Fun and Easy Craft for the Kids: Microwavable Puffy Paint

I was reading through a Family Fun magazine and found the Microwavable Puffy Paint craft idea. I tried it out with my 4-year-old and am happy to report that it was both fun and easy! Plus, it actually worked! I mixed the paints in small Tupperware containers and let my daughter put the food coloring in until it was the shade she liked. I laid down a garbage bag on our table and let her imagination go to work. She loved it and made a picture for each person in the family. The clean up was easy, and it was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Here are the instructions if you’d like to try it with your little ones!

Microwavable Puffy Paint

Source: Family Fun (www.familyfun.com)

Mix for each color

1 Tbs. flour

1 Tbs. salt

1 Tbs. baking powder

2 Tbs. plus 1 or 2 tsp. of water

Several drops of food coloring

Stir until smooth. Apply paint to card stock (works the best) – all we had was construction paper (it worked fine but the edges curled up in the microwave). To dry and make the paint puff up, put the artwork in the microwave for 20 seconds. Keep adding 10 seconds at a time until dry.

Children’s Product Recalls Higher in May

Guest post by:

Jennifer Toney, CEO at WeMakeItSafer.com

Children’s Product Recalls Higher in May

The CPSC announced 29 recalls in May, four more than this time last year (25). Of the recalls issued, 13 or 45%, were children’s products. This is slightly higher than the overall average for children’s products, which is 43%.  Most of the remaining recalls were for products in the Home & Garden (8) and Sporting Goods (5) categories.

The biggest recall of the month, in terms of units, was for Kennedy Home Collection folding step stools ( http://wemakeitsafer.com/Kennedy-Home-Collection-Folding-Step-Stools-Recall-422012-978565 ) with 1.6 million units involved.  The stools were recalled because they can break or collapse when in use, posing a fall hazard.  15 incidents were reported at the time of recall, resulting in three injuries.

Another children’s product, Safety 1st toilet locks and cabinet latches ( http://wemakeitsafer.com/Safety-1st-Toilet-and-Cabinet-Locks-Recall-591275-235602 ), resulted in 388 incident reports, the highest in May.  868,000 units were recalled due to lock failure, allowing children unintended access to water and dangerous items.  One injury was reported.

A third children’s product recall involved a relatively high number of both units and incidents.  330,000 Tots in Mind crib tents ( http://wemakeitsafer.com/Tots-in-Mind-Crib-Tents-Recall-228172-161506 ) and play yard tents ( http://wemakeitsafer.com/Tots-in-Mind-Play-Yard-Tents-Recall-043518-552326 ) were recalled because they can pose an entrapment and strangulation hazard.  23 incidents were reported at the time of recall, resulting in four injuries, one of them a two year old boy who sustained a catastrophic brain injury when the crib tent affixed to his crib tent inverted and a broken rod trapped him at the neck.  The play yard tents were previously recalled ( http://wemakeitsafer.com/Cozy-Indoor-Outdoor-Portable-Playard-Tents-Plus-Cabana-Kits-Recall-120331-904389 ) in July 2010, at which time four incidents had been reported, including one involving the death of a two-year old boy.  Consumers should not attempt to repair these products and should instead return them to the retailer.

Two trampolines were recalled in May.  One of them, a Sportspower BouncePro 14-foot trampoline ( http://wemakeitsafer.com/Sportspower-BouncePro-14-foot-Trampolines-Recall-399921-274055 ) (92,000 units) included 17 reported incidents of the surrounding net breaking, resulting  in 11 injuries, the highest number of reported injuries for any recall in May.   The other was for a small, First Fitness “Kid’s First Trampoline”  ( http://wemakeitsafer.com/First-Fitness-Trampolines-with-Handlebars-Recall-341991-833113 ) recalled by Aqua-Leisure.  There had been four reported incidents of the handlebar breaking but no injuries had been reported at the time of recall.

