Toddlers are so much fun. They’re at that age where they’re wanting to learn and explore everything! They want to be included, and they also have these amazing minds that need shaping. Imaginations that need the ability to run wild, and creativity that should flow out daily.
I’m always looking for things that Grayson and I can do together. Whether it’s a new craft indoors, or going off an a new adventure away from home. When I was his age, I remember my mom always had things for me to do. If we needed to stay inside, I worked on a skill (letters, colors, etc.) or did a craft. Oftentimes, she took me to the library for Story Time. Keeping him continuously busy allows for his mind to keep learning, and it makes for a ridiculously easy bed time routine later.
This weekend, I spent my Mother’s Day making homemade Playdough. One reason I like the idea of an all-natural playdough is that I can control the ingredients, that’s important to me. Toddlers are known to sneak a little taste of new and exciting things that look like they could be food, and I don’t want him snacking on the store-bought stuff.
Playdough also gives us the ability to practice things like shapes, colors, and sharing– while working on fine motor skills. Have them practice by making their own shapes in the dough, using either cookie cutters or blocks, and then have them identify the shape. We lined them up, and I would ask him “Where is the square?” “Where is the triangle?” Also, you can make the shape in various colors and ask them to point out the color specific shape: “Where is the yellow star?”
I find that if he’s playing and having a good time, he is more receptive to learning something new and answering my questions. I call this “sneak attack learning”. Ha!
We had such a fun time making and playing with our All-Natural Playdough, and I want to share the recipe so that y’all can make it with your kids! This recipe is so easy, and it’s a great way to get the kids involved in the process. It’s great for rainy days, or in this case Southern Summer Days where it’s too hot to go outside if you like being able to breathe.
DIY ALL-NATURAL PLAYDOUGH
- 4 C All-Purpose Flour
- 4 C Water
- 1 C Salt
- 4 TBSP Coconut Oil
- 4 TBSP Cream of Tartar
- 1-2 TBSP Spinach, Turmeric, Hibiscus, Beet, and Cocoa Powders (to color the playdough naturally)
- 2-3 Drops of Kid-Friendly Essential Oil (Optional)
- Combine all of your ingredients into a bowl, and add to pot of water.
- Stirring continuously, cook on medium heat until mixture starts to pull away from the sides of the pot.
- Place the dough onto a floured surface and let cool for several minutes.
- Once it’s warm enough to touch, knead the dough and form balls–this batch gave me 6 large sized balls.
- When using powders to color the dough naturally, you’ll want to work with it while it’s still warm.
- Push a dent into your dough for the powders to go, and add 1-2 TBSP –use more for a richer color.
- Fold each ball over onto itself, and knead until the color is fully incorporated. (This part got a little messy, for me, but it was Mother’s Day so I didn’t have to clean it up!)
- This is also the time that you would add in your Kid-Friendly Essential Oils. We didn’t do it for this batch, but will in the future. Lavender and Chamomile would be a great to add because of their calming effects, as would Grapefruit and Sweet Orange which promote an energized mind that’s ready to focus. Obviously, don’t put them together! Make two different batches using the oils mentioned.
Can you believe how beautiful and rich these colors are? I absolutely love it!
- Seal these puppies up in an airtight container and they will last you about 2-3 weeks. If you refrigerate them, double that!
- You can use all kinds of items to color your dough naturally–check the spice aisle of your local supermarket, see what you can find.
- All-Natural Playdough would make a great gift! Super fun, and inexpensive!
Once you’ve finished your All-Natural Playdough, you might possibly be a complete mess like I was. Flour was everywhere. It’s time to clean up! Thankfully, since we used all-natural ingredients, all of our clothes will wash good as new.
As you all know, I’ve been working on changing the way that I run my household. I’ve found several sulfate free options when it comes to our hair care and body care products, and it seemed pretty natural that when given the choice to go sulfate free with our laundry, I would do that as well. I’ve found myself reaching for all® fresh clean ESSENTIALS™ regularly. The NEW sulfate free all® fresh clean ESSENTIALS® delivers a powerful clean without harshness.
all® fresh clean ESSENTIALS® includes the ingredients on the back of the bottle so you know what ingredients are going onto your family’s laundry. It is one of the first laundry products to put ingredients out there for consumers to know what the ingredients are and why they’re essentials. Not only do I love the way it smells, I trust it to clean my family’s laundry.
You can find sulfate free all ® at your local Walmart, towards the top shelf!
Walmart carries both fragrance free and fresh scent in 36.4oz/28ld. I use the Fresh Scent, because I love my clean laundry to smell like clean laundry.
Head over to your local Walmart (with this awesome digital coupon–Good for $1.50 off one (1) all® fresh clean ESSENTIALS®) and pick some up! Offer is valid from May 1 – July 31 or while supplies last.
What are some of your favorite indoor activities to do with your children? Do you have any awesome cleaning tips? Let me know!