Glass Symphony

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We started off our day with a rainbow of sound! This neat homemade “xylophone” is a great way for kids to visualize the vibrations created in a basic glass symphony.

Fill glasses of the same shape and height with different levels of water. You don’t have to be exact about this, but I found it easiest to add water in 1/2 cup increments.

Add food coloring to the glasses so you have a pretty rainbow of colors. (Note: I use the all-natural coloring from Watkins, but I always find that the green looks very blue in water; instead, use the blue and yellow to mix a truer green).

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Now it was time to hand Travis a spoon, and see what he discovered. I asked him what was different about each glass. First he pointed out the obvious: different colors. But as he dinged each one with a spoon, he was delighted to find the sounds changed.

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“Sort of a low note,” he described.

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“Even higher!” he exclaimed.

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“Really high!”

Your mini Mozart can even try making up a song.

Here is my attempt at Hot Cross Buns, although I would have had to take some time to get scientific if I wanted the notes to be exactly right.

This project is a delight for all!

Rainbow Sugar Cookies

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Kids are all too often over-scheduled these days, and I’m as guilty of it as the next parent. That’s why I love the afternoons that I deliberately keep wide open for my son and me. It’s the perfect excuse just to play or, one of our favorites, to bake! This cooking project is messy, that’s for sure, but so worth the smiles.

To start, we made a basic sugar cookie batter. In a bowl, cream together 2 sticks (1/2 pound) Earth Balance butter and 1 cup sugar using a wooden spoon or fork. Travis loved this step! Usually we use our stand mixer, and it was so fun to get in there with muscle power.

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Add 2 Ener-G eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, stirring until combined.

Carefully stir in 2 and 1/2 cups flour just until blended. Travis pretended he was a stand mixer on “slow” setting for this step. Loved it!

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Now for the messy part. Divide your dough into about 4 or 5 portions on a floured surface. Working with one portion at a time, knead in colors of the rainbow. We didn’t make a full rainbow, but soon had red, yellow, green, and blue portions, using the all-natural food coloring from Watkins.

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You’ll notice Travis took a moment to steal some leftover batter!

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Wrap each portion of dough individually in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour (longer is fine).

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When it’s time to bake, coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Pinch off a section of each color and roll into a long worm, then make rainbows on the baking sheet.

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Bake at 375 degrees F for 7 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and repeat with the remaining dough until gone. (Note: we made two batches today, and the dough easily freezes for future rainbow-making).

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