One recall, the Banzai inflatable pool slide ( http://wemakeitsafer.com/Banzai-Inflatable-Pool-Slides-Recall-456322-573971 ) (21,000 units), reported three severe injuries, including one that resulted in a 24-year old man being paralyzed, and another that resulted in the death of a 29-year old woman .  The slides were recalled because they can deflate, allowing a user to hit the ground underneath the slide. The slides are also unstable and carry inadequate warnings and instructions.  Consumers should immediately stop using the slides and return them to Walmart or Toys R Us for a full refund.

One Home & Garden recall had a high number of incidents, glass sauté pan lids ( http://wemakeitsafer.com/Glass-Lid-Sold-with-Circulon-Cookware-Set-Recall-785275-556084 ) sold with Circulon Cookware sets.  There were 65 reports of broken or shattered lids.  No injuries were reported.

Other children’s recalls included bassinets, car seats, jackets and sweatshirts.  Recalls in other categories included furniture, bicycle parts, climbing gear and more.

Review all of the Latest Recalls, or just the latest Children’s Product Recalls at WeMakeItSafer.com.

About the Author

Jennifer Toney is CEO at WeMakeItSafer.com, a company that builds web applications to help consumers and retailers check and monitor products for safety recalls. After finding more than her fair share of recalled products in her own home, Jennifer founded WeMakeItSafer to help families and store owners identify dangerous products more easily. You can follow Jennifer on twitter at @Jennifer_Toney and WeMakeItSafer on facebook at http://facebook.com/WeMakeItSafer

TOYplay Tips: ZOOB!

This weekend I was bored, and remembered that my Mom brought home a new toy called Zoob. When I opened the box, I saw many different colored and shaped pieces that looked like golf balls. I started snapping all of the pieces together right away.

Zoob comes with 5 different guides that include many tips and creations that you can build. I decided to look through all the pictures in the first guide and made the glasses from yellow, gray, green, blue, and red pieces. The next thing you know, my 6-year-old brother walked in, and I helped him to make a pair of glasses too. He also had made a cellphone completely by himself. After that, I started snapping random pieces together, and built some binoculars. My dad took our picture wearing our new sunglasses.

The next day, I looked through Guidebook 3 which has combinations that show you little tricks to make your creations look more interesting. The “fireman’s weave” looks like a compass. Another combination called the “full swirl” is made from 7 red connectors and fits on your wrist. Finally, the “bending square” twists and turns in your hands. There are so many creations to choose from and I wanted to think outside of the box so I asked my dad if we could build the Washington Monument.

I am a girl, eight and a half years old, in third grade, but only for 2 more weeks! Zoob connectors are a really fun toy. They snap together quickly and allow you to build things fast. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I did!

Developmental Areas: Fine motor skills, creative play, finger dexterity

Recommended Age : 6+ years

Playtime: Endless

Tested and Reviewed by: Addie Brooksbank, Age 8

Extension activities:
1). Use the pieces to practice patterns and sequencing
2). Memory game: create a design using different colors and shapes. Let the child study the design then have him close his eyes. While his eyes are closed, remove one piece. See if he can remember the color of the piece that was removed.
3). Re-create: create a simple design with the pieces. Let the child spend a few minutes studying the design. Give the child the same pieces and see if she can re-create your design by memory.

Menu Ideas: Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Enjoy this yummy pork tenderloin recipe! This is one of my kids’ favorite meals. They keep coming back for more and particularly enjoy the yummy sauce on the side!

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce

2 Tbsp. Hoisin Sauce (chinese barbecue sauce)

2 Tbs. Dry Sherry

1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar

1 Tbsp. Oil

1 /2 Tsp. Honey

1/2 Tsp. Garlic Powder

1/2 Tsp Cinnamon

2 -3 Lbs. Pork Tenderloin or Pork Chops

Mix together all ingredients. Pour over pork and marinate in refrigerator for 6 – 8 hours. Remove from marinade and cook over hot grill. Baste with remaining marinade as cooking.

*** Feel free to double or triple the marinade recipe. Use half to marinate pork and reserve the other half for later. Approximately, 10 -15 minutes before the pork is ready, heat up the reserved marinade in a small sauce-pan over low heat. Use as a dipping sauce for the pork.

Author: Jeanne Brooksbank, mom of 3 and TOYmember Services Manager at TOYconomy