and he said to the man, running the stand ‘hey, have you got any grapes?’
Not sure if it was inspired by this or too many episodes of The Simpsons, but Mr 9 wanted to start a lemonade stand. Only a few problems with this; we don’t have a supply of lemons, we don’t know how to make lemonade and we don’t have enough foot traffic outside our house to make it worth our while… But I didn’t want to quash his ambition altogether. So what can a small boy do to make some money? The answer was staring me down – literally. Breed fish.
I grew up with aquariums, my father also a fish hobbyist. There’s never been a time in my life that I have not had at least one tank (if not several) running. My kids already have many of the basic fish keeping skills having always had tanks around them too, so this seems like a good hobby to get them into. We are just sticking with live bearers at this stage, as they are the easiest as far as I am concerned. If they stay enthusiastic we can move on to more complicated fish later.
While it may not be a proper business for him as such, as I wont make him responsible for over head costs (food, electricity etc) the project offers lots more. Its about life, death, birth, cleaning and maintaining something, responsibility and science, with water testing, how temperature is relevant to breeding etc. So while they might only make a few dollars from it, the over all life experience will be much more beneficial, and they’ll have no idea they’re even learning. 🙂
Guppy ‘hatchery’ for the fat mummy fish
The main guppy tank.
Our first babies.
Mr 9s tank – plattys, mollies,
Mr10s Crimson Tides (cichlid family)
Ms 5s sword tails and Micky mouse platties.
Mr4 helping catch the heavily pregnant females
This is only the 3rd week of monitoring and taking extra special care of the fish to promote breeding and we already have over 30 babies. Now to keep them alive until they are fully grown!
The motivation and creativity has been lacking majorly around here lately due to a heavy work load, but I set myself a challenge to blog at least once a month when I started this. So as June rapidly drawers to an end, here it is! Most people probably remember doing this at school, magic painting, hidden pictures, secret messages, all the same thing under different names.
All you need is some plain white candles, paper and water colour paints. We used the really cheap kids water pallet ones. Rather than just doing some random paintings or drawings, I figured we’d turn them into something at the end. So we printed out some sea animal colouring pages, stuck them to card and got decorating.
You really can’t see where you have been with the wax, but I encourage the kids to try to create patterns or shapes as best they could. Once they were finished with the candles, they went over each shape with some water colour paint. As you wash over the whole picture, the paint will not attach to the areas covered in wax, leaving you with an interesting effect.
Once dry, I cut out the shapes. Ms5 helped put holes in them with the punch and we strung them up on a mobile frame with some streamers to make an under water mobile.
In hind sight we should have painted both sides of the shapes, but Ms5 is more than happy with it. She’s trying to convince me to put a screw in the ceiling near the fish tank so we can hang it there. lol.
I actually stole this idea from Mr3s current favourite show, Mister Maker. We used soup mix, but you could use lots of different things, dry lentils, rice, couscous, anything that is going to give you a unique texture and that is fun to run through your hands.
I just printed out some basic shapes from the internet. Keep them simple as you’re going to cover up any detail anyway. Smear the area with some craft glue and attach an goggly eye. Then let the kids sprinkle the mix over the rest of the glue area to completely cover it. Gently shake off any excess into the bin. These took about 24 hours to dry. Once fully dry, cut out. We created a simple background with some coloured paper and put them in $2 Ikea frames.