Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Engineering is the key to a successful egg drop.  I have always wanted to participate in an egg drop contest...and decided to hold a family event. 

The structure of the egg drop container reminded me of the similarities between the Monster Truck Jam vehicles.  (Just attended my first tickets!)  Those trucks cradle their drivers and attempt to protect them from impact and danger.

Hold a fun Egg Drop Contest of your own with your family!

Gather boxes, string, styrofoam, pantyhose, egg cartons and whatever else you can imagine to create your very own Egg Drop protection frame.

First you may wish to decorate your little egg and name him or her...complete with yarn hair?

Now create a protective frame for your egg pet.  Perhaps your frame can even have a theme too!

Take your pet eggs outside and drop them from the deck or from somewhere high, one at a time.  After all of the eggs have been launched and crashed to the ground, see which egg frame was the most successful at protecting your egg pets.  This might be a great opportunity to discuss the importance of wearing seatbelts in the car and safety equipment while riding bikes and scooters!

Here are a few Monster Jam truck facts:
Today’s monster trucks use lightweight bodies and tires so more strength and weight can be put into the frame without sacrificing speed, maneuverability, or safety.

1. Body – Made of fiberglass, a monster truck body is custom designed to create a character or theme for the truck. Custom body trucks can be carved by hand out of Styrofoam and wood to create a “plug” which is then used to create a fiberglass body mold or created by computers.

2. Driver Seat – Most monster trucks have the driver seated in the center of the vehicle so he or she can best see the track for weight distribution. The seats are custom molded to each driver’s body and all drivers use head and neck restraint devices to keep their heads secure during rough landings. As a safety measure, all seatbelts employ a 5 point harness to restrain the driver’s body.

3. Paint – Most Monster Jam® monster trucks feature highly designed, customized airbrushed artwork on their bodies. Airbushing is expensive and time consuming as some trucks require more than 40 hours of paint time. Monster Jam body fabricators are always assured lots of work though, as their custom creations are routinely destroyed during the shows.
4. Engines – Custom-built, supercharged and methanol-injected, a monster truck engine burns up to 10 liters of methanol per run (approximately 80 meters) and delivers about 1,500 horsepower.

5. Suspension System – In order to allow the drivers to withstand the punishing impacts of jumping and crashing a monster truck during a performance, each Monster Jam monster truck is equipped with specially-engineered extra long 76cm shock absorbers filled with oil and nitrogen gas that are installed with each tire.

6. Tires – Each monster truck tire is custom made. They must be 66 inches high and 43 inches wide. The average monster truck team will go through 8 tires in one year. Tires are designed differently to satisfy various track conditions and driver preference. Carving just one tire requires over 50 hours of exacting labor.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Yes, with three little girls...even SNOW can wear bling!

So, upon my daughter's request, we brought in a few snowballs and dumped them into bowls.  Then came the drops of food coloring.  The girls stabbed their bamboo skewers into the snow and broke up the snow as the color diffussed through the snowflakes.  It's amazing how millions of tiny snowflakes come together to form the quintessential winter play medium.

Drop in another food color and mix together to see what color results.
Now, for the bling...

Glitter Snow. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A New Year Wrap Party -Disney On Ice & KSTU's Big Budah

Invite the Public to Celebrate and Help the Utah Food Bank!
Salt Lake City, January 13, 2011-The public is invited to come to the the EnergySolutions Arena Monday, January 24th. Starting at 6:00 a.m. the FIRST 600 people to come to arena plaza Door 6 and donate 10 cans of food will receive a free pass to the opening night performance of Disney On Ice presents Let's Celebrate on Wednesday, March 9 at the EnergySolutions Arena. There will be a limit of one ticket per person, and each donator must be present with 10 cans of food in order to receive a free pass (applies to ages where passes are required). This marks the sixth time Disney On Ice has teamed up with Big Budah and the Utah Food Bank to help in the collection of food for Utah communities.
Local Mom Bloggers will face off in a Utah Food Bank Let's Wrap this up event, competing against each other in wrapping up food items collected during the Drive. Timed events will include, fastest gift wrapping, prettiest gift wrapping, most unique gift wrapping, in addition to other events.
Watch for me on air from 6-7am.

