Christian Parent

How to Make a Crawdad Trap

Our boys have had a lot of fun swimming in the river behind our house this summer. There are all kinds of things to look at and explore, so many creatures to discover.

This year my boys discovered crawdads for the first time. They look like little crabs, but you can find them in even tiny rivers like ours. They are really fun to try to catch, some people even eat them!

crawdad trapIt is really easy to make a trap to capture crawdads.

Supplies needed:

  • 2-liter pop bottle
  • Exacto knife
  • String
  • Canned clams

The first thing you need to do to create the trap is cut the top off of the bottle. Using the exacto knife, carefully cut the top third of the pop bottle off. You want to cut it at the top of the center portion of the bottle, right where the bottle begins to narrow.

Turn the part you cut off upside down and place it inside the bottle, so that the cut edges meet and the top of the bottle is now inside of the bottle, near the bottom of the bottle.

Use the knife to cut two slits at the top of the bottle, one on each side. Cut a long piece of light rope or string and string it through the two holes, tying it at the top. This gives you a hanger to hang the bottle from.

Place about half a small can of clams down through the hole, to the bottom of the bottle.

Your crawdad trap is all ready to try out! Hang the bottle from a tree branch or other secure place with the bottle entirely submerged in the water. You can place a few small rocks in the bottom of the bottle to help keep it in the water.

Have your kids check the trap every day and see if they caught any crawdads! And if you are brave enough, do a search to find out how to cook them and eat them.

Copyright 2015, This article may not be reprinted.

Glow in the Dark Slime

My boys have liked playing with slime for years. It’s really easy to make your own from just a few simple household ingredients. I recently saw an idea for a new twist on the recipe–glow in the dark slime!

How fun! It’s really simple to make your slime glow in the dark. All you need is a small bottle of glow in the dark paint that you can find in the craft section of Walmart.

glow in the dark slimeIngredients:

4 oz. white school glue
3-4 tbsp. glow in the dark paint
1/2 c. water
Neon food coloring
1 tsp. borax*
1 c. warm water

*You can find borax in the laundry section at the grocery store. It comes in powder form.

In a bowl, mix together glue and 1/2 c. water. Stir in glow in the dark paint and the food coloring. The food coloring is optional, but it will give the slime a brighter color.

In another bowl, mix together borax and 1 c. warm water. Slowly pour the glue mixture into the borax solution, and stir to combine.

As the mixture starts to thicken, let your kids use their hands to knead the slime until it becomes thick and easily handled.

Store the slime in a ziploc bag. It will last longer if stored in the refrigerator.

Copyright 2015, This article may not be reprinted.

Fold ‘n Fly Paper Airplanes

My boys are always telling me they are bored and don’t have anything to do. It isn’t easy keeping three boys busy all day.

For Easter their grandma gave them a paper airplane kit called Fold N Fly Paper Airplanes Kit. It comes with 18 sturdy colored papers and instructions on how to make six different styles of paper airplanes:

paper airplanes

  • Phoenix
  • Gamma Racer
  • Stealth Glider
  • Sky Shark
  • Nighthawk
  • Spider Flyer

The kit says it is for ages 6 and up. My 10-year-old boys could make some of the paper airplanes by themselves, but they needed help from their dad to figure out a couple of the instructions.

Overall, this kit is really inexpensive and a great way to pass an afternoon. The instructions come in a nice little booklet that you can keep and use to make more paper airplanes later.

This kit is available at stores and also at Amazon.

Copyright 2015, This article may not be reprinted.

Follow my homeschooling board on Pinterest.

Pop Bottle Bird Feeder

I found the idea for this neat pop bottle bird feeder in a science kit I am doing with my boys. The project was to recycle a plastic pop bottle by making it into a bird feeder.

All you have to do is purchase this pop bottle bird feeder kit, and in just a few minutes you have a bird feeder to hang up for the birds to enjoy.

You assemble the bird feeder by cutting two small holes, one on either side of the top of the bird feeder (the bottom of the bottle). The kit includes a plastic handle to insert into the two holes so that you will have a hanger to hang the bird feeder.

The kit also includes a plastic piece that screws in to the top of the pop bottle (the bottom of the bird feeder). It provides a perch for the birds while they are eating.

That’s all there is to it. We have really enjoyed trying to identify the birds that come to our bird feeders. We have some house finches, as well as juncos (a type of sparrow). We also identified chickadees. You can identify birds from a bird field guide.

We also found a neat app for iPhones that lets you type in some information about the bird you are looking at and it tells you what the bird may be. It even has recordings of bird calls to help identify birds. The app we are using is the Merlin app from Cornell University.

The science kit we are using is the Birds, Astronomy, Magnetism kit from Home Science Adventures.

Copyright 2015. This article may not be reprinted.

Follow my homeschooling board on Pinterest.

Easy Origami for Kids

If you are looking for a fun, educational activity for your children, then you might consider origami. I found this fun book called Easy Origami by John Montroll on Amazon, and my boys have really been having fun with it.

easy origamiEven my almost 6-year-old can do some of the simple projects with help. My 10-year-old’s can do some of the simple projects themselves, and some of the harder projects with help. My boys really got a kick out of making a cup out of paper that could actually hold water!

Here are some of the things you can make from this book:

  • Sailboat
  • Horse
  • Fish
  • Rabbit
  • Cat
  • Star
  • Candy Box
  • Swan
  • Pin Wheel
  • Water Bomb
  • Frog

There are more than 30 easy projects in all. I looked at several different books, and this one seemed to have the simplest instructions and best variety of projects for beginners. And the best thing about it is the price…it is less than $3.

I have even had fun doing some of these projects myself. It’s nice to have books like this laying around when your kids are bored and are looking for something to do. We will definitely be getting a lot of use out of it.

Copyright 2015, This article may not be reprinted.

Follow my Kid Stuff board on Pinterest.