Wild, Wacky and Wow-inducing Eggs

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Make a tasty snack into a wack and colorful snack! For this wacky snack you’ll need:

~ Hard Boiled EggsScreen Shot 2014-09-22 at 12.25.29 PM

~ Food Coloring

~ Plastic Baggies

~ And of course, a Wacky Experimenter (and some brave, wacky taste-testers)!

Step 1: Make the cracks!Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 12.25.44 PM

Gently hit the egg on a hard surface, or push down on the egg until it cracks. Now roll the egg around. The shell will have cracks in it, but it will stick to the egg…you’ll see!

Step 2: Color your egg!Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 12.25.56 PM

Put your cracked egg into the baggie and add just a few drops of food coloring (a dot does a lot). Close the baggie and move the egg around until it’s completely covered.

Step 3: Rinse your egg!

Run some water of your colorfully cracked egg.

Step 3: Peel your egg!Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 12.26.13 PM

Carefully peel the shell off of your egg and…WHOA it’s suddenly a wacky pattern!!

Step 4: Enjoy your wacky colorful snack!!

Tasty, wacky, AND healthy? WhyNot!

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Wilderness Hunt

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Spice up your walks through nature with this Wactivity!

What you’ll need:

Paint

1 Empty Egg Carton

And of course, an explorer with imaginative eyes!

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Step 1: Take the top off of your egg carton.

Step 2: Paint the carton where eggs would normally sit. The colors don’t have to be too wacky. Now your carton is ready for collecting!

Step 3: Take your carton with you on a nature walk and look for things in nature that match the colors in your carton.

Step 4: Fill your carton up as much as possible! You’ll be surprised with all of the colorful things in nature. Enjoy!

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Side notes:

Some colors on your carton can be a little tricky to match up with things in nature (the pink flower in the picture is the closest I could get to purple), but keep an eye out!! What colors did you use? What things did you find??

Woobly, Wacky Egg

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This is an ah-maze-ing experiment.

It’s one of those ones that doesn’t take much in terms of work or supplies but it does require patience. So practice that delayed gratification… I promise, this is worth it!

What you need:

– A glass

– Vinegar

– One raw egg

& of course, one Wacky WhyNot experimenter (who brought her/his patience!)

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 2.13.51 PMWhat to do:

– Put your egg in the glass and cover it with vinegar. It’s OK if it floats a bit, just get it pretty much totally submerged in the vinegar.

– Wait a long time (like 12-24 Hours long). It will bubble gently as the chemical reaction between the vinegar and the calcium in the egg goes to work.

– Gently lift out your egg and gently rub the shell. It will sort of flake away.

– If your egg isn’t totally shell-less, put it in a cup of new vinegar for another 12-24 hours. Repeat the gentle shell removal process.

At the end you will have your egg, just without the shell!

Clearly, it’s fragile, but it’s also amazing, interesting, funky, cool and wacky!

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NOTE: don’t eat this egg. It’s been chillin’ in vinegar a long time.

Extras?

– Take your newly shell-less egg and submerge it in a bunch of plain water. Wait + Watch it swell as the water goes through the egg’s membrane into the egg.

– Then let it hang out in REALLY salty water… you’ll get the equivalent of a raisin egg!

For more about the science behind this cool Wactivity (and to see where inspiration for this one came from) you can go to the Wactivity Pinterest Page!

Fizzy, Freaky & Fabulous Wactivity

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Supplies:

– Plastic zip top baggies Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 4.03.47 PM

– Sharpie

– Vinegar

– Corn Starch (just to make the vinegar opaque)

– Baking soda

– Toilet paperScreen Shot 2014-09-22 at 4.03.38 PM

– Food coloring (optional)

– One wacky experimenter (not optional!)

What to do:

– Decorate your plastic baggies as you like. Feeling seasonal, we went with ghosts, pumpkins and monsters! (But you can do this any time of year with any characters or designs on the baggies).Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 4.04.30 PM

– Fill the baggies about 1/3-1/2 of the way full with vinegar. Add some corn starch for color, add food coloring if you want.

