Way Better Than Store Play Dough!

I’m sure you have seen the advertisements and blogs about making your own play dough, I sure have.  I always think, “That cannot be good play dough and how long does it even last?”  Well, one day I decided to make it for myself.  Actually, my 2 1/2 year old and I made it.

First things first, let me give you some advice:

  1. It is messy to make (especially with a toddler)
  2. Use an old pan (it can be hard to get the dye out!) and an older wooden spoon if possible
  3. It is totally worth it!  The play dough is awesome.  Much smoother, easier to work with, and does not dry out as easily.  I was very impressed.
  4. The play dough will last longer if you keep it in the fridge and can last 6+ months. You can leave it out in an air tight container as well, but it will not last as long.

 

Okay, lets get to it!

What you will need:

  • 1 Cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • Food coloring (or natural or any dyes you would like to use)
  • 2 tablespoons of any cooking oil (even coconut oil works!) I used canola

Warning** Once you start the process it goes quickly so I suggest you read the directions once or twice and have everything ready before you start**

 

  1. Combine the flour, cream of tartar, salt to a saucepan and mix (the heat is off)
  2. Add the water, oil, and food coloring
  3. Turn the heat on low to medium and stir away (a wooden spoon seems to work best) (it may get stained!)
  4. Stir it until it gets thicker like play dough or like sugar cookies
  5. Then turn the heat off and let it cool a couple minutes
  6. Knead it a little and it should roll easily into a ball.  Store in the fridge for it to last 6+ months in an airtight container or ziplock bag.  You can leave it out in an air tight container but it will last longest if its in the fridge.
  7. Okay enjoy!
  8. The quality of the play dough was much better than store brand and easier to roll.  I love it, and so does Cece!!

Cece enjoys using a rolling pin and cookie cutters to make shapes!

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DIY Felt Christmas Tree!

Cece bear loves to pull toys out of baskets and put them back in.  She also likes to build blocks and figure out other puzzles.  So I thought to myself, what can I make for Christmas that she can play with?  And a mini Christmas tree came to mind.  Eventually, I figured out a felt Christmas tree with all sorts of sensory stimulation and Velcro ornaments would work!  So I decided to get to work.

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I decided to make three trees, one for each of Cece’s friends.  It also made a great birthday gift for her friend Kyle’s first birthday!  This is a great activity to do with older children as well.  They can make their own ornaments and decorate the tree!  There are a variety of ways to put the tree, ribbons, buttons, and ornaments together.  The two I used were sewing and hot glue gun, but you can do one or the other as well.  Just make sure if you have a baby, infant, or toddler, to make sure everything is very secure so they can’t pull it off!

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As always, there is a youtube video and written steps and pictures.  Feel free to add your own creativity and pizzazz!!!

If you have an older child, instead of using velcro to stick the ornaments on, you can use string or twine looped on the ornament and they can put them around buttons on the tree!

 

 

What you need:
*Green felt fabric (I used 1.5
yards for three trees)
*velcro
*Brown felt fabric (stump)
*Felt fabrics of various colors for
ornaments of your choice and design
*optional: buttons, ribbons,
and other accessories

IMG_35381) Fold your green felt and make a tree outline on the fold (so half of it traced on).  Then cut your tree out!

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2) Next, if you want a stump, use brown fabric to cut one out!  Once again you can trace it out.  You can either sew it on the bottom or hot glue gun.

Snapshot 1 (12-8-2015 1-58 PM)3) I wanted to make something to hold the ornaments besides just having them stick to the tree.  So I decided a present with the child’s name on it would be perfect!  So next I chose a color of felt I had and cut about 11x 7 inches.

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4) Next, for one of the presents I made I wanted the bow long ways down so I sewed a piece of ribbon straight down the piece. (the other two I made have it across the box which you can sew on now or later)

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5) The next step would be to turn it right sides facing inwards and sew to the length you want so you have the top of the present flap long enough.  Check out the picture to see what I mean. Then turn right side out.

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6) As you can see, I decided to iron on letters for the name of the child.  These two presents are different sizes.  Also, if you want to put a piece of iron on or sew on or glue gun on Velcro to the top of the present to have it stick now is the time.

7)  Then decorate the present at will.  I added some adhesive Rudolph stickers.  I did hot glue them so they would be more secure.

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8) Follow that, I sewed the present onto the tree.  This is optional, you can have it separate or not have a present at all.  I opened the top flap and sewed right along the fold to the tree.  You can also hot glue gun it.

 

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8) Now, back to the tree.  Now is the time to get even more creative!  Use ribbons, garland, buttons, or whatever you want on the tree!  You can sew or hot glue gun them on.  If you have an older child and want to have hanging ornaments on buttons then align your buttons!

9) Next, it is time to make ornaments.  If your child is older they can help decorate and make ornaments.  I chose actually Christmas items and one ornament and one light bulb.  I used whatever felt scraps I had to make them.  I also made a star at the end.  Remember to Velcro your ornaments on the back using the hard side of the Velcro.  You want to iron them on before you decorate the front!  Otherwise you might melt or damage your decorations.

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To hang the tree, I used 3m adhesive strips, but I have heard that the blue paint tape works well on walls.  You can also use suction cups if its on the window or door.  Ok enjoy!  Feel free to post your tree below!

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