Tag Archives: Frugal

No-Cook Playdough Recipe

My girls and I are fans of anything crafty. I love sitting down working with them on a project. It is just so much fun to see what they will create or how they will interpret what I demonstrated. Sometimes though when they really want to create, I still have house work to do or other work that needs to be done.  This is where playdough comes in, because a little girl can see crayons for only so many days in a row before revolting. (Disclaimer: While yes, I pull out the playdough when I have other work to do, I still must be nearby to supervise. Playdough must not leave the kitchen!)

We have done store-bought playdough in the past. In terms of consistency, it is great I know what I am getting, but it can get expensive to have to continually replace. I also prefer homemade because then I know first hand what is going into the product, and then the girls can also get involved in creating it.

I have tried my hand at both cooked playdough recipes, which for us were a flop, and no-cook recipes. A simple Google search led me to The Best Ever No-Cook Play Dough Recipe. Anna, the author of the blog, offers up this simple recipe. It creates a soft dough that the kids have used for the last two days and there have been no signs of drying out. It produces a great end result that I will turn to again and again.

As great as the result was though I noticed it was stickier and tackier than playdough should be, when I followed the recipe exactly. So what follows below is a slight adaption of the original recipe. (It is worth noting that she does say that you might need to add a touch more flour, but since what I had to add, 1 cup, was more than a touch I will explain how I did this.)

No-Cook Playdough Recipe

No-Cook Playdough Recipe

(Adapted from The Imagination Tree)
 
 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (reserve one of the three cups)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • Up to 1.5 cups boiling water (add in increments)
  • food coloring (optional)

 

Directions

  1. Mix the flour, oil, and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. On a low-speed add the oil.
  3. Add the boiling water in  1/4  cup increments mixing until the dough is smooth.
  4. If you still have tacky sticky dough and the mixing is not helping go to your flour reserve, and add a 1/8 cup at a time till dough is smooth to touch.
  5. Divide playdough into the different number of colors that you wish to create. Work food coloring into dough by hand, kneading the dough as you go. (This can get a bit messy so gloves are an option here.)

Store your playdough in an airtight container, and it should last for months.

 

Winter Themed Printables and Activity Links

I like to have a variety of things for the kids to do that will not only entertain my girls but also be educational. The more resources I have available each month the easier it is for me to plan our days, which in turn leaves me with more time to spend with my girls. So I would like to share with you today some of the resources that I have found that I like for use over the next month or so. I went with a simple winter theme mostly because we don’t really get much snow here in Alabama and it seems magical to the kids.

Printables

Winter Themed Printables

1+1+1=1 is offering two different printables that I really like for your preschool and toddler ages. The first package is a simple set of coloring pages. The second package is Carrisa’s winter fun tot pack. I highly recommend you check out both of these, especially if you have never seen anything of hers before. The packs are of a consistent and wonderful quality, and my girls enjoy each one.

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Winter Themed Printables

Serving Joyfully also creates wonderful printables. Her winter themed pack is no exception. It is filled with bright beautiful colors, and is designed to teach and challenge a PreK/K child.

 

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Winter Themed Printables

I found these coloring pages and thought they were too cute to pass up, they are from Kids Activity Blog.

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Crafts and Activities

WInter Themed Crafts

I Dig Pinterest has a couple different ideas on cute crafts to do with the children. We will probably land up trying out all of these before the month is up.

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Winter Themed Activity

 

The Very Hungry Preschooler has this really cute idea for snow painting, now if only we had snow. I included this though because I know some of you live in snowy areas.

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Winter Themed Activity

Snails and Puppy Dog Tails developed this really cute sensory bin with a winter theme. Currently my girls are not at the right stages for this particular bin, but I wanted to share it and the link because I know plenty of momma’s this post would inspire.

***Don’t forget one of the best ways to find this post again is to share it on your Facebook wall or post it to Pinterest.***

***What are some winter themed ideas that you have to do with kids?***

4 Links to Inspire Fall Learning Fun

I wanted to share with you four of my favorite links this last month that I used to form lessons, inspire creativity, and have fun learning with my children. Now these are all fall or Thanksgiving themed so if you want to indulge in them you still have a little time before the onslaught of winter/ Christmas activities.

4 Links to Inspire Fall Learning Fun

I would also recommend as you look through the activities to keep a few things in mind:

  1. Where is your child developmentally? Just because the activity looks fun or cute to you doesn’t mean it won’t frustrate you and your child if it is outside his current skill set.
  2. What resources does it require? Can you afford to buy what you are missing? Is there a way for you to create a substitute for what you are missing here at home?
  3. Do you have the time and/ or energy to to commit to this lesson or craft?

 

From there enjoying looking through the links and discovering things you can do with your kiddos.

1+1+1=1 is always full of wonderful lessons and printables, and her Thanksgiving Preschool Pack is no exception.

 

Thanksgiving Preschool Pack 1+1+1=1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Serving Joyfully, I found this wonderful preschool Fall Fun Pack, for my oldest, Chloe.

Fall Printable Pack- Serving Joyfully

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over at Frugal Homeschool Family, I was able to find these wonderful color pages that both my 2-year old and 4-year old have enjoyed.

Free Thanksgiving Color By Number- Frugal Homeschool Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final link I want to share I discovered through Pinterest. This link from Diapers & Daisies provided much inspiration for us over the last couple months and I hope to find more inspiration from them in the coming months.