– When you are ready, put about 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda in one square of toilet paper and fold it up into a pouch.

– Put the pouch inside the baggie but carefully hold it out of the vinegar while you zip the pouch closed. When it’s zipped shut and you are ready, drop the pouch in and enjoy the reaction!!Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 4.06.33 PM

NOTE: We did this outside to avoid clean up. If you are doing this inside, drop the baggies in a roasting pan or something to contain the mess!

SCIENCE NOTE: Curious what’s happening? It’s a chemical reaction. The vinegar is an acid. It’s fancy name is acetic acid. Baking soda is a base called sodium bicarbonate. When the two are mixed together, they react. One of the things released in the reaction is carbon dioxide gas. That’s what makes the bubbles and, if your bag is sealed nice and tight, the stretching and bursting of your bag!

Battling the Blank (in writing)

I’ve been at this writer thing for just over two years now. First, I dabbled in picture books. Then, when Willa & the WhyNots‘s contract came around, I refocused my efforts. I’ve spent the last almost year and a half writing and crafting and worrying over Willa and the world of WhyNot. There plenty more work to do on Willa, but those picture books still call to me. And I dream of the day that I will have a pile of published stories to share with kids of all ages and their families. To chase that dream I’ve got to write and write and revise and revise and write and write (you see the pattern forming here?).

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Willa rewrites

BUT… I sometimes struggle with inspiration. (You’re shocked?! I know. I know. This is earth shattering stuff – bear with me). When I’m looking at a blinking line on a blank page, my mind can feel                   empty.

blank. Blank. Blank-ity BLANK.

blank. Blank. Blank-ity BLANK.

FEAR NOT, friends. I have come up with a revolutionary way to avoid this. Is a note card handy? Is your pen at the ready?   Here’s the big tip: Get the ideas first. Yep, if you sit down with an idea about what you are going to write, it goes so so so much better! If you have an actual plan, it’s even better. (Who knew?!) That’s why I’m a HUGE, HUGE fan of Tara Lazar‘s PiBoIdMo* piboidmo2014officialparticipant Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) happens every November. A month-long challenge in which you try to come up with an idea a day (at least!). It motivates me to look for the silly, the quirky, and the awesome in my everyday life. It pushes me to heed that little creative voice in my head. It makes me think like a creative person, even when I’m feeling anything but. Here’s the real beauty of this beauty – they don’t have to be good ideas. They just have to be! From experience, I can tell you that some are super duds. But some, maybe just one, tickles your fancy in that way that makes you want to write and write and revise and revise and write (there’s that pattern again). So, writers, go register. Teachers, register your class, get them all in the habit of seeing with creative eyes and listening to their inner author.  Enjoy PiBoIdMo! Here’s the link again: http://taralazar.com *Nope, I have no idea how to pronounce it.

What are your tips? How to do you battle the blankness?

Pumpkin Paintin’

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We were feeling kinda fall, so what a better way to celebrate the start of October than with a little pumpkin paintin’ (Another easy Wactivity for WhyNotters of ALL ages!)

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What ya need:

– Pumpkins (any size will do, we worked with those cute, mini ones)

– Finger Nail polish (we grabbed the ones from last week again, ever thrifty!)

– An empty egg crate (or somewhere else to dry them without too much touching)

– A safe space for mess (hello, wax paper!)

& of course, one wonderful WhyNotter!

What to do:Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 4.20.48 PM

– Paint!!

– Let them dry

– Paint some more!

Amp it up?

– paint with glue and add glitter!

– use regular paint and do some dipping of your pumpkinsScreen Shot 2014-09-22 at 4.21.05 PM

– grab some painter’s tape, make a design and paint all around that

– get your Sharpie out and add detail designs

– got puffy paints? Go for it! WhyNot!

Duct Tape Flowers

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Isn’t tape for sticking things to…things? Why not stick it to itself too?! Use duct tape for this artistic project to create a beautiful flower!

