.
  • Now, quickly dump the candy into the bottle and watch all the interesting things that happen when soda and candy meet for the very first time.
  • Did the balloon inflate without you doing a thing?

How did it happen?

Pop Rocks contain pressurized carbon dioxide gas that makes the famous popping sound when released from its candy shell prison. But the amount of carbon dioxide present in the candy isn’t enough to inflate a balloon on its own. However, soda also contains pressurized carbon dioxide gas that escapes from the fructose-rich corn syrup when you drop Pop Rocks into it. Because the balloon is tightly clamped over the bottle’s mouth, this gas has no place to go except straight up into the balloon.

Finding Acid in Sour Candy

“_MG_7421” by Chris Short licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

_MG_7421” by Chris Short licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Sour foods contain acid and acidic foods produce carbon dioxide bubbles when they react with baking soda. Here’s something you can do to demonstrate that sour candy contains acid.

You will need

  • Sour or fruit candy (Nerds, LemonHeads, Pixy Stix, etc.)
  • Baking soda
  • Measuring cup
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Water

What to do

  • Dissolve the candy in half a cup of water. Try crushing hard candies to make the process faster.
  • Add a spoonful of baking soda to this mixture and blend.
  • If you can see bubbles rising up from the mixture, the candy contains acid.

Lighting up with Lifesavers

“100 k wint-o-green” by Windell Oskay licensed under CC BY 2.0

100 k wint-o-green” by Windell Oskay licensed under CC BY 2.0

Here’s the how (and the why) of producing magical lights with Lifesavers.

You will need

  • A dark room
  • Mirror
  • Wintergreen Lifesavers

What to do

  • Turn off the lights and stand in the dark facing the mirror.
  • Chew on some wintergreen Lifesavers
  • Can you see those blue flashes of light?

How does it happen?

When you chew on the Lifesavers, you break down the chemical bonds between the molecules of the candy. In certain foods, this produces energy, sometimes light energy as in the case of wintergreen Lifesavers. It is the wintergreen oil present in the candy that is responsible for the blue light produced during chewing.

Sweet or sour, candy is one of the best chemistry teachers you’ll ever learn from!

Freaky Science Games and Activities for Halloween

If your child doesn’t respond too well to conventional science teaching, it’s time to make the subject more fun and relevant. Luckily, All Saints’ Eve is round the corner and it’s time for some science games! Get your little ghouls and ghosties excited about science as they prepare for the Halloween festivities. Here are some fun kids’ activities that double as super freaky science games for Halloween.

“Tonic” by Todd Huffman licensed under CC BY 2.0

Tonic” by Todd Huffman licensed under CC BY 2.0

Make a Glowing Drink

If you think gory is gorgeous, here’s a drinkable beverage you can proudly serve your trick-or-treaters. It’s a cool drink that glows when you shine a black light on it.

You will need

  • Tonic water
  • Drinking glass
  • Sprite OR any light-colored citrus drink

How to make it

  • Pour tonic water into the ice cube tray and freeze.
  • Pour the ice cubes into a glass of Sprite.
  • Shine the black light on it and voila!

How does it happen?

Tonic water contains quinine that glows blue when exposed to the ultraviolet rays emitted by black lights.

Foaming Pumpkin

Give your standard Jack-O-Lantern a miss this year and try these ghastly foaming-at-the-mouth pumpkins. Soooo sick!!

You will need

  • Carved pumpkin
  • Hydrogen peroxide (12%)
  • Food coloring
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Dry yeast
  • Small cup that fits inside the pumpkin
  • Small plastic cup
  • Warm water

How to make it

  • Fill the cup with 30 ml. hydrogen peroxide
  • Squirt some dish washing soap into it.
  • Add some food coloring for extra effect
  • Open the top of the carved pumpkin and lower the cup into it. (Make sure you don’t spill the contents inside!)
  • Now, pour an entire package of dry yeast into the plastic cup and mix it with warm water. Blend it until it reaches an even consistency – one that is neither too thick nor too thin.
  • Pour this yeast and warm water solution into the cup inside the pumpkin and replace the top quickly.
  • Your Jack-O-Lantern will start foaming at the mouth in a few moments!

How does it happen?

Hydrogen peroxide contains oxygen molecules that are released when you add the yeast solution to it. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down into water (H2O) and oxygen (O2) and the oxygen turns into tiny bubbles as it passes through the liquid soap.

DIY Slime

Disgusting but fun, slime is easy to make and easy to wash off once you’re done playing. Now it’s time to make your own!

Ingredients

  • Elmer’s glue
  • Food coloring (any color)
  • 2 disposable plastic cups
  • Borax powder
  • Water
  • Plastic spoon
  • Tablespoon

How to make it

  • Fill one of the disposable cups with water, add a tablespoon of Borax powder to it and mix well.
  • Fill the other cup with an inch of Elmer’s glue, add 3 tablespoons of water and a few drops of food coloring to it and mix well.
  • Take one tablespoon of the Borax solution and pour it into the glue solution.
  • Your slime is ready for the fun!

What’s happening?

When you mix Borax with Elmer’s glue and water, you produce a putty-like substance that is known as a polymer. But unlike other polymers, this has the qualities of both a liquid and a solid – you can hold it in your hand like a solid but it can take the shape of its container like a liquid.

Freaky science can add a unique touch to your Halloween. Hope you have fun playing your science games!

Easter – The Aftermath

Don’t you sometimes feel like you need a break to recover from a long holiday? Easter has it’s share of fun and family and rituals and I wouldn’t trade it for the world but the lure of a bed and uninterrupted sleep – there is nothing quite like it. Meanwhile, our house looks like it’s being taken over my ninja plastic Easter Egg shells that pop up at you at odd times, especially when you’re sleep walking to the kitchen to get water in the middle of the night.

What to do? What to do?

The internet really is an amazing place for 5 reasons I’ve listed below!

1. Plastic Egg Tea Lights

Genius. Genius. More Genius. Idea from Pinterest

Genius. Genius. More Genius. Idea from Pinterest

2. Easter Egg Russian Nesting Dolls

 

Idea from Dollar Store Crafts

How adorable are these? How Idea from Dollar Store Crafts

3. Halloween Treat Box

Definitely doing this come October! Idea from Pinterest

Definitely doing this come October! Idea from Pinterest

4. Tea Cups for Tiny Tots

Pretend Tea Parties could never get better. This could also be an amazing DIY present for your kid. Idea from Creativity in Progress

Pretend Tea Parties could never get better. This could also be an amazing DIY present for your kid. Idea from Creativity in Progress

5. Mini Terrariums – Earth Day Special

Give your green thumb a bit of a workout. Idea from The House That Lars Built

Give your green thumb a bit of a workout. Idea from The House That Lars Built

Problem Solved!

Hope you’ve had a great Easter Weekend! I’m looking forward to catching up with your blogs!