School break activity: brewing fizzy magic potions

Fizzy magic potions

The long, cold, dark days of August have arrived, and we’re trying to spice things up with some extra fun crafts and sensory activities. This one was a whopper! And we already had all the materials in our cupboard! (Thanks to Jean over at The Artful Parent for yet another amazing kids’ activity!)

Fizzy magic potions

Baking soda
Color (we used liquid watercolor, but you could also use food coloring)
Glitter (optional, but really fun!)
Jars or glasses

I set up the trays for each of my kids with a dish of baking soda, a spoon, a few glass jars, a small pitcher of vinegar, and some containers with the diluted liquid watercolors. The kids kind of sat there at first, staring at everything (so much different from the marbled paper craft, where they just went for it!). So I told them a story, and said that today we’re going to brew up some magic potions. Claire got a gleam in her eye when I said the word “potions,” and I knew she would love it.

Fizzy magic potions

I started them off by putting a spoon of baking soda in and a bit of watercolor in each jar. Then I asked the kids to add some vinegar to brew their potion. Claire’s face was priceless! She was so shocked to see a purple pillar of bubbles flowing out of her jar! I added some glitter confetti, which made the whole thing even more dazzling.

Fizzy magic potions
Fizzy magic potions

At this point, the kids got the hang of it and started mixing on their own, adding baking soda, vinegar, and color as they went along. They started to understand that adding vinegar without extra baking soda didn’t produce more bubbles, so there was even some learning going on!

Fizzy magic potions Fizzy magic potions

The kids enjoyed brewing and mixing until the baking soda and vinegar were gone. Then we took their trays outside so they could add flower petals and other stuff to their potions. We discussed this activity in our local parenting group, and some people said their kids loved this, but it didn’t occupy them for hours. Our girls played at making the potions for a good hour and a half, which seemed like a good return on investment to me!

Fizzy magic potions

What activities or crafts do your kids love? I’d love to get some new ideas from you! Let me know in the comments below.

PS – To all my readers in Kenya, happy voting –  and may we all enjoy a peaceful outcome!

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Kids’ craft: marbled paper made with shaving cream and paint

It’s school break, and I’m always on the hunt for easy, fun crafts to do with the kids during the long days at home. Jean over at The Artful Parent is my favorite inspiration for all things crafty! The kids and I made some beautiful marbled paper the other day, and I can’t wait to use it to make some nice cards and gifts! Continue reading

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Island life at Mfangano Island Camp in Lake Victoria

Mfangano Island Camp

Those of you who follow me on social media know that we just got back from the most amazing trip to Mfangano Island Camp in Lake Victoria. We spent three days by the lake, enjoying the waves, the breeze, and getting into island life. (Claire has started calling herself “Lake Girl.” Ha!) Here are some photos, if you’d like to see… Continue reading

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Great camping hack for kids – a bucket and rope!

Bucket and rope

When camping, I usually pack a bin with a few crayons and coloring books in case the kids need some activities beyond climbing rocks, hiking, and running around in the long grass. On our last trip, I decided to also bring a bucket and some rope. I wasn’t sure whether the kids would be into it, but it turns out this was the best camping activity ever! Continue reading

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Rhino Charge 2017: Adventuring in the north Kenyan bush

Rhino Charge

As you guys know, a couple of weeks ago we participated in the Rhino Charge, a charitable race that supports the conservation and protection of Kenya’s wildlife and mountain range ecosystems. This year, chargers raised a staggering 153 million shillings ($1.5 million dollars) to support Rhino Ark Trust’s conservation works, and a further 4.4 million shillings ($44,000 dollars) to support the Songa Community Conservancy. Jesse fulfilled a lifelong dream as a runner for Car 51, The DeRanged Rovers, and the Rhino Charge was raging success! Continue reading

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Happy birthday, Claire!

Happy birthday to this sweet, smart, sassy girl – Claire turns 6 today! We will be celebrating out in the bush, at the Rhino Charge. We got her a new board game and two new books for her birthday – I hope she loves them! Continue reading

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This is how messy my life is right now…


Sometimes life gets messy. It just wasn’t my day. First, I baked Claire’s birthday cake, and it broke apart when I tried to pop it out of the pan. (Yes, ANOTHER cake fail.) Later, I was making one of my kids’ favorite dinners – Thai peanut pasta. It’s easy, they love it, it has broccoli. Wins all around. In the midst of cooking, I ran out of soy sauce. I got a new bottle from the pantry, but…. something was wrong. The soy sauce was thick and viscous, like tar. I thought, well, how bad can it be?

Bad. It can be bad. Like really bad. You don’t even want to know. Continue reading

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Kids craft: crayon watercolor resist

Crayon watercolor resist

We’ve been getting really into watercolor painting in our house recently. The kids love painting, and we used to use mostly tempera paints and our trusty easel. But tempera requires quite a bit of supervision, especially with Heidi, who tends to accidentally flick paint on walls and furniture! The watercolors give the girls all the fun of painting, with much less concern about permanent mess in the house! Continue reading

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The Rhino Charge: an over-the-top race for a good cause

Rhino Charge

This year, Jesse will be participating in the Rhino Charge, Kenya’s annual 4×4 off-road race. The race raises awareness and funds to protect the rhino population in the Aberdare National Park, along with Kenya’s mountain range ecosystems, which provide water for over 2 million people as well as a significant portion of Kenya’s electricity. Continue reading

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Camping in the spectacular Chyulu Hills

Chyulu Hills

The Chyulu Hills have long been on my list. I was inspired months ago after having read a post by The Kenyan Camper, and this weekend we finally made it! We had always been put off by the long drive, but Heidi’s getting older, and we thought with the extra long Easter weekend, it was a good time to give it a try. Continue reading

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