Tools the artist will need:

Duct Tape (or electrical tape like in the picture)

A Ruler

Scissors

A Pen

And of course, an artist to create this beautiful flower!

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Step 1: Creating the Stem.

• Measure the pen with the ruler. Remember this measurement!

• Use the scissors to cut a piece of tape using this measurement.

• Wrap the piece of tape around the pen so that the whole body of the pen is covered. You’ve created the stem!

Step 2: Making the Petals. (About 20-40)

• First, unroll some duct tape sticky side up, so it doesn’t get stuck to your workplace.

• Use a ruler to measure a square based on the width of the tape (a smidge less than 2 inches for duct tape). Just as long as the dimensions are close to equal, it will work perfectly! Mark the measured spot with the pen stem.

• Cut off a square of tape according to your marked spot. Step ‘A’ in the picture.

• Next, fold the top right corner toward the bottom left corner leaving a fingertip’s worth of sticky tape available for future folds. There should be about ½ an inch of sticky left over on the left side and the bottom of this (almost) triangle. This is step ‘B’ in the picture.

• Finally, fold the top left corner toward the bottom right corner leaving the bottom ½ inch strip of sticky still sticky (this is what will attach the petal to the base)! Step ‘C’ in the picture.

Step 3: Attach the petals and watch your flower grow!

• Find your stem!

• Hold the petal as if you’re presenting the flower to your audience, with the sticky side (the base) closest to the floor and the pointy side closest to the ceiling.

• Now, find the top of your stem and wrap the base of the petal around the stem.

• Finally, continue attaching one petal at a time making sure it only slightly overlaps the petal right before. Eventually the petals will overlap, but not for awhile!

Side notes:

If you don’t have duct tape, try another kind of tape! Your flower may be a different size and a little flimsier, but all flowers are different so it is A-OK!

Depending on which way the ink part of the pen is pointing, the pointy part can either be the stamen, or used to write! Oh, in case you were wondering (or didn’t already know)…the ‘stamen’ is the part of the flower that produces pollen!

Change it up!

For a change of scenery, try different patterned tape, or tapes. For a change in size, try adding more petals. These changes allow for an exciting variety of colors and shapes making your flower wondrously wild! Enjoy!

Rock’n’Roll Raisins

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Let’s get those raisins rockin’!

Rockin’ what?! That’s right. Have you ever seen raisins rock’n’roll? Get ready to rock your socks off with a fun kitchen experiment that will get your raisins rockin’!

What will it take to make your raisin’s rock’n’roll? A few kitchen items, and of course the experimenter to run the lab experiment.

Water

White vinegar

Baking Soda

Raisins (1/2 a dozen of clean raisins–or craisins like the picture)

1 measuring cup

Measuring spoons

And last, but certainly not least, 1 clear glass to watch the raisins move!

Step 1: Start with 1 cup of water. Have the experimenter measure 1 cup of water and pour it into the clear glass.

Step 2: Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda into the clear glass.

Step 3: Mix the water and baking soda until the baking soda is completely dissolved.

Step 4: Add the raisins into the mixed solution.

Step 5: Pour in a ½ tablespoon of white vinegar to make the magic happen!

Change it up!

To make this experiment more mysterious, have the experimenter predict what will happen to the raisins when the magic ingredient is added.

Side note: If the raisins aren’t moving, try adding a little extra white vinegar.

Why does white vinegar added to a mixture of water and baking soda make raisins rock’n’roll? Science tells us that a chemical reaction occurs when an acid and base are mixed together. The white vinegar is acetic acid, and the baking soda is sodium bicarbonate (base). When the two are mixed, they create carbonic acid which is almost immediately broken down into carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). The CO2 gas is the foam and bubbles in the clear glass, causing the raisins to rock’n’roll! WILL THEY EVER STOP? Yes. The raisins go up and down because when the raisins reach the top of the solution, the CO2 gas evaporates, pushing the raisins down. They’ll stop when the raisins get too heavy and soggy to float anymore (can even be hours!). Enjoy!

