Busy Bin : Apple Pie

This week, my 24-month old and I have been focusing on apples!

There are so many fun apple play activities, and we've had a great time learning through play together this week! To see more of what we did, check out our apple themed activities here!

One thing we've really enjoyed this week has been our busy bin! I debated just not doing a busy bin at all this week and focusing on more real-life sensory activities (like apple picking and making apple crisp together), but then I saw this fun Apple Pie sensory bin and thought I'd give it a try!


Acorns! toddler play experience

Acorns, acorns everywhere!

We had a great time playing and learning about acorns this week!

Acorns were the perfect focus for this week for several reasons. Here in the Midwest, Fall is upon us already this year, but the weather has remained just beautiful.

And, I just happen to know an area with huge old oak trees. Jackpot. And they just happened to be falling in earnest this week (thanks for the inside scoop, Kristin!)

Busy Bin : Acorns

Acorns are a great Fall theme for directed play, and here in the Midwest, it's acorn season!

My toddler (he's just about 24 months old) and I had a great time learning about and playing with acorns this week. To see more about the activities, books, and resources we used, check out my page about our acorn activities!


How to Dip Dye a Woven Wrap

1) Washing Soda Soak

Washing soda is a fixative that makes the dye react with the fibers, so this step is really important.

Using a 1 cup to 1 gallon ratio, I made a bucket of my soaking solution.

I needed three gallons total to cover the fabric. I mixed the washing soda with hot water, and stirred with a big yard stick.

Then I added my fabric and stirred.

To make sure that all the fabric was soaking, I poked the material down into the bucket using my yardstick, covering the whole wrap under water. Every 15-20 minutes or so, I stirred with the stick to make sure to get a good even soak. It's recommended to leave the fabric to soak for at least a half hour-- I got busy and left mine for about an hour and fifteen minutes or so.

While the fabric soaked, I did a little math and set up my tension rod. So, I wanted about three inches or so of the fabric to be dyed, and I calculated how high my tension rod needed to be so that only three inches or so would be in the dye bath.

Also, I totally hate tension rods-- I can't ever get them to work. I had two potential rods to use... and I ended up not getting either to work and pulled down the shower curtain tension rod in the end. I hate those things.

After letting the fabric soak, I gave it a spin in the washer to get out the excess moisture. NO rinse.

2) Hang Fabric

Using the same hanger set up I used for my gradient dye a couple weeks back, I hung my fabric in an accordion pattern.

It wasn't perfect, but the bottom of the fabric was pretty even, so the chances were good that I'd get a nice even line of dye.

3) Mix the Dye Bath

According to the Dharma Dye's website, to make three gallons of dye bath, I needed three cups of salt, two tablespoons of dye, and one cup of soda ash.

Using an gallon sized ice cream container, I mixed hot water with salt, stirring to dissolve the salt. I made two gallons and a half gallons of the salt mixture and poured it into my dye container.

I then mixed my dye. I measured the dye into a glass measuring cup, then added a little warm water and stirred well. Then I added a little more warm water and stirred again until I didn't see any clumps at all.

I mixed the last cup of salt into a half gallon of warm water, and poured the dye from the measuring cup into the dye container, rinsing all the dye from the measuring cup with the salt-water mixture.

Finally, I mixed one cup of washing soda with the last half gallon of hot water, and poured that into the dye container, mixing everything in the dye container with my yardstick.

4) Start the Dye!

Carefully, I put the hanging fabric into the dye container, and then used my hand to spread a little between each layer.

And then we wait!

I didn't time it (should have...), but in between taking care of the baby, I would go in and spread the layers a little with my hand every once in a while. All in all, I think the wrap was in the dye bath for about an hour and a half. Maybe.

5) Rinse

I carefully lifted the hangers with the wrap out of the dye bath, and then moved the dye container out of the way.

Using my shower head sprayer, I sprayed cold water on the wrap, going from the top to the bottom, to rinse out the excess dye.

I did this for.... too long. Haha. Like, twenty minutes, and then let the wrap drip for a while. I squeezed out the excess water so it wouldn't drip on the way to the washer, and then did a couple rinse cycles to get out the remaining dye. When the water started coming out clear, I finally, I washed the wrap with a little detergent, and dried it in my dryer.

6) Wrap!

Here's the finished product!

I ended up with a little bleeding - the dye crept up the wrap a little bit above where the dye line was. I actually really like the way that looks! I got about 3.5 inches of dye along one rail of the wrap-- EXACTLY what I wanted. I love the color of this and how nicely it contrasts with the natural osnaburg color!

The wrap is a little crunchy after dyeing, but braiding and steam ironing will help it to break in. Mostly, though, the more I wrap with it, the softer it will get!

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