The next Big and Messy project we tried involved powdered tempera and lots of soap bubbles. We tried it on a very warm, clear and sunny day.
Here's how it was supposed to work:
I were to put some powdered tempera into a flour sifter. M would then sift it over a large piece of paper. He then would blow bubbles over that piece of paper. Bubbles would pop, their liquid mixing with tempera to form beautiful circular patterns.Here's how it really worked:
Most of the tempera fell straight through the sifter into a neat little pile almost in the middle of the paper. We had to use our hands to spread it around more evenly. We had to shake of excess powder (which was most of what I poured into the sifter). Then we learned one simple truth about bubbles - when you blow on them, even on a very calm day, they don't exactly want to float downward. Not right away anyway. First they want to fly up and sideways and this way and that way, anywhere but the tempera-covered paper. Maybe we needed bigger and wetter bubbles...
So as an art experiment it wasn't as much success as I expected. But it's not my expectations that count here, right? M loved it! First, he discovered that he can quickly make his hands blue "just like Megamind's, mama!". If that wasn't exciting enough, there were tons of bubbles to chase all around the yard and pop (being careful not to step into the vegetable beds).
This run-around was done in rainboots ('cause you know, they are simple to clean). This pair of boots, cute as they are, is a bit too big for M. So as he was chasing the bubbles, one of the boots came off and flew in a surprisingly graceful arch through the air. Which, naturally, led to a game of "kick the boot of my foot". Which somehow lead to a not-altogether unrelated game of "toss the boot to the fence".
If you've never played either of these games, try! They are really fun. How do I know? Well, I was wearing my own fancy-shmancy pair that was a bit too big for me.