Wacky Paper Maché

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Paper WHAT? Maché (totally sounds like muh-shay, by the way)! A project most everyone knows, but is easily forgotten in our quest for the new fangled. What you’ll need:

• 1 Plate (one with high sides, or a really flat bowl)

• An old newspaper (torn into strips) Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 4.54.47 PM

• 1 Balloon

• Flour

• Water

• And of course, 1 Wacky Creator

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 4.54.57 PMStep 1: Make your paste. Mix the flour and water together on your plate (1 part flour, 1 part water). Start with a small amount; you can always add more!

Step 2: Blow up the balloon! The balloon might try escaping, so it might help to tape it down.

Step 3: Take 1 strip of newspaper and get it completely soaked with your paste, and gently place it on the balloon. Cover the entire balloon with strips!

Step 4: Let it dry. This may take awhile, but it’s worth the wait! This may take a few hours, so you’ll have plenty of time to dig into some books or other fun wacky activities!

Step 5: When it’s all dry and hard; POP THE BALLOON and it stays!

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Try This!

Turn it into a homemade birthday activity: A PIÑATA! Super Cool. Once you’ve popped the balloon, just fill it up with candy and using it as a birthday piñata!!

Enjoy!

Note: To avoid having a bigger mess to clean up, put some plastic wrap down over your workstation. Use white paper as the last layer on your project and color it when it’s dry!

Washer Art

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Here’s a fancy, fun, easy craft for WhyNotters of ALL ages! This would be great for a party, sleepover craft, or rainy afternoon. Make ’em for yourself! Make ’em for your besties (maybe even make matching ones??)!

What you need:Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 3.51.39 PM

– Some string (we got colorful, doesn’t have to be)

– Some plain ole washers, any sizes you like

– Some nail polish in different colors

– A mess-safe working surface (we went with trusty wax paper)

And, of course, one Wacky Artist!

What to do:

Working on your mess-safe surface, paint those washers however you want! We started with some solid and some stripes. Wait for the polish to dry (which happens pretty fast! Yea!). Then, if you want, go back and add dots and designs in different colors.

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Whenever you deem them done, add your string to make necklaces or bracelets (see the pictures and message me if you have questions on this step!).

Wear and enjoy!

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Hidden Gems Snack

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Often the good stuff is hidden on the inside.

That’s true with people and this snack.

What you need:

– 1 package of Crescent Rolls (we used Pillsbury, who gave us the idea for this yummy wactivity.

– Peanut Butter Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 3.24.02 PM

– Sliced Apples and/or Sliced Bananas

optional items: honey, cinnamon, nutella, chocolate chips, cooked bacon…whatever your heart (or tummy) desires, WhyNot!

– One Wacky Chef

What to do:

– Preheat the oven to 375

– Unroll your crescent rolls then spread the peanut butter onto them. Add apple slices or banana slices. If you are feeling crazy, here’s where you can load ’em up with extras like honey, cinnamon, etc. Again, WhyNot!

– Roll ’em up, Whynotters!

– Bake for about 10 minutes

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– let ’em cool slightly then ENJOY!!!

Let us know what goodies you hid inside.

Magic Beans

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 3.21.09 PMBeans can seem boring but, like most things, they can be magic in the right light. The wow in this wactivity is how crazy easy it is.

What you need:

~ Glassware (think vases, pint glasses, mason jars, etc).

~ A selection of different colored dried beans (here you see green and red lentils and black beans)

~ One wacky creator!

What you might want:

~ Candles

What to do:

~ Pour those dried beans in layers and patterns!

(that’s it — Crazy easy!)

We did this candle pattern motif but if you had 3 different shaped glasses you could do different patterns and group them together!

NOTE: Make sure you check with a grown up before lighting the candles and I’m not sure what happens when the flames burn down to lentil level. Blow them out before then!

Tasty Truffle (with a Halloween spin!)

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Did I mention these are OREO truffles? Yep, even yummier.

Note: If you google or pop “Oreo Truffle” into a Pinterest search, you will see examples of perfect, smooth, spherical truffles. Ours didn’t turn out that way. Ours are lumpy and amoeba-like and a teensy bit ugly. Like life, they are perfectly imperfect.

