My adventures, and misadventures, as I stumble around finding my place in the world.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A new kind of play dough

As I've said before in other posts I work in Early Childhood.  A great way for children to learn is through the different use of their senses, so we are constantly looking for new sensory activities to try.  I saw a recipe for a new type of play dough with only two ingredients, how hard could it be?  So I decided to give it a try with my pre-kindergarteners.  I can honestly say that this is one of the absolute best home-made play dough recipes I have found.  It is incredibly soft, easy, and mess free.
Two simple ingredients, hair conditioner and corn starch.  How easy is that!  And the best part is that it turns out the best with the cheap $1 conditioner, and smells amazing!  
Two basic ingredients for a simple play dough
For the most part I don't use real measurements, it ends up being the whole bottle of conditioner and the whole box of corn starch.  This is a great opportunity to let the kids help out and practice using measurement tools like measuring cups.
Added math lesson, measuring cups!

Turn it into science!  What happens when you mix a dry powered with a wet liquid?
So, dump them all together...and mix!
Kids will love getting their hands dirty!
This is another great sensory lesson for kids.  How does it feel as you are mixing it together?  What happens when you mix a dry solid with wet conditioner?  What are some words you can use to describe what you feel?  How about what you smell?
The end result is the silky soft play dough.  You can mold it, roll it, and shape it.  It has the added benefit of being incredibly hydrating for you hands, and smells great!  Here are some pictures of what we were able to do:
Cutting the play dough 
Feel how soft it is!
We like to roll it out nice and smooth
You can easily shape and mold it
All kinds of different shapes, we can use cookie cutters and play dough tools
As you can see it is very smooth and easy to shape.  For the most part it is pretty mess free, no more mess than normal play dough would create.  If you are looking for a fun, cheap and easy sensory activity I would strongly encourage you to give this conditioner play dough a try.  You won't be sorry!  I love how much control the kids can take when following this basic recipe, and they are entertained for hours with the end result.  Two thumbs up!




Participating in:
Skip To My Lou
and http://www.craft-o-maniac.com



Sunday, February 15, 2015

Infant Painting - Happy Valentines Day!

Since the hubs was at an all day wrestling tournament, I had the pleasure of being able to spend my Valentines Day with the cutest 6 month old I know!  (He is my nephew, so I might be a little biased)  I love getting to spend time with him, and it was nice to be able to give my sister and brother in law some time out of the house.

Being Valentine's Day and all I thought it would be fun for us to make a project for mom and dad while they were out.  But what kind of project could I do with a 24 month baby?  I was able to find all kinds of recipes for edible finger paints, but I wasn't sure that was the best way to go.  He has only just recently started foods, so even though the paints are edible he hasn't had any of the ingredients.  Handprint projects are always fun, but that wasn't really something he could do on his own, it was a more Auntie directed project.  So I was off in search of something we could do that was mess free and involved some independence on his part.

Off I went to Michaels, of course with my 40% off coupon in hand, for a few materials.  I settled on a small canvas and some paints.  I pulled out some painters tape and spelled out LOVE, how Valentine appropriate.
Canvas, painters tape, and a little bit of paint
I put dabs of paint in random places all over the canvas, and I sealed it into a large gallon sized plastic bag.
Spread out the paints
Place inside of a gallon sized plastic bag and seal closed.
I grabbed the boppy, and figured I would first see if he would "finger paint" through the bag.  He was somewhat interested, but no overwhelming response.  So it was time to brainstorm a better option...
He is a master at tummy time, but wasn't too enthused
Definitely succeeded in squishing it around somewhat
What's better than the Johnny Jump up!  Now that he loves, and clearly couldn't tell that he was doing work! (sorry for anyone bothered by the blurry photos, it was intentional to preserve his privacy :))
Better way to go!  He jumped all over that paint!  And it was total mess free!
After I put him down for a nap, I took the finished project out of the plastic bag and pealed off the painters tape.
Finished project inside the bag, zero mess to clean up
Slid it right out of the bag 
Peal off the paint, and tada!  Adorable
Very colorful with lots of texture.  Good work kiddo!

How did you spend your Valentine's Day?



Friday, January 30, 2015

Kinetic Sand

** Please note, this is NOT a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own **

Have you ever heard of Kinetic Sand?  Advertised as "sand in motion".  This is pure sensory GOLD! This is some of the best stuff I've come across.  Therapeutic and relaxing for adults and totally safe and entertaining for kids.


We try to incorporate all kinds of sensory activities in our Early Childhood program.  This sand is way more fun than just your average sand.  It can be molded into sold forms, similar to wet sand, but it can also easily shift and slid around with out the normal sandy mess.  So hard to describe, you just have to try it for yourself!

Here is a video to try to give you a better idea:



While the kinetic sand box doesn't actually tell you their secret recipe, I have seen a few online.  I would love to see if we can recreate our own version at school.  I like the recipe here, and here.  And you can also find it on Pinterest.  Let me know if you give it a try, or if you have any other favored sensory activities for young children.

I just can't get enough!



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wedding Drink Tickets

When deciding what to do about the bar at our reception we weighed a lot of options.  We wanted more than just a cash bar, but didn't want a full open bar.  We settled on having beer, wine, and all non alcoholic beverages open for the night (juice, soda, etc.).  We were able to work out a deal with our venue to allow us to have drink tickets for guests over 21.  Guests could cash these tickets in for a drink at some point.  We felt like this was a good compromise, our guests wouldn't go crazy with an open bar and we wouldn't be stuck with a huge tab at the end of the night, but at least we had some beverages included.

So I set off to design a drink ticket.  I was really happy with how our return address stamps came out, so I headed back to Etsy to see if I could find another stamp that would work.  I was over the moon with the design that Cork Country Cottage made for us.
I decided on sample two, and it arrived in the mail in just a few weeks.  We stamped them on the same orange card stock that we used for our invitations:
 Once we cut them out we added them to our place setting cards with our sparkly clothes pins.
The clothes pins were another super simple DIY.  I picked up a couple packages of clothes pins, some mod podge, and glitter in our colors.  The mod podge acts like glue, but dries clear.  I added an extra layer on top of the glitter to make sure that glitter would't be rubbing off on everything.  There's nothing worse than glitter everywhere....

Drink tickets and seating cards, check!




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