Concrete Easter Eggs

It’s the week before Easter 2020 and we are in the middle of a global pandemic when my kids ask me if we are going to decorate eggs for Easter. Since we are currently quarantined in NYC due to covid and we didn’t have that many eggs to spare, I needed to get creative. Luckily I had some fast setting concrete in my shed and some balloons in my cabinet. This can work with Plaster of Paris too.

What you need:

– Quick set cement

– balloons

– stick (for mixing)

– bucket

– funnel

– somewhere to hang the balloons after they are filled

Mix the quick set concrete with some water in a bucket. Not to thick or watery. It should be easy to mix and pour into a funnel.

Once the funnel is inserted into the balloon, you can start adding the cement. When balloon is filled to the size you want, tie the balloon and hang.

To move the drying process along, I poked a tiny hole at the top of the balloon with a pin. It took a little over an hour to dry completely. Once the cement is hard, you can cut the top of the balloon and peel the balloon off the cement egg.

The top of my cement eggs were a little too pointy so I had to sand down the tops. If you tie the balloons properly before they dry you can probably avoid this sanding step. If not then just wear a mask and gloves to sand.

Once the eggs are completely dry, paint them white with a gesso or primer (a few coats of gesso/primer).

Now the kids have eggs to decorate. Problem solved.

How to Make Homemade Play-dough (Playdoh)

Child playing with homemade pink Playdoh

Making playdoh was daunting at first, but I bit the bullet and found it was pretty easy to do with the kids. My daughter helped every step of the way and even took the video.

This recipe makes approximately 4 “play doh” containers worth.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt (fine not coarse)
  • 4 teaspoons Cream of Tarter
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • food coloring

Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl – Flour, Salt and Cream of Tarter. Then in a saucepan, add water, oil and food coloring. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the saucepan, mixing as you pour. Cook over low to medium heat until a solid ball forms (3-5 minutes). Remove the play dough from the saucepan and let it cool. Do not undercook because it will be sticky and do not overcook because it will crumble.

Be sure to store the playdoh in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toddler boy playing with homemade play doh
Toddler playing with homemade playdoh

How to Mold Crayons

Halloween crayons of tombstone, ghost and cauldron

Molded crayons are an easy, fun craft to do with the kids. You can mold crayons into any shape using a tin cupcake or cookie pan. I’ve tried using silicone baking pans, but this method didn’t work very well. The kids can participate every step of the way which makes it an easy craft to do with them. These crayons are wonderful class gifts for Holidays and birthdays.

Items needed:

  • Crayons (Crayola melts and writes the best)
  • Tin cookie or cupcake pan

First, take the paper off all the crayons and place the crayons into your pan. Be sure to put enough crayons in the mold so they are not too thin (2-3 crayons in each mold). I use a razor blade to cut the paper which makes it easier to remove, but when the kids help, they enjoy ripping into the paper.

Bake the crayons low at approximately 220 degrees until they are completely melted. My oven takes approximately 8-10 minutes, but each oven varies.

Let them cool completely and the crayons will easily pop out of the molds.