Archives for July 2009

Simple As That: GOO!

I know I am late with getting this week’s Simple As That together for you!  We’ve been enjoying a rainy respite to our sizzling summer days.

One of our favorite indoor activities is to whip up a batch of GOO (also known as slime or GAK). It is super easy, even for the crafty-challenged like myself, and both girls find endless variations of play with it.

The recipe we use is very simple: mix equal parts white glue (cannot be the washable kind) and liquid laundry starch.  Today, Dacey used the glue to create a palette for her glue sticker “work,” and she also loves cutting it with scissors (“giving it a haircut”).  Sometimes she colors it with markers, and we have painted it in the past.  We roll it with the plastic rolling pin and stick cookie cutters in it.  The only rule is keep it off of your clothes and off of the carpet!





If you aren’t keen on using the laundry starch, here is a starch-free recipe for goo:

Mix 3 cups flour and 2 cups baking soda in a bowl.  Stir in one cup of glue – and more as needed until you get the right consistency.


The classic “slime” recipe is to combine one cup corn starch with one cup water.

So fun!

Does your family make goo/slime/GAK?  What is your favorite way to make it?  What are some of the most creative ways to play with goo your family has come up with?

July 24th: SK Showcase and Weekend Links

I am so very inspired by this week’s Showcase!  I know you will be, too.

Casey of Live Your Art wrote, “My kids, Max and Madeline, kept backyard nature journals this summer. They liked to work in them in the mornings, after  breakfast outside. I kept one, too!”




What a lovely way to spend a summer morning!

And now, your weekend reading:

Simply Practical TV-Free activities to keep your kids busy while you work, part one (link via The Wonder Years)
Unclutterer: Teaching time management skills to children
Parent Hacks: Reuse sport bottles as spill-proof containers for drive-through beverages

Simply Delicious

Nourished Kitchen: 10 Healthy Treats for Kids
Simply Recipes: Zucchini Breakfast Casserole

Inspired Projects

notions & threads: Sort of Marbled Paper
the long thread: Summer Reading Craft #3 (Wabi Sabi)
The Crafty Crow: Outdoor Play Spaces
Let’s Explore Blog: First Embroidery

Inspired Images

therinrins: sprinkler
maya*made: hopes

Inspired Words

Steady Mom: Rest for the Weary Mother
Remodeling This Life: Some Things Never Change
My Super-Charged Life: 40 Things To Teach My Kids Before They Leave Home (guest post from Sherri of Serene Journey)

What will keep you busy this last full weekend in July?  Happy weekending!

SK Showcase: FAQ

starkidsPhoto by D Sharon Pruitt

After I put out the call for new Showcase submissions in last week’s Showcase, and then reminded the SK community via Twitter and our Facebook group to get your submissions to me, I received several questions related to the Showcase.  This is a good opportunity to fill in some blanks about the weekly Simple Kids Showcase.

1. What kind of material will you feature in the Showcase?

This is the most-asked question.  Essentially, I am hoping to be able to feature photos and/or writings that show how the SK community is engaging in the idea of “uncomplicated parenting in a complex world.”  This can, of course, include crafting projects your family has done, but not all families are creative in that way.  If you read through the Simple Kids About Page, you’ll see that this is a community where parents and caregivers are encouraged to

  • seek to build positive character development in concrete and practical ways
  • engage in appreciation and exploration of nature with their children
  • discover new ways to prepare and experience food and nutrition
  • make a time and place for experiencing quality literature with their children every day
  • lighten up, embrace the mess, and play, play, play!

What does this look like in your family?  That is what I want to feature in the Showcase.

Here are some questions to spur your imagination:

* What does character development mean for your family?  Are you developing character through community service, activism, or volunteerism?

* What are some of your best and most creative solutions for the common issues of parenting?  For example, “Our best idea on encouraging our kids to share their toys,” or “Our no-fail tear-free, painless bedtime routine,” or “What we do when The Meanies attack our toddler”

* What does it look like to experience the outdoors where you live?  Do you have a treasured green spot in the midst of an urban environment?  Do acres of untouched woods back up to your property line? Are you campers?  Hikers? Bikers? Fishers? Bird watchers? Bug collectors?  Gardeners?  How do you engage with nature?  These would all make for wonderful Showcase features!

* Cooking, baking, and general kitchen creativity and exploration are all wonderful Showcase ideas.  What is your child’s favorite meal? Have you made up a new recipe that you think other families would enjoy?

* We have introduced our new weekly book review column, but there is more to promoting literacy than reading!  Do you encourage your kids to make up stories?  To create new books of their own?  Keep a calendar?

* What is on your “the kids love this!” playlist that you think other families might enjoy?

* What is the favorite game being played in your family?  Do you have a new spin on an old fave?  Have your kids made up an entirely new game that you find be rather clever?

* Of course, artwork, projects, made-up songs, inventions and all manner of creation are always welcome.  What has your child created lately?

These are just some ideas to get you started thinking about what you might share.

2. Do I have to be a blogger to contribute to the Showcase?

Absolutely not!  If you are a blogger and would like to have your blog link included in your Showcase submission, I’ll be happy to do so.  Many readers have either private family blogs or do not blog – having a blog is definitely NOT a requirement for submission!

3. What if I’ve already posted this idea on my blog?

That’s okay!  Some of our Showcase pieces that I’ve already featured are of how-tos and tutorials already posted on someone’s blog.  If you want to, you can send the relevant photographs and a short write-up of what you are submitting, and I’ll include a link to your full article/story from your blog.

4. Does each submission have to have a photo?

No!  While photos do help us have tangible access to your idea, they are certainly NOT a requirement for a Showcase submission!

5. Do I have to include our names?

No, you certainly don’t – particularly if you are including pictures of your children and would prefer to remain anonymous.

Hopefully this answers some of the questions you might have had about Showcase submissions.

One of my very favorite aspects of Simple Kids is the idea of coming together as a community of like-minded parents and caregivers to share our collective resources and knowledge.  The What We’re Reading Wednesdays book review team is an exciting example of passionate parents willing to contribute to the community.  I have a few other features in the works that have come from SK readers.  I hope we will be able to continue the Showcase as a regular feature because I truly believe it enhances the spirit of community here!

As a reminder, Showcase submissions can be emailed to me at simplekidsblog at gmail dot com

What did I leave out?  What other Showcase questions or suggestions do you have?