#pinterestFAIL Crafting with my niece

Craft projects we tried on pinterest

Have you seen all those cool DIY kids’ craft projects on Pinterest? Homemade flubber, moon dough, foam dough, glow fairies, glitter balloons, and the like? Well I have, and I’ve been dying to try some. I enlisted my 10-year-old niece Mitra to help me test some of them, and here are our (highly scientific) results.

FOAM DOUGH

The idea: Cornstarch + shaving cream = foam dough! Just mix it together and you’ll have a big pile of crumbly, fluffy, weird-feeling clay to play with. Sometimes this is also called “fluffy stuff” or “fake snow.”

Foam dough  -- fun for kids or a huge mess?

The reality: We poured a bunch of cornstarch and a bunch of shaving cream in a baking dish and went for it. We added some neon orange glitter for good measure. With more shaving cream, it’s stickier, and more cornstarch, it’s drier and crumblier. If you let it sit for about 30 minutes, it gels together and becomes more moldable. The texture is really cool and it’s hard to stop playing with, no matter what your age.

Foam dough  -- fun for kids or a huge mess?

The verdict: Super fun but super messy. Cornstarch and shaving cream are two of the messiest things I can think of, and mixing them together only compounds that. Plus the stuff sticks to your hands something awful. But the texture is so unusual and you can do so many things with it, and the ingredients are easy to clean up. So we would do it again, although next time, ideally outside or with more protective mats/aprons involved.

Foam dough  -- fun for kids or a huge mess?

GLITTER BALLOONS

The idea: Don’t these balloons look neat? Just put a little glitter in, fill them up with air, and voila – a classy cool glitter ballon!

The reality: Too bad the reality wasn’t quite what it was cracked up to be. We tried several different types and color of glitter, and yet, in the end, the balloons all just sort of looked like they had sand in them. And, erm, what about when they pop? That’s right, glitter everywhere. Hmm. Now they don’t seem so fun.

Make a mess with glitter balloons #fail

The verdict: Neither of us would not try this again. We got glitter everywhere, and all we ended up with were some balloons that looked like they had a bit of sand in them. Totally anticlimactic. Not worth the effort nor the price of the components.

GLOW FAIRIES IN A JAR

The idea: I have been wanting to try this for ages. The idea sounds simple: take a mason jar, empty the contents of a glow stick, add glitter, cover and shake.Instant glow fairies!

The reality: Even a 10-year-old could tell the original picture was photoshopped, but we remained hopeful. One snag: the directions say to “cut one end of a glow stick and empty the contents into a jar.” They didn’t mention that the glowing stuff is inside a glass tube that’s nested within the plastic! (That’s what you’re breaking when you snap a glow stick to activate it.) So really, the directions are, snap a glow stick, cut one end off, pour out the contents into a jar, then fish a bunch of broken glass out with tongs. Only then can you add glitter, cover, and shake.

Fairies in a Jar - is it any fun though?

It looked cool, but nothing like the picture. It was just a coating of glow goo with bits of glitter around the jar. And despite the big “non toxic” label on the glow sticks, I was still a little concerned about touching that nuclear goo.

The verdict: We would both make these again, but with reservations. Mitra thought they looked more like nuclear waste than glow fairies. For one thing, glow sticks are pretty cool on their own, so this doesn’t really seem necessary. For another, dealing with the glowing goo and the glass bits was a little tricky. If we did it again, we’d do it at night when we could really enjoy them, because there’s only so long you want to hang out in a dark closet. They could look cool hanging in a tree and we both agreed that they would be pretty neat for Halloween.

SHAVING CREAM IN A BOWL

The idea: Mitra asked if she could play with the remaining shaving cream.

Shaving cream is always fun!

The reality: She spent a good 30 minutes playing with a giant bowl filled with shaving cream. This provided at leas as much entertainment as any of the other projects!

The verdict: We would both try this again. Next time we’d do it outside so we could go even more crazy with the shaving cream. We shared a vision for an ideal summer day: epic shaving cream fight followed by epic water balloon fight (to clean ourselves up, of course.) Pretty cheap, if a bit messy, but hey, it’s shaving cream, so it smells clean and washes up with water really easily. Maybe I should pin it as the next great kids DIY craft idea?

We are looking for more projects like this to try- let me know if you have any to suggest so we can try them in the next round! 

ps I think this definitely goes into “preschooler” and above – my toddler kept trying to eat the foam dough and the shaving cream. And he was the glitter balloon popper that caused the problems. He still has glitter on his forehead. Luckily he was napping during the glow stick part.

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Among many other things, I am a toddler mom, a former pastry chef, a San Francisco native, an extensive world traveler, a writer, and an often overwhelmed remodeler. I have recently returned to school to become a certified nurse midwife. I blog at OffTheMeathook.com (lifestyles of the carnivorous and fabulous).