10 Best Fall Crafts to do with Toddlers- Diapers and Daisies

10 Things To Do Under The Sun (That Are Practically Free)

Ten things

Last Tuesday, I spoke of fun things that my girls and I were doing this summer that were free. Today I want to address things that we enjoy doing that are practically free, that cost us little more than gas or nothing more than gas money. Many of these items could be considered free because the activity itself is free, but I am including the cost of gasoline here. I know there are other families out there like mine who may not be able to do every activity because of the rising cost of gasoline.

1. Splash Pads

In the greater Detroit area, where we live, almost every community I have come across has at least one park with these. There is often no charge for admittance and it is a fun way to let the kids splash around and play without breaking the bank.

Fun things to do that are practically free

2. Vacation Bible School

If you are lucky enough to go to a church or live in a community where there is a church who understands that this is a significant outreach this can be a truly amazing time. We are lucky to have such a church here, Friendship Church. They welcome Chloe each day with open arms. She is always excited to show up and can’t wait to come back the next day. In fact this morning she was trying to convince me her two-year old sister needed to attend.

3. Local Farms

Go online and search for farms.  I know from living in both the Detroit area and the Hampton Roads area even when you live in and near larger cities farms can be found that you can tour that are only a short drive away. One such farm here, Maybury Farm, costs just a small fee for a family of four to be admitted. Last year when we went two adults and two children could have spent the afternoon visiting for only $5. This is cheaper than the zoo and you still get to see the animals. In fact we were able to get up close and personal with many of them.

Fun things to do that are Practically Free

4. Make your own Popsicles

The girls and I enjoy making these and having them to snack on. Stay tuned on Thursday for my recipe for homemade smoothie bars. 🙂

5. Hiking

Get out and discover new hiking trails. If you are not blessed to lived on a piece of property large enough for hiking, get online and search for places to go hiking with your kids. I find it a refreshing way to connect to God and nature. My children love the discovery of it all.

6. The Beach/ Pool

Take your family to the nearest beach or pool and teach your kids to swim. Splash in the water with them. I know in some communities you have to pay to use the pool or the lake but it is worth looking into seeing if there is a free option or a practically free option. I know many of my memories of childhood summers involve swimming.

Fun things to do that are practically free

7. See if your community has a children’s museum or art museum that offers free admission.

In our current community, I have yet to find one that does. I know there are towns and cities out there that have museums that do offer free admission to all but their special collections exhibits. These can be wonderful educational opportunities and even get fun on a hot day.

8. Story Time

Most local libraries offer story time for the young kids. This is another thing that is fun to do with little kids. We have attended story time at local libraries, The Virginia Zoo, and The Chrysler Museum of Art (just to name a few.)

9. Free Concerts

See what is near you. In some communities you can find big name artists that are putting on concerts that are of no charge to attend. In other communities that is harder to find but you and your family can throw a blanket down in the park and listen to a local band perform. Either way you are sure to have an enjoyable time. In fact I know plenty of people who would prefer the atmosphere of a quiet concert in the park over the other.

10. Picnic in the Park

Pack the kids up. Bring lunch with you and go eat at the park. You can sit back enjoy a shade tree. Watch the kids run around. Read together or toss a ball around with them. It is just another way to get out of the house and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation.

Fun things to do this summer that are practically free

 

So there you have it ten things you can do with your family Under the Sun this summer that are practically free or have the potential to be practically free.

***Do you have something you could add to this list? Please share. I would love to hear your ideas as well.***

 

 

 

 

Fun Things To Do Under the Sun (for free)

When summer began, we made a bucket list of things we wanted to do this summer, as a family. As the summer has gone on, we haven’t even done half the things on that list. I don’t think that is a bad thing, neither do I find it real sad. The list was made under a slightly different set of circumstances. Things have changed, so we have adjusted what we are going to try to do. This doesn’t mean I plan on letting my kids miss out on all the joys of summer.

Instead of visiting many museums, zoos, and vacationing, we are finding frugal fun this summer. Join me as I begin my new series Fun Things To Do Under the Sun: Free, Practically Free, and Worth Saving up for Fun.  (Granted, I know that is a little wordy, but I think it will be alright.)

2013-07-09 12.24.36

Today, I am covering things that we enjoy doing for free, and some things I plan on doing that I hope the girls enjoy.

1. Going for walks around the neighborhood.

walk

My two oldest girls love to stop and pick up stray leaves, smell flowers , pick ‘flowers’ (otherwise known as weeds,) talk to neighbors, and anything else that strikes their fancy. The mommy in me loves these long walks because by the time we get home it is time for lunch and a nap. That is for everyone except the baby, who believes a walk equals nap time. So that means Momma doesn’t get a nap usually but at least the house is quiet for a bit.

2. Riding bikes

bike

3. Blowing Bubbles

bubbles

4. Going on a scavenger hunt.

This is one we have yet to do but I think they will enjoy. I plan making my own list and next to item names including a picture. My girls can not yet read so this will help them to understand and remember what it is they are looking for

5. Dancing in the rain.

This summer has seen lots more rainy days than last summer so to combat cabin fever, we have had to get out of the house even on the rainy days.

6. Running through the sprinkler

sprinkler

7. Planting and working in our garden

2013-06-29 16.16.56

8. Chalk

chalk

9. Playing in the Sandbox

sandbox

10. Rolling/ Kicking/ Throwing a ball

ball

 

Don’t forget to join me next week when I cover almost free things my family is enjoying this summer.

***What are somethings that you could add to this list?***