Friday, September 2, 2011

In Which I Survive Another Craft

Emily was doing a Google search for kid-friendly crafts the other day.  (Let me interrupt myself here and say that a MOM-FRIENDLY craft would be one which does not involve the Mom. Ahem You know crafts make me want to run away!) 

We always have the same problem when we look for something to do or make, and that is that we never have the required equipment on hand.
"Mommy, do we have an empty toilet paper roll?"
"How about... pipe cleaners?"
"No, sorry."
"No, no straws, either."
... "How about an empty egg carton?"
"I could empty one... No..."
"Do we have any card stock?"
"No, sorry, you wasted it all used it all up on yesterday's crafting adventure."
"Tempera paint? Nails? Colored tissue paper? Bottle caps?
"No, no, no, and no."
And on the exchange goes.

Since I am trying to keep the family grocery bill to $50 $100 a week without doing super-extreme couponing (hahahahaha), I usually avoid adding things like balloons or felt or beads to my grocery list.  But this time I relented and bought some lentils (they're edible) and balloons (cheap) to this week's list, and here is the result:
Look at that happy face!  The project was these fun balls that Emily found on the Family Fun website.  They double as stress balls or bean bags (sort of -- they make a rather hard bean bag) or, as #2 daughter Amy suggests, a school-time educational supplement for active kiddos like herself.  (Just what we need.)  And they roll well.  But they don't bounce.  Alison suggests covering them with fabric and ModPodge, to hide the strong latex smell, which Amy thinks is one of the best things about these balls.  (These two girls couldn't be more different!)

It was not a 10 on the mom-friendly craft scale, especially since Emily wanted to do it RIGHT NOW, while I was making lunch. But it wasn't bad, since the process did not involve glue or paint.  And her crafting was contagious.  Pretty soon two or three sisters wanted to make their own.  I give it an 8.

If you're game for this, you'll need three 11" balloons and maybe 2/3 C lentils for each ball, plus a funnel.

Blow it up the balloon that is going to be the inside layer of your ball, then let the air out.  This is to stretch the latex a bit.  Stick the end of the funnel into the balloon neck and pour some lentils in. 

Now you are going to have to be creative and find a way to get more lentils in there.  Kind of squish the base of your balloon, then stretch the neck.  Gradually you will be able to get quite a few more in.

Cut the thick rubber part off the neck of the first balloon. Now cut the neck off a second balloon.  This color will show through when you are finished.

Pull the neck of the first balloon flat around the ball of lentils, and stretch the second balloon over and around the ball.  Obviously you want to cover the opening of the first ball.

Now do the same with the third balloon, only cut a bit farther down the neck than we did the one in the previous photo.  It will be the outside color.  Again, cover the opening of the balloon on the previous layer.

Ta da!

Forgive the horrid photo quality.  I did not hire the resident photo editor to fix these.  She charges me a spoonful of Nutella for editing, and that is just too high a price to pay for such frivolity!  More on that later...

And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. 
And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, 
where was a piece of ground full of lentiles
and the people fled from the Philistines.
But he stood in the midst of the ground, 
and defended it, 
and slew the Philistines: 
and the LORD wrought a great victory.
2 Samuel 23:11, 12

PS.  I'm  sure this is about the only thing lentils are good for.  I have tried to make them palatable several times and we still think they taste like dirt.  Too bad.  I hear they are good for you!


  1. I think we made these once...a great crafting compromise.

  2. I agree wholeheartedly concerning the lentils...blahhh.
    Your girls are precious!
    And Nutella is definitely for bribing...but oh so yummy!

  3. Bravo, Sally. Fun to see the happy face on your little one.

    I've got a great lentil soup recipe...really! Call me if you think it's worth it. :-)

    Blessings, friend,

  4. Seriously, kids' crafts make me twitchy. I feel they are some sort of punishment for the mother. I must admit, this one looks okay. And I actually LIKE lentils! I make mine into dal, usually, which is extra tasty as it involves not only curry powder, but the cream from a can of coconut milk. Yummy.


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