However yours come out, I hope you love them. Why Not?!

What to get:

– Some foil + a cookie sheet

– 1/2 package of Oreo cookies

– 1/2 of an 8oz package of cream cheese

– 1 8oz package of Semi-Sweet baking chocolate, melted

– Optional: sprinkles (we went Halloween themed!)

& one wacky, WhyNot baker!

What to do:

– Smash your Oreos to smithereens! You can use a roller, a food processor, a blender, whatever you want. Have fun!

– Mix your smashed Oreos with the cream cheese

– Melt your chocolate (one way to do that: 20 seconds at a time in the microwave, stirring in between)

– Make little balls of the Oreo/cream cheese goodness. Using forks, roll them in the melted chocolate then set them out on the foil lined cookie sheet. (celebrate the imperfection if they happen not to come out perfectly round and smooth).

– repeat til you’ve done ’em all

– decorate as you like with sprinkles or extra Oreo crumbles

– pop the whole pan in the fridge for an hour or so.

– eat and enjoy!

Rockin’ Your Reading

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So we all love to read, right? But it happens from time to time that we do actually have to put our book down and do something else. This Wactivitiy will help with that: BOOKMARKS!

What you need:

– Paint sample cards from a hardware store (free!)

– Stamps & a stamp pad

– Scissors

– a hole puncher & string or ribbon

What to do:

– Cut the paint sample card however you like…

– Stamp it up

– Punch a hole in the top and loop your string or ribbon through.

Then read and enjoy!!!

Wacky Flowers

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(Science-y folks: read the end for a question, please!)

As you may have gathered from the WhyNot-esque photos I’ve been posting, WhyNot has come crazy looking foliage and colorful plants. Inspired by that & the coming of Valentine’s Day, we’ve got a Wacky Flower Wactivity for ya.

This is probably one most of you all know, but hopefully this serves as a nice reminder of how easy and fun it is!

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 1.16.45 PMWhat you need:

~ a few white flowers (we went with a combo of kinds for experimentation’s sake)

~ vases

~ water & food coloring

What to do:

~ fill your vases with water and food coloring, going a bit heavy on the food coloring

~ give your flowers a nice fresh, diagonal cut & pop them in the water

~ watch and wait and wonder!

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Note:

Lest you think all our posts about mistake-making was just talk, I’ll admit to a mistake here: I should have started this earlier. Hence, the pictures are only showing faint hints of color. This takes some time! I did start on Monday evening, but Monday morning or even Sunday would have been a better bet, I guess. Oh well – live and learn, right?

But plan accordingly if this is your Valentine’s day project and know that the roses were decidedly the fastest color changers in our bouquet!

A question for your science-types out there, why do the tips/edges of the flowers show the color first? I’d expect it to go from the bottom up, like how it spreads on a paper towel. Please explain if you know!

Personalized Portrait

OK. It can’t get easier than this Wactivity. And it may not get more fun. From the youngest kids to the oldest kids-at-heart, this is a creativity-inspiring, silly-producing, giggle-inducing goodie.

What you need:

– Some photos printed in black and white on regular paper. (Nothing fancy here, folks, take your regular, color photos and print them on normal ole printer paper but tell your printer to just use greyscale).

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– Some Markers

– Some Wacky WhyNotters who are ready to get their silly on.

What to do:

– Go crazy with the markers! Decorate, adorn, enhance, mustache-ify, bedazzle, whatever. Have fun with it!

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In this example, my football obsessed son got a helmet and a number, my little goofy guy got a silly hat and a ‘stache, my hubby earned a superhero outfit and I got the angel wings I’m sure I deserve!

Take it to another level? WhyNot?

– Add glitter (always a good call, if you ask me)

– Print on thicker paper and use watercolors instead

– Puffy paint anyone?

– Laminate the picture and color it over and over and over (Thanks to Charlotte at Ciburbanity for this idea!)

– Whatever you think of!