We are starting to come to the end of The 6 Components of Wellness series. Here you can check out the other 4 already talked about; Physical Health, Mental and Emotional Health, Environmental Health, Social Health. There is only Spiritual … Continue reading
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.
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!
- 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!
Since we are preparing to get out of the army and move at the beginning of the year, I am preparing to garden for as cheap as I can. Gardening keeps me well grounded. So there is no way I can skip it. One way to garden cheaply is to collect seeds from your own plants. Collecting seeds from plants you have already purchased makes next year’s plants and seeds free…you can’t beat free!
This year I found out that snapdragons can go to seed, if you don’t “dead head” them. They create this AWESOME seed pod, which looks like a skull.
If you gently pinch off the seed pods from the plant, it is safe and will keep blooming. You can also collect them after the plant dies off. If you wait too long to collect the seed pods they will start to drop seeds into the soil under your already growing plant; which will make your snapdragon plant look fuller but hinder your seed collecting progress. After you pinch the seed pod off you want to let the pod dry some in a container. As the pods start to dry they will drop very tiny dark colored seeds. You can crush or shake the seeds out of the pods as well. Use a sifter to separate any unwanted plant pieces out of your seeds.
I use an envelope, ziploc or paper bags to store my seeds and always label them with the plant name and year I harvested them. Store your seeds in a cool dry place.
I think collecting seeds is an important part of gardening, especially if you are an organic or chemical free gardener. Collecting seeds from your own plants can help you save money and keep your healthy plants growing for many generations. If you end up with too many seeds you can pass them to a friend or neighbor, set up a seed swap or even sell them online.
Do you collect seeds from your garden?
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.
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:
- Heated the oven to 275 degrees.
- Place the plastic beads in the cookie cutters and muffin pan. One layer deep. If using cookie cutters, place cookie cutters on a cookie sheet or metal pan before adding beads.
- Place the pans and beads in the oven for about 30 minutes or until fully melted.
- Once they were melted, place them on a cooling rack. It didn’t take long to cool.
- After the sun catchers are cool; pop them right out of the metal molds.
- Now drill small holes in the sun catchers. (use eye protection)
- Thread the fishing line through the drilled holes and add some colorful glass beads for some extra fun.
- Tie off and hang to add some color anywhere in your home or outside.
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.
- 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.
- 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