DIY play dough recipes

Image: © Nevit Dilmen found at Wikimedia commons

Image: © Nevit Dilmen found at Wikimedia commons

Try this all natural recipe at home to not only create but to color your play clay/play dough:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/8 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Add color naturally with cocoa, beets, paprika, turmeric.  To create use 3/8 cup hot water (more or less as needed) and 4 tbs cocoa powder, or 1 tbs paprika, 1 teaspoon turmeric.  This will create great fall colors in yellow, orange, and brown.

You can also use vegetable or fruit juices. To do, divide dough into different sections, warm 3/8 cup of the juice and then add to the dough mixtures. Try using carrot, spinach, or tomato for vibrant colors.

A reader offers this recipe – which varies a little bit from my own. . .

Combine the ingredients below in a saucepan over medium heat.
two cups white flour
½ cup salt
2 cups water
2 tablespoons cooking oil
cup cream of tart
a drop of food colouring
Make sure that the mixture is smooth, cool it down and then the fun begins. Enjoy !

I like to store in Ziploc bags, but you can also recycle jars or plastic containers from around the house.

Want DIY Playdough without doing it yourself?  Try these on for play.

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DIY holiday greeting cards: A family affair

Create your own greeting cards. Everyone has the greeting cards from last year.

Pull out your scissors and the new Crayola Tools that enable you to cut out shapes.

You or an older child can also use an exacta knife. Cut out all those things you love about the previous few year’s cards; the stars, the snowman, the Santa’s, the houses, whatever you like.

You can even cut out the statements on the inside or use these holiday quotes or Bible verses of your own choosing. On solid colored or white paper, you can use cards stock or scrap booking, I find the cardstock works best . Pull out your craft glue, lay out the fronts of the cards and start glue.

Want to add more dash and flair? Use paint markers or glitter glue sticks.

Co-sleeping campaign concerns

Have you seen the Milwaukee Department of Health Ads to “Wake Parents Up to Dangers of Co-Sleeping?”

If you haven’t let me show them to you. (images from press release)

   

The campaign is designed to warn parents of the dangers of co-sleeping and sites the rising infant mortality rate in their area and the increased incidence of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).  So I thought, why not look at this campaign fuller, after all the news doesn’t (and can’t) tell you every thing.

The Health Department goes on to add “safe sleeping tips”  like:

  • Put baby to sleep on their back. Babies who sleep on their backs are safer.
  • Place your baby in a crib.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett told ABC News  

“If the ads make some people uncomfortable, I guarantee it’s a lot less uncomfortable than having another baby die from co-sleeping,” a cause of death that is “so preventable,” he added.

Is this campaign really serious?  I admit I’ve never been all “up in arms” about co-sleeping but I also admit that all four of my children have co-slept.  No, not every night all the time, but yes co-sleeping in my bed, following all the safe procedures that are told to parents by prominent doctors and other professionals.

There is plenty of research to indicate that co-sleeping is actually healthier for your baby and reduces the risk of SIDS.  World renowned pediatrician and doctor Robert Sears website lists many studies and research that shows that co-sleeping can be healthful – not hurtful to your infant such as:

  •  Safer than crib sleeping
  • Decreases risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Yes, some families co-sleep as a matter of economics.  Other families co-sleep because of the benefits.

My thoughts, (if anyone cares) is that if the City of Milwaukee wants to lower infant mortality rates why not educate their citizens?  With the money spent on this campaign why not provide health and parenting workshops. Bring in experts to talk about how to safely co-sleep.  But not just co-sleeping information should be provided.  What about providing for some basic classes caring for a newborn?

More importantly why not start and assist it’s citizens with a “Stop Smoking” campaign, even getting rid of second hand smoke can help greatly reduce the risks of SIDS?

Why not start a “No drinking” campaign, after all parents smoking, using drugs or alcohol and co-sleeping are at greater risk or injuring their infant?

But wait, this is Milwaukee, we wouldn’t want to anger anyone like oh . . . a brewing company.

What do you think? To co-sleep or not co-sleep that is the question.  Do you think co-sleeping as dangerous as this health department is reporting it to be? Did your children co-sleep?

 

Halloween party foods & more photos

A picture can say a thousand words and these Halloween party photos can give you instant ideas for creative healthy Halloween snacks and original party ideas. Forget the instructions this time, you’ll get the picture!

Avoid allergies and candy this Halloween with 40 unique trick or treat ideas

Do you need alternatives to candy for trick or treat because you are:

  • on a budget
  • have kids with allergies
  • have food allergies of your own
  • simply love free stuff
Then these 40 Allergy-Avoiding or Candy-Free Trick or Treat Ideas and Where to Find Them will help you give out treats that don’t get you tricked, that save you money and even help a child avoid a trip to the doctor.

Recycled Halloween Crafts

Make this adorable Pumpkin Pals and Halloween photo frames from recycled materials.  Get the details here in Green Halloween Crafts.

Candy Alternatives for Halloween Party Goodie Bags

Fall Craft Bags

We like to invite our friends over for a Halloween party each fall.  I’ve been committed to not serving candy or sending our guests home with any in Halloween party goodie bags.  From trick or treating to trunk or treat parties to school parties, there will plenty of candy to go around each Halloween.

On the other hand most parents don’t really want to add any more tiny, junky toys to their collections either.  Our Halloween party goodie bag is a Fall Crafts Bag.  You can either put in specific directions for fall, Halloween or even Thanksgiving crafts or else include lots of open ended crafts supplies like pipe cleaners, pom poms, stickers and paper and fabric scraps.

We used a simple brown paper bag and reminded our guests when we handed out our Halloween party goody bags that even the bag could be used to create fall crafts. It’s a simple way to put a little “green” in your Halloween.

4 Nature crafts for Labor Day Weekend

Spend an unplugged weekend this Labor Day weekend getting kids connected to nature with these fun Nature Crafts for Labor Day.  Decorate, play and create the all natural way.

Earth-Friendly Writing Instruments for Back to School

Excerpt . . .
Education is often a key component in positive change, and children can be highly successful ambassadors. So why not send them back to school this fall armed to save the earth with eco-friendly writing utensils that scream sustainability? Each time they write their name or color a picture they will be reminded of their mission. And because they will feel empowered, they will be proud to share what they’ve learned about being a good earth Samaritan with their classmates. From crayons made of soybean oil to mechanical pencils made from old CD cases, these back-to-school products are a great way to teach children how they can do their share to help our environment.

Continue reading Earth-Friendly Writing Instruments for Back to School

 

 

 

Summer fun: Pudding box crafts

A craft a day keeps the boredom away. Whether you’re making pudding or any kind of JELL-O, kids can really think outside of the box with these fun Pudding Box Crafts like a treasure box necklace and more.