the prettiest homemade play dough

homemade playdough

a week or so ago eleanor and i made the prettiest homemade play dough. it was one of the best activities we've done as of yet. we spent the morning mixing and cooking each bright color and then the afternoon rolling it out and playing with it. since then i've pulled it out a number of times when i needed a few minutes to myself and we even took a container with us when we traveled to cincinnati.

homemade playdough

homemade playdough

homemade playdough

homemade playdough

homemade play dough

1 cup white flour
1 cup warm water
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 3oz pack of jello

mix all of the ingredients together in a small saucepan until most of the lumps are gone. cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until it thickens into a ball of dough. once it has finished cooking place onto a lightly floured silpat or cutting board. allow to cool. once cool knead it, adding flour as needed until it is no longer sticky. store in an airtight container.

after a few days we noticed that ours got sticky again. if this happens just knead in some more flour.


sensory play

one of the rituals i have adopted that has helped to keep things simple and to keep our spending in check is weekly menu planning. for the last several months a portion of my sunday is spent browsing my cookbooks and planning out our meals for the week and then compiling my grocery list. sometimes i deviate from the plan and switch up the days (super dangerous i know, this mama likes to live on the edge). but in all seriousness i have benefited greatly from this routine.
1. it's easy
2. i spend less $
3. i waste less food (we devote at least one night for eating leftovers)
4. i get to spend quality time with my cookbooks (they are like family to me)
5. i get to experience the incredible gratification that comes from crossing things off a list
6. it's another way for me to care for my family.

so after completing my list for this week i began to think about other parts of my life that could benefit from planning. one of my goals for the year is to be more intentional about my time with eleanor. to be honest there are times throughout the day when i and i'm sure she is bored. i want to make sure that i am creating an environment for her to learn, to be creative, and to play but sometimes i am at a loss. when she reaches for the iPad or iPhone i feel as though i am failing her. i know that these are a part of her world and that there are times (8 hour flights) when they come in handy but i also know that they are exciting in part because it's what she sees mama and papa doing. and so i am making some resolutions. i will not be on the computer when she is awake (she was napping when i wrote this) and my phone will be used minimally.

and surely i can spend as much time planning out activities for the week as i do planning meals. now i am not a teacher and so "lesson" planning is a bit foreign to me. i do however have something invaluable, i know my daughter, and i have a deep love for reading. and so to begin my quest i consulted a few books, blogs, and pinterest. i made sure to leave plenty of time for free play and activities outside of our house like a visit to the aquatic center, to the library, and to playgroup. some of our activities are as simple as filling a tub with soapy water or cornmeal but after watching eleanor play in that tub of water for a good hour today, never growing tired of it, i couldn't help but feel proud of all that we are learning together.

i hope to continue sharing some of our weekly activities here and welcome any ideas. and for anyone interested i love this book, and this one too and am wishing for this one.

there are also many wonderful blogs out there but here are a few of my favorites:
montessori ici
modern parents messy kids
bonbon mini
how we montessori.