Whale Ball Toss

Whale Ball (10)

For a museum exhibit on President’s Day, Travis got to play with old-fashioned toys in honor of George Washington, including wooden favorites like a Jacob’s Ladder and a cup-and-ball toss. So he was eager to craft this whale-tastic take on the latter at home. (Fun fact: the game dates back to the 14th century! Admittedly, this cetacean update from Kiwi Co. is a bit newer).

Ideally, start with blue plastic cups for your whales. We only had paper cups, which got a nice coat of blue paint.

Whale Ball (2)

Travis was so excited once they were dry! Punch a hole in the bottom of each cup, and thread through a three-foot long piece of yarn. Tie it in a loop around the cup.

Whale Ball (3)

Tie a wooden bean onto the other end of the yarn – this is the “krill” for the whale to eat.

Next, we traced the cup onto white paper, and cut out.

Whale Ball (7)

Cut the circle in half, then cut little strips into it to make fringed “baleen.” I was really proud of Travis’s scissor skills here.

Whale Ball (9)

I cut out a tail and fin template for him, which he then traced onto blue paper and cut out. Again, loved watching his fine motor skills.

Whale Ball (6)

Finally, we taped these pieces – tail, fins, and baleen, along with two googly eyes – onto each whale.

Whale Ball (11)

Hold the cup and swing the bead, and see if your whale can eat it. Here goes!

Whale Ball (4).JPG


Whale Ball (5)

This was a great game, and since we made two, we could challenge one another to a competition.

President’s Day Fun

President Cookies (4)

Happy President’s Day to all! We marked the occasion with some edible fun and a little magic trick thrown in for good measure.

First up, the trick. Grown-ups (or big kids), fold a bill of any denomination down the center of the president’s face. Now make two additional folds over the center of each eye (the folds will be close together, which is why grown-up hands worked better here).

Moody Money (1)

You should now have three accordion pleats. If you tilt the bill upwards, the president will appear to smile.

Moody Money (2)

Tilt it down, and he frowns!

Moody Money (3)

We tried this with Abe Lincoln and then Andrew Jackson on the $20.

Moody Money (6)

Who had a very pronounced frown:

Moody Money (5)

I would have used George Washington as well, except had no singles in my wallet. It was a great way to introduce the names of these men to Travis.

Moody Money (4)

We continued the fun with an edible presidential treat.

First, microwave a handful of chocolate chips in a glass bowl at 20 second intervals, until melted – it will take about 1 minute. Using a toothpick, paint smiles and eyes onto round cookies. Vegan vanilla wafers would work, but we like the lemon cookies from Back to Nature.

President Cookies (1)

For Abe, adhere mini chocolate chips using frosting as the “glue” to be his beard. Cut two pieces of dark chocolate to be his hat, and attach together with additional frosting.

President Cookies (2)

For George, cut mini Dandies marshmallows in half, and adhere around the top of his head with frosting, to be his wig. Add a collar at the neck, with a mini chocolate chip for a button.

President Cookies (3)

Our presidents were gobbled up in no time!