Pudding Pictionary

caCTI AND PUDDING PICTIONARY 005Pudding Pictionary is just what it sounds like. It involves drawing pictures in pudding. Dark colored pudding is better because it creates a higher contrast on a light colored tablecloth. If you have a large group of teens, you can break them into teams and time each team. Everyone can eat unused pudding at the end!!


Iron Chef: Ramen

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Iron Chef is always a big success in our department. This time, Ramen was the secret ingredient. Teams had to make an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert, and each dish had to include Ramen. After the teams had created their dishes, staff members tasted the dishes and choose 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. There was much anticipation as the judges decided; the teens plastered themselves to the windows trying to see who was going to win. Then the winners were announced, and everyone ate.

This is a particularly good activity if you find that you have accumulated a lot of random food items, and you are not entirely sure what to do with these food items. It is also a great activity to have near the beginning of the school year, so that the new teens in the department have a memorable and fun experience in your department. We always have a cutting station, and only one person is allowed to cut at a time (the knife is not very large or sharp). It is also a good idea to allow extra time for cleanup, in case you need to scrape the peanut butter and chocolate off the tables. I strongly recommend you try this program; it appeals to a wide range of teens and promotes teamwork 🙂

Egg Coloring With Masking

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It was amazing to find some people had never colored eggs. The process is fun and the materials are cheap. We boiled our eggs the day before, and we highly recommend the directions for hard-boiled eggs found on the egg carton.  We used food coloring (10 drops), warm water (1/2 cup), and vinegar (1 tsp) to color the eggs. Masking materials we used included hot glue, white crayons, and rubber bands. Masking simply means that you are covering a portion of the egg in order to keep it white or some other color.

You can create designs with more than one color if you start with a light color like red or yellow (mask whatever portion you wish to keep that color) and move on to blue or green. If you want to make purple, you can dip your egg for a few minutes in red, and then a few more minutes in blue. The rules of color mixing are relevant when dying eggs, and if you start layering colors, it can look a little like batik. I was very pleased with the masking abilities of hot glue, but make sure your egg is dry, or the glue will not stick. I strongly recommend making egg stands out of cardboard tubes, they were very helpful. Have fun masking!

Felt Creatures

This project was created by two of our summer volunteers. They found the craft in a book called The Big-Ass Book of Crafts by Mark Montano. They drew posters and advertized, made a sample, got materials out, and assisted people who were new to sewing. Participants made bears and bunnies, as well as earless creatures that looked like gingerbread men. It was a fun time for everyone, and it gave the activity leaders a sense of pride and ownership that is only formed by creating your own activity. Notes for creating creatures: Help them draw a general template for the body to make cutting the bodies out a little easier. Also, sew the face on before you sew the body together, and make sure everyone’s needles will fit through their buttons.

Dream Snatchers and the “Maker Faire”

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We had this really cool idea: a “Maker Faire.” This idea and it’s name originated from Make Magazine.  At the Faire there was a blacksmithing demonstration (sorry, no photos) a mixed media mobile/dream catcher activity, and a stop-motion animation activity. I brought in sticks from my yard for the mobiles, Scott got out the play dough and paper for stop-motion animation, and we had some hotdogs to grill while the blacksmithing demonstration was happening. While the turn-out was less than what we expected, there were some valuable lessons learned: never underestimate the exodus that occurs after school lets out. In addition, the day after Memorial Day is also like a holiday; no one is in town, and if they are, they are probably worn out from traveling. However, I think the teens who were there had a very enjoyable afternoon, and we were able to spend some quality time with them. The “dream snatcher” pictured above is one inventive solution. It is designed to trap good dreams (instead of bad ones), and may appeal to those who like to be scared. Below is the stop-motion animation short made by one of our teens.

Dyeing Eggs with Plants


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Coloring eggs with plants is a good experiment, but usually this type of egg dying takes some time. One option is dyeing some of the eggs the day before. Different plants dye egg shell at varying speeds. Onion skin dye effects the shell immediately, but eggs placed in red cabbage dye need to sit in the fridge over night. If I was going to do this activity again, I might just use the onion dye. It makes a variety of pleasant shades from light yellowish pink to rosy ocher, and you don’t have to wait. We ended up dyeing most of the eggs before the activity and showing the teens the different types of dyes. They were able to decorate on top of the plant dye with acrylic paint. It would be good to open a window to deal with the egg smell. Here is a link with directions and some lovely pictures:

Dying with eggs with plants (flowers and nylons): http://bigsislilsis.com/2010/04/02/natural-dye-colored-easter-eggs/

Cake Buddies (Chex Funfetti Cake Batter Buddies)

FunFetti Cake Batter Buddies

This is a fairly easy post. The tweens made this stuff over the summer and shared it with the teens. This led our Teen Advisory Board to request that we make it. It is quick and simple. And who knew that there could be variations on Puppy Chow (or Muddy Buddies). Not us. Anyway. We didn’t come up with it. We grabbed this idea over at Six Sisters’ Stuff. We have the ingredients and a link to directions after the jump.

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