I’ve never been to Thailand, but I am developing a long list of Thai things that I really love. Obviously, the cuisine, especially anything with peanut sauce and Tom Yam Soup. Fish sauce always scares me away when I see it in recipes, but apparently I don’t mind mind eating it. I think this Thai chicken soup is a cure-all. I once ate it steaming hot, on an 100 degree summer day, to ward off a cold while I was 8 months pregnant. Trader Joe’s makes a pretty good frozen version with wontons that hits the spot when I can’t get to our local Thai place (where they do think I am crazy for earlier-mentioned soup ordering as a very pregnant person on a very hot day).
The most used toy in our house is manufactured in Thailand for the U.S. based-company Val-Tech. We are just about ready for our next 100-piece set of these colorful magnetic shapes because the kids need more than 132 of them for building high-rise buildings, parking garages, robots, ships and ramps. Sadly, the terrible flooding last year in Thailand left the Magna-tile factory with six feet of water for more than a month. Production has re-commenced and Magna-tiles should be back on the shelves this week. If you buy one plastic toy for your kids, let it be these blocks!
Bhoom’s Mom. And somewhere in Thailand is this awesome mom who blogs about her son Bhoom and the adventures she cooks up for him. She made a jellyfish in a bottle for him and it became a huge pinterest/e-crafts sensation.
It takes 5 minutes and very basic supplies you should have at home:
- a clear plastic grocery bag,
- a plastic bottle,
- a piece of thread,
- scissors and
- food coloring.
I bottled one up one night. The next morning, I told Ryan that the strangest thing happened: that when I turned the kitchen faucet on, a jellyfish came out! He was stunned, loved it and believed me for a few minutes.
You might think the joke is only for the very young or very gullible. Oddly, our electrician and babysitter totally bought it. Ryan told my mom that his class went to the Mystic Aquarium and he got to take home a jellyfish. She believed it too.
Bhoom’s mom has fabulous detailed instructions here, but I’ll give you the quick lowdown so you can see just how easy it is. The plastic bag was a bit slippery for my kids to cut, so I handled that part.
Add a little water to the jellyfish head to allow it to sink. Fill the water bottle up and squeeze your jellyfish in. Screw the cap on tight or glue it shut before sharing. Bhoom’s mom likes to put the jellies in blue or green water. Ryan thinks jellyfish have a pinkish color to them so we tinted our jellies on the pink side and left the water clear.
While you are talking jellyfish, you can check out these links with your kids:
National Geographic Kids, where you can view photos and videos of jellyfish, send a jellyfish e-card, and learn facts like jellyfish are 95% water and have no brain, heart, blood or bones.
National Geographic Kids Report on Giant 450 Pound Jellyfish in Asia: Reading through the whole article will surely get some laughs: For now, all the fishermen can do is design special nets to try to keep the jellies out. Some of them hope to turn the catastrophe into cash by selling jellyfish snacks. Peanut butter and jellyfish, anyone?
For the younger set: Babies will be mesmerized by your jellyfish (an ideal first pet, I think!) and toddlers will be proud that their flipping of the bottle makes the jellyfish swim up and down. You can also branch out from the jellyfish and let your toddler fill up a bottle with craft supplies or household items.