Audiences are invited to make an ordinary day extraordinary and enjoy some of the world's most popular festivities with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, including a Very Merry Unbirthday Party with Alice and the Mad Hatter; a Mardi Gras parade with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen; a Hawaiian luau with Lilo and Stitch; a winter wonderland with everyone's favorite toys - Woody, Jessie & Buzz Lightyear; a Halloween haunt with the Disney Villains; a Valentine's Day Royal Ball with the Disney Princesses...and more in the celebration of the century! Disney On Ice presents Let's Celebrate! features more than 50 characters from 16 Disney stories live on ice, including Tiana, the newest Disney Princess from Walt Disney Pictures' The Princess and the Frog.

Location & Showtimes
EnergySolutions Arena - 301 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Wednesday, March 9 7:00 pm

Thursday, March 10 7:00 pm

Friday, March 11 4:00 pm; 7:30 pm

Saturday, March 12 11:00 am; 2:30 pm; 6:30 pm

Sunday, March 13 11:00 am; 2:30 pm; 6:30 pm

Ticket prices for Disney On Ice presents Let's Celebrate! range from $13, $17, $23, $40 (VIP) and $52 (Front Row) - prices do not include service charges, handling or facility fees. Tickets are available from the EnergySolutions Box Office and all SmithTix locations, via phone by calling (801) 355-SEAT or (800) 888-TIXX and online at or To learn more about Disney On Ice, go to, or visit us on Facebook and YouTube.

Since January 7th is "Old Rock Day", I thought I'd stretch the "rock" motif and introduce these wonderful Dinosaur Egg ideas.  Children are so excited to break one of these open and find the baby dinosaur inside.

The first method is to enclose a small dinosaur toy in a handful of salt dough. 

SALT DOUGH (Ruth Asawa's recipe)
4 cups flour
1 cup Salt
1-2 cups Water
You can gradually add a little sand or dirt to the dough to create a more natural or "dirty" appearance.  Using 2 cups of wheat flour and 2 cups of white flour helps to create a more natural look too.

Press the salt dough into a flat cake and wrap around the dinosaur toy.  Press and mold the dough into an egg-looking shape.  Let the dough sit for a few days (turn over every day to make sure all of it dries) until the egg gets hard.

You can let your child decorate their egg with tempura or acrylic paints and let it dry. 
You'll need:
Small Dinosaur Toy
Balloon (latex-not inflated)
Newspaper- cut into 2 inch strips
Flour, salt and water
Paint (spray paint to coat the egg and tempura for details)

Carefully slide a small dinosaur toy inside the mouth of an uninflated latex balloon.  Blow up the balloon slightly to the desired size of your dinosaur egg.
Prepare a paper mache mixture by putting a cup of flour, and a few Tb of salt into a bowl.  Gradually add water until you get a thin paste.  Dip the newspaper strips into the paste and slide the excess paste off between your fingers.  Lay the pasty strip of newspaper onto the balloon.  Continue the process until the balloon is coated in paper mache.  Let your Dinosaur Egg dry overnight or until dry.

Spray paint the Dinosaur egg a desired base color.  Let your child embellish the egg with tempura or acrylic paints.  They can add glitter and jewels if they want to bling their egg.

Hide the eggs in a back yard sandbox or inside the house in a bin or dry oatmeal flakes and Go for a Dinosaur Dig!  Watch the excitement as your child scrapes open their salt dough egg or rips into their paper mache egg to discover a special dinosaur baby toy!  They'll LOVE IT!

January 7th is "Old Rock Day"!  I'm sure citizens around the nation will be celebrating the occassion.  Even if you've never heard of it, here are a few activities to help you celebrate this random holiday!
SALT DOUGH is a great medium for Dinosaur Fossil Prints. 
(This is a Ruth Asawa's recipe from a previous post.)
4 cups white flour (you can use 2 cups wheat for a "dirtier" look)
1 cup salt
1-2 cups water

You can also gradually introduce a little sand or dirt as you add the water for a "dirtier", more natural look.

Knead the dough until it's a workable consistency and cut into 8 even pieces or whatever size you desire.
Form a small piece of dough into a flat cake.

Gather leaves, sticks, and tiny dinosaur toys.  Press an object into the top of the salt dough cake to leave an imprint or faux fossil.

Cook the individual salt dough faux fossils on a cookie sheet at 250-325 degrees until the salt dough is very hard (over an hour).  Let them cool for a bit.

It's fun to let your child paint their faux fossils with tempura or acrylics.  When they dry, you can hide the faux fossils in the back yard sand box or in a bin or dry oatmeal flakes inside the house.  Go for a fossil dig!

As you create your faux fossils, you can talk about how real fossils form.  Read a book together on the subject or look up fossil pictures on the internet.  There are some great dinosaur coloring pages with information about each one at


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