Pool Noodle Marshmallow Poppers

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Travis’s latest issue of Highlights magazine featured tons of ways to craft with pool noodles. With summer mere days away, we decided to test out the first of the lot: a marshmallow launcher! This is similar to a project we made in the past using a cup, but the pool noodle makes a much sturdier version.

To start, cut 3-inch pieces of pool noodle, one for each popper.

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Tie a knot in a balloon, then cut off the top end of the balloon. Stretch over one end of a pool noodle piece.

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Secure with duct tape, and add other strips of tape for fun pops of color, if desired. Now fill the cavity of the pool noodle with mini marshmallow (we love Dandies of course!). Pull down on the knot of the balloon and… launch!

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In addition to great fun trying to catch the marshmallows and eat them, the poppers led to lots of silly marshmallow wars. Travis loved being pelted with them, or pelting me with them, or hiding around the corner waiting to ambush each other.

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You might just find yourself acting like a kid right alongside your kid! This craft is sure to add a sweet note to any summer day.

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Solar Oven S’mores

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Happy National S’mores Day! Travis and I celebrated with a STEM take on this classic summer treat: s’mores cooked in a solar-powered oven made from one of his recycled Kiwi Crates!

To start, cut the flaps off the top of the Kiwi box (or an old shoebox). Line the entire inside with aluminum foil, and secure with clear tape.

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Place 4 graham crackers on the bottom; we love the vegan and gluten-free grahams from Kinnikinnick.

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Top two of the graham cracker pieces with dark chocolate squares and the other two pieces with Dandies marshmallows.

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Cover the top of the “oven” with plastic wrap and tape down; you don’t want any bugs in there! We placed our oven on the patio in hot sunshine.

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82 degrees ought to do it!

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After 20 minutes, we took a peek. Our chocolate was so hot and melty and perfect.

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The Dandies had softened up, although they didn’t melt all the way down. But these made fantastic s’mores!

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S’more Brownies

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Want s’more fun with summer’s favorite trio of chocolate, graham cracker, and marshmallows? In addition to our s’more energy bites (which have all been gobbled up), we made these easy s’more brownies. Hint: the recipe starts with a mix!

Mix together one package of your favorite vegan brownie mix according to package directions. Spread half of the batter into the bottom of a 9×9-inch baking dish.

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Top evenly with graham cracker pieces, then spread with the remaining batter.

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Sprinkle the top with Dandies mini marshmallows – the more the gooier! You’ll notice that Travis was too busy licking the batter from the bowl to help sprinkle on the marshmallows.

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Bake according to package directions.

If brownies aren’t your favorite, try this twist on the s’more trio:

Layer chocolate pudding, broken graham cracker pieces, and mini Dandies marshmallows in a glass. Repeat the layers, and top with a final layer of pudding. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (this will help the graham cracker pieces soften).

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Marshmallow Launcher

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After a full day in the car, I wanted to do something for Travis that was pure joy. This project is sure to earn you cool parent points!

Cut the bottom from a disposable cup – kids can help with this step if you have paper cups on hand, but since ours were plastic, I did the scissor work myself.

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Next, knot the ends of several uninflated balloons and snip off the tops.

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Fit a balloon snugly over the cut end of each cup (you can add an elastic band for extra security). Now it’s time to load up your marshmallow ammo!

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One to two marshmallows at a time will work best (more than that and it’s really too heavy). Travis couldn’t get enough of seeing the marshmallows fly toward the ceiling!

Or of the slightly-verboten ability to eat the marshmallows off the floor after they landed.

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He wanted to see if his launcher would work with pennies as well. (Hint: Yes, it will – just not as yummy an experiment!) Needless to say, the project involved lots of hearty giggles and tons of fun.

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