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We share our block of units with another family who have 4 children, a set of twin boys who are 1 year older than Ruby and 2 girls aged 5 & 7. Ruby adores all of them and I think she’d give her left leg to pack her bags and move into their place. Being an only child, there couldn’t be anything more exciting than the chaos and excitement at their house.
Nothing seems to elicit quite the level of delighted squealing as bubbles! Got grumpy kids? Kids driving you crazy? Whinging? Take them outside and blow some bubbles, trust me the mood will change. If nothing else, they will usually run around like maniacs trying to pop all the bubbles and will blow off some steam so they’re at least getting some exercise. Now that Ruby is finally old enough to start blowing bubbles herself without either drinking them or just tipping the mixture upside down, its even more exciting!
I bought a giant bottle of bubbles and some bubble wands for all the kiddies for Christmas at a dollar store and we finally had a chance to use them yesterday. Here are a few pictures of the resulting fun…
I whipped up a fresh batch of no-cook play dough today for Ruby with her ‘help’ (which usually makes the job take twice as long but makes it twice as fun!). Thankfully if you use The Imagination Tree’s no-cook recipe, it’s so quick and easy (less than 5 min) that it doesn’t matter if you double your prep time. If you aren’t already adding glycerine to your play dough, do yourself a favour and buy some from a chemist. A few drops at the end of the process really makes it stretch and shine beautifully!
I started adding glitter to my play dough at Christmas for extra holiday sparkle and now I can’t stop! It’s gorgeous! The kiddies love it, I made a couple of batches for play group last week and it was a massive hit.
If you haven’t already, check out the Imagination Tree for all sorts of play ideas, it’s an awesome site.
I have a very clever mommy. She is such a talented artist, dress maker, crafter, stain glasser (I’m sure there is a word for that), coppersmith, beader… the list goes on. And I don’t mean she dabbles in each, she is AMAZING at them all. I’m very thankful that I picked up her interest in crafting and sewing although she has more talent in her little toe than I have in my whole body!
For some reason I’m having some trouble blending my interest in crafts into my life as a mum to my 19 month old. It never occured to me until this weekend that I could make playdough for my little girl (duh!) until I stumbled across this amazing blog The Imagination Tree. They feature, amongst a million brilliant play ideas, a recipe for no-cook playdough. I’ve googled playdough recipes and only found versions that require standing over a pot and stirring for ages. Although slightly skeptical, I decided to give it a go. Since everything still ends up in my daughter’s mouth, I decided to just use food colouring and not add a flavour which would only encourage her to eat it. The Imagination tree has all sorts of playdough recipes using glitter, flavour (chocolate, yum!) and a salt dough recipe to bake your child’s artwork into permanent keepsakes (Christmas ornaments!).
This is the basic no-cook recipe:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp cream of tartar
- 1.5 cups boiling water
- a few drops of glycering (for extra smoothness, stretch & shine)
- food colouring
Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and stir vigorously until all the lumps are gone and it begins to come together into a ball. Once it has cooled enough t handle, knead until it stops being sticky. I went with green food colouring which was the least appetising colour I have in my baking cupboard (in another effort to avoid playtime turning into tea time!).
Start to finish it took about 5 minutes plus another 10 to be cool enough for little hands to play. I couldn’t believe how fast and easy it was, plus I don’t think it would be possible to muck it up!
Ruby was a little unsure at first because it was still warm and she has a little obsession at the moment with things being hot. If she comes across a food she doesn’t like, its hot (great excuse!). But once she saw how much fun I was having using the cookie cutters she got for christmas in a baking set to cut the dough into shapes, she dove right in. We had a good 25 minutes play and the playdough was put into a ziplock bag to keep for another time. We’ve since used it 3 times and its still as good as new.
Here are some pictures of little R having her first go at my green playdough:
See, I told you all roads lead to the mouth! I think this would make a really nice gift, easy and not expensive. If I find some cute little containers at a dollar store I will make up a batch with different colours for a friend (hopefully they don’t make their own either!)
If you haven’t already, give it a go and check in on The Imagination Tree for lots of imaginative play ideas.