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Are You a Cool Parent?

Parenting Just For Fun

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Do you build forts or forgo them? When the rain starts to pour do you start dreaming up ways to play or just call it a day? Maybe the bigger question here is… are you a cool parent? Let us help you cement your status among the coolest with a new series of articles packed with inspiration for everyday fun.

Silly Seuss & Serious Science

Let Dr. Seuss loose for an afternoon of squishy, oozy, tongue-twistery fun. Grab a copy of Bartholomew and the Oobleck for story time. Then, blow their minds by making your very own non-Newtonian fluid, a.k.a oobleck. 

Dr. Seuss Bartholomew and the Oobleck

So, what exactly is an oobleck? It is a liquid that also acts as a solid. You can pour it in its liquid state, but it becomes a solid when force is acting upon it. Thus, it defies Newtonian theory making it a non-Newtonian fluid. Sir Isaac would not be a fan.

Oobleck Recipe
1 cup of water
1.5 to 2 cups cornstarch
Optional - food coloring to make it very Seussian! 

It takes a bit of fiddling with to get the right mix here. That’s why your cornstarch amount has a range. Start with the water in a bowl and slowly add the cornstarch. You can start mixing with a spoon but eventually you’ll need to use your hands. Yup, this is a hands-in project that gets messy! We’re going for an appropriately weird consistency here, so keep adding cornstarch until you get there.

Now comes the most fun part, besides saying oobleck because that is uber fun, creating altered states. See if you can make it bounce off the table or whack it with a spatula and see what happens, shake it, try to break it, make it dance!

Spies Like Us

We’re not suggesting you subject your children to the classic 80s buddy comedy featuring Dan Akyroyd and Chevy Chase (though you should at some point as a cautionary tale about bad comedy writing). Instead, how about a game of spy featuring invisible ink you make at home?

Vanishing Ink Recipe
¼ cup lemon juice
A few drops of water

Yep, that is it. Mix the two together and then dip a cotton swab into the mixture. Write your message on a piece of white paper and let it dry. Once it's dry, hold a flashlight to the paper to warm it. This will cause the lemon juice to oxidize and the secret message shall be revealed!

Invisible Ink
Photo Credit: This West Coast Mommy

A Night At The Theatre

Danny wooed Sandy at the drive-in movies and now you can wow your offspring by recreating a bit of classic Americana in your own backyard (T-Birds and Pink Ladies not included).

DIY Backyard Drive-In Theater Supplies
1 white sheet
Large clothespins or bungee cords
Projector, or smartphone with projector mode

Find a nice flat area to set up your sheet/screen. Use the clothespins or cords to set it in place. Set up your projector at a distance that allows the movie to be within the frame of the screen. Create your seating area with folding or camp chairs, cardboard boxes decked out like cars, old pillows and blankets, sleeping bags - really whatever you have on hand. Pinterest also has some great ideas for setting this up.

Backyard Drive-In Movie
Photo Credit: Date Night Guide

Bonus cool parent points if you have a pool and can host a float-in flick!

Battle Of The Bands

Okay, even the coolest among us sometimes just don’t get the music kids dig these days. Remember when it was our parents who didn’t understand that "girls just wanna have fun"? Ugh, mom! This activity flips the turntables and gets the whole family uncomfortable enough to have a blast.

Band Battle Supplies
Family photos
Music app (like Spotify or Amazon Music
Paper towel rolls (empty)
Craft paper

Dig out that photo of the two of you at Lollapalooza (you know you went!) and some of the kids rocking out, too. Do your best to dress up like the other; kids are parents, parents are kids. Then build a playlist for the opposing band. Yes, you got that right, YOU get to pick the playlist for the kids and they have to sing your music!

Decorate your mic (aka, paper towel roll) in a style befitting the era. Then it is on like Donkey Kong, people. The kids get to do their best impression of your rockin’ youth and you get to mock interpret musical tastes.

Pink Microphone
Photo Credit: Woo! Jr

Be sure to shoot some video! You’ll be able to share that gem at all their major life milestones.

Stay tuned for the next installment of “Are You A Cool Parent.” There will be glitter volcanoes, exploding soap and more! Have an idea you’d like to share? Send us an email and your idea and we may even feature your family!

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