Sunday, August 9, 2015

Surprise Egg Salvation...with Rainbow Rice!

Is your toddler into the Surprise Egg videos as much as mine?  Do they make you want to run screaming, and smash all the tablets in the house? too.

I've come to offer you salvation!  Salvation for a mere $2.99 plus a little food coloring.  

I present to you the Rainbow Rice Surprise Bucket:

It's all of the mysterious fun of a surprise egg without the annoying egg part.

Step 1:  Make some rainbow rice

Rainbow rice is super easy to make.  I like to dry mine in the microwave so it's a very fast, very simple project.

You need:
A big bag of cheap rice
Food Coloring
Rubbing Alcohol
A few paper plates
A few zip baggies

To make the rainbow rice put 2-3 cups of dry rice in a zip top bag.  Then add about 2-3 tsps of rubbing alcohol (you can also use vinegar, or water, but rubbing alcohol dries the fastest), and a healthy squirt of food coloring.  Close the bag, and shake it up to coat the rice.

Dump the colored rice onto a paper plate, and toss it in the microwave for 1 minute.  Take it out, give it a stir, and nuke it again for 30 seconds or until it's dry.  It does clump together slightly, but the clumps break apart pretty easily.  You can also just let this air dry.

It's really about a 15-20 minute project, and then you can play for the rest of the day!

Step 2:
Put some toys in a bucket

Step 3:
Pour the rainbow rice into the bucket

Step 4:
Watch your darling be completely delighted with the same toys they thought were boring 10 minutes ago.  Try not to cringe if they say "Click to subscribe at the bottom" , or "Thanks for watching".

It's been a huge success!  I think we made a total of 6 surprise buckets today.  He played for HOURS with them, and the rice.

When they're done discovering their treasures the rainbow rice is a great sensory activity.  Ali loves to play with it using his construction vehicles.  Give them some cups, and sand toys, and they LOVE it.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Shark Mittens!

I made Ali a shark hat using the pattern from my very most favorite crochet blog RepeatCrafterMe

And then I decided he needed some mittens to go with it, and this is what I came up with:

He loves them- although he hasn't quite worked out that sharks don't growl.  

These are pretty simple to put together, and they only use a few basic stitches.   It take about 45 minutes to crochet each mitten, and then about another hour to make and attach the details (I sew slowly). 

They're nice and long, and very warm because of the worsted weight yarn. 

Soft worsted weight yarn- Vanna's Choice, "I Love This Yarn", Red Heart Soft in grey
Yarn needle
4 small black buttons
red, and white felt
sewing needles and thread
H crochet hook.

Size- toddlers ages 3-4. 

Row 1:  In a magic loop chain 2  11 hdc join in first HDC to hide the seam.
Row 2:  Chain 1, 2HDC per stitch (22 HDC). Join in first stitch of previous row.
Rows 3-7:   Chain 1,  22HDC join in first HDC. Join
Row 8:  Chain 1, 1HDC, CH 10, skip 10, 11 HDC, join.  (you're essentially making a big button hole).  
Row 9 Chain 1,  1 HDC,  work 10 HDC into the chain (leave a top loop for crocheting the mouth on later), 11 HDC, join
Row 10-14 ch 1, 22 HDC join
Row 15-18: 1 FPHDC, 1 BPHDC repeat around joining at the end of each round.  Break yarn, and weave in ends.

Mouth flap:
Starting 2 stitches before the bottom left corner pick up 22 HDC stitches around.  Work 2hdctog in the corners so there are no gaps, and work the stitches in the back loop only of the HDCs.  Join.

Rows 2-5:  22 hdc, join in first stitch of previous row.
Rows 6&7: hdc2tog, join.

Break yarn, sew the end together, and weave in ends.

Mouth:  Cut 2 rectangular pieces of red felt big enough to line the inside of the mouth, and trim the corners so they're slightly rounded.  There's a .pdf pattern for the approximate size, but hold it up to your piece to make sure it fits.  You may need to make an adjustment.

Sew the red felt into place.

Teeth:  Cut two 1/2" strips of felt 11 inches long.  Cut each strip in half to make two 5-1/2" strips.  Snip approximately 12 teeth into each strip leaving them connected together with a small strip for sewing.  They don't have to be perfect- a little jagged, and uneven is fine.

Sew a strip of teeth onto the top and bottom of each side of the mouth.  

Fin- make two:  
Go to
Follow the pattern for the first 9 rows of the fin.  Break yarn, and sew on.

And the action shot....the hat is from this pattern on Etsy- it's a great pattern, and includes lots of different sizes. 

If the sharks are a little too fierce this pattern is pretty versatile.  Here's his Elmo mittens made from the same pattern: