How To Make A Harness For your Elf.

How to make a harness for your elf.

We wanted to share how we make a safety harness for our elf to do fun activities like zip lining, hanging from the ceiling fan like mission impossible or even rappelling from toy helicopters. We used 550 cord or sometimes known … Continue reading

Fast and Easy, Homemade Play Dough

Play dough was on my shopping list for about 2 months. I am not sure why I kept avoiding buying it; maybe because I knew I could make it at home. It’s so easy and when my oldest two children were younger we always made play dough instead of buying it.

Playing with play dough is a great sensory activity for people of all ages. Play dough helps kids learn how to use their fingers in new ways, also strengthens hand and wrist muscles. I once saw a physical therapist assigning a patient the activity of squeezing play dough in her hands; this was to help her carpal tunnel and arthritis. Play dough helps kids grow in many ways. It allows kids to be creative and responsible while having fun. Play dough is also very calming with or without essential oils added in.20150831_131159

The great thing about making play dough is the kids can help. It is super easy and only takes a few minutes to mix up. The most time consuming part is kneading the dough smooth and mixing the color in, but isn’t that also the fun part? Playing with the dough…You can make so many different kinds too. Some are even edible. This recipe might taste yucky!

20150831_163241Ingredients

  • ¼ cup of hot water (just run your hot water for a few minutes)
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¼ cup salt (you want to use finely ground salt, like table salt)
  • ½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • 10-50 drops of food coloring (optional- but what’s fun about non colored play dough?)
  • 5 or so drops of essential oil (optional)

Mix flour and salt into a bowl, add oil and water, mix until it start to become dough like. Then place the dough on the counter or table and knead until all flour and salt is mixed in. It should look and feel like play dough. Now add your food coloring to your desired color brightness. The more you add the stronger the color will be. (This is where the kids come in.) Keep kneading for about 10 minutes; you can always add more drops of the food coloring if the dough is not bright enough for your liking. Now would be the time to add essential oils if you want. Kneading and playing with the dough will continue to mix all the color and oils in.

Store your homemade play dough in an air tight container or ziploc bag.

Suggested essential oils:

  • Lavender for calming
  • Lemon and/or orange for uplifting spirits
  • Tea tree and/or eucalyptus for any respiratory congestion
  • Any of the mint oils will work for many things too. Headaches, calming, and respiratory issues.

Have fun playing!

Namaste <3

JEM

Suncatchers, (how to add some fun color into your life) #kidfriendlycraft

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I am always looking for fun ways to keep the kids away from screens. We love crafting and these colorful sun catchers were a perfect way to spend our afternoon.

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This you will need:

  • Clear plastic beads
  • Glass beads
  • Metal muffin pans or fun shaped cookie cutters
  • Oven or grill
  • Dremal tool or small drill bit
  • Fishing line

Steps for molding the sun catchers:

  1. Heated the oven to 275 degrees.
  2. Place the plastic beads in the cookie cutters and muffin pan. One layer deep. If u20140524_152409sing cookie cutters, place cookie cutters on a cookie sheet or metal pan before adding beads.
  3. Place the pans and beads in the oven for about 30 minutes or until fully melted.
  4. Once they were melted, place them on a cooling rack. It didn’t take long to cool.
  5. After the sun catchers are cool; pop them right out of the metal molds.20140525_163825
  6. Now drill small holes in the sun catchers. (use eye protection)
  7. Thread the fishing line through the drilled holes and add some colorful glass beads for some extra fun.
  8. Tie off and hang to add some color anywhere in your home or outside.

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I also made a few wind chimes by repurposing a wooden rod that had been lying around for a while. I cut the rod in smaller sections then drilled some holes through the rod. I attached the sun catchers through the holes with fishing line. I found that stringing the sun catchers and beads on the fishing line first made them hang nicer off the wooden rod. Be creative and step out of the box to make some really cool sun catchers on the cheap.20140525_163904

20140525_163833**Notes**

  • Use eye protection while drilling plastic. Safety first!
  • Keep home well ventilated, or do it outside on your grill, while melting the plastic.
  • If you string the sun catcher first it will hang better.
  • If you don’t want to drill holes in the melted plastic shapes you can also use them as coasters or magnets.20140629_131409
  • I used fishing like because it is strong and clear, you could use any thread you have on hand though.

This was a fun way to add some color into our home and patio.

Namaste <3 Jem

It’s that time of year again…SUMMER!

With school letting out in a week and my husband leaving for training for the WHOLE summer I knew I had to have a plan. My four kiddos (13, 11, 8 and 6) are normally pretty good about asking to go to the pool, play video games and watch TV; you name it they ask before I am even out of bed. I refuse to leave the house (go to the pool) then come home to a cluttered house. I don’t know about you but clutter really makes my head freak out. My anxiety flies through the roof, which is already on edge because my kids are very active and it’s almost hard to keep up with them when both parents are around, let alone just me.

We normally keep a pretty good routine since our after school activities don’t change over the summer and they wake up only about an hour later then they do for school. The part that changes is keeping them entertained all day and limiting screen time. This year I decided to take back summer before I get too overwhelmed by making the kids all check lists. The idea is to limit frustration since they will already know what they have to complete before they ask to do something and I won’t have to say no or ask over and over if they did it. WIN, WIN. Today they decided to call them summer Check Lists. I know so original BUT…

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They are pumped! I am pumped! Fingers crossed! IT’S GOING TO BE A GREAT SUMMER!!

The Summer Check Lists are not to replace their normal chore list. These will complement them. Each child has their assigned booklet. Since I laminated them they can check them off with a dry or wet erase marker, so we can use them over and over.

There are 5 Summer Check lists per child:

  • Do before you ask…

  • Want to go to the pool?

  • Today you can…

  • Did You?

  • After dinner

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    What I used to make our Summer Check Lists

How I made our Summer Check Lists:

  1. Decided what I wanted each list to be

  2. Typed them up

  3. I cut and glued them onto colored paper

  4. I laminated them (now we can use them over with dry erase marker.)

  5. Hole punched them

  6. Used a book ring to hold them all together

If you would like a copy of our summer check lists please comment below with your email. I am more than willing to share! How will you take back summer?