Things to Make: Crafts & Do-It-Yourself

When I saw this post at How About Orange, I knew I just had to try it! It’s a wonderful way to use all the extra newspapers we have laying around the house. So instead of the traditional standard basket, we are going to make EASTER BASKETS!!!! Really, when you think about it,  it makes sense to make your own baskets. They get used once a year and fall apart almost as soon as the kids are done collecting the candy and gifts out of them, so why not make it out of something we already have around the house?

So collect your supplies and lets get started. You will need:

  • Newspaper (2 should do the job)
  • Scissors
  • Stapler and Staples, glue dots, double sided tape…something sticky
  • 30 minutes where you won’t have to touch anything else….the ink gets ALL over your hands!

Click here to make your Easter Basket too!

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It’s time for Wacky Wednesday!!! One of my favorites of our new features. Each week we are going to do something a little off-the-wall and FUN! This week the end result isn’t as important as the fun in getting there!

I am always telling the kids NOT to play with their food. But after I saw this post, I changed my mind! It did inspire me to see what else we could use to paint with and our “paint-able food” looked and smelled pretty awesome!

What you need:

  • OLD muffin tin or something to hold your “paints”
  • Spices and Seasonings
  • Condiments
  • Vegetables and Fruit
  • Nature
  • Paper

Paints:

I decided to start with my seasonings to see if I could create “paint” with those; sure enough there were quite a few that I used to get some great textures and colors. Pretty much any seasoning that is ground finely will work as your “paints”.

The ones that I found that worked great were:

  • Ground Nutmeg
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Poultry Seasoning
  • Ground Dry Mustard
  • Paprika

Then search your refrigerator for other “paints” keep in mind all sorts of things can work if they have the right consistency! We used:

  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Blackberries

Add each of these to a separate compartment in your muffin tin or cups. I used approximately 2 Tbs of each. For the seasonings, add a little bit of water and stir to get to the right consistency for painting. Only add the water a little bit at a time. If you get it too thin add more seasoning, too thick; add more water. Mash up, or toss in a blender,  any fruits or vegetables you want to use for ‘paint’. Keep in mind all these things stain so make sure you are careful to not get it everywhere when you are mashing them up! Since we used Blackberries, I simply smooshed them with a fork in the muffin tin.

Paintbrushes:

This can be anything you can find! We had some leftover spaghetti, some leaves from celery and we were going to use potatoes with designs carved into them as stamps, but I had two impatient little boys wanting to get started. Get creative and anything you can find will work.

 

Get Started:

Send the kids outside and paint away! It was the perfect opportunity to talk about nature since everything we were using was natural. Once the kids got bored with the paintbrushes I gave them, we went on a scavenger hunt to find more paintbrushes! We ended up with pine cones, branches from the bushes, different sticks and rocks for them to try different textures.

Like I said the end result isn’t as important as getting there, and since we used food products I don’t recommend keeping their artwork (unless you have some type of shellac or something to seal it!)

WARNING: These ‘paints’ will NOT be good to get in mouths or eyes, so make sure you keep a close watch and always make sure there are no food allergies before you start creating! :-)

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My daughter asked me the other day if she could have some gum, but after a look, I realized we were all out.  Her response was, “Let’s make some then.”

Typically, when we are out of something, we can make it ourselves like bread, crackers, and even hot dog buns, but I had no clue if you could make gum.  We went to the internet and after a quick search, we found that we could.   We didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand, so going out to buy gum would have probably been more productive, but not as much fun.

I’ll warn you.  Making gum is messy!  But, we had an absolute blast, so it’s a great way to entertain creative kids.

Before you get started, set the mood with some music! We highly recommend Icky, Sticky Bubble Gum by David Landau or our favorite, The Sticky Bubblegum Song by Carole Peterson.

CLICK HERE to see this recipe.

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Play dough is often pretty cheap, but making your own is so much fun. Not only do your kids get to do most of the work and get a bit messy, but they can also practicing mixing colors to see what they’ll get and create colors of play dough they can’t buy at the store.

It’s easy and you probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry.

What You Need

  1. 1/4 Cup All-Purpose or Bread Flour
  2. 1/4 Cup Salt
  3. 1/4 Cup Ice-Cold Water
  4. 1/4 TBSP Oil
  5. Food or Gel Coloring (optional)
  6. 1 Sandwich-Size Plastic Baggie
  7. 1 Kid

Let’s Get Started!

You don’t even need a bowl. Just pour all of your ingredients into a small sandwich-size baggie. If you add the flour first, it typically makes it bottom heavy. That makes it a lot easier for kids to pour in the remaining ingredients, without tipping the bag over.

If you want multiple colors of play dough, make multiple bags, by repeating.

Next, add in colors. Food coloring may water down the play dough a bit, but that can be easily fixed later. Gel food coloring, often found in the baking aisle, doesn’t water the mixture down.

This is my kids favorite part, since they can put in a few drops of different colors to find out what color they make together, but you may want to help them, or they might end up with all brown in the end.

Next, press out the air and seal the baggie tight. Lay it on a table and start smooshing! Smoosh the play dough in the bag until it’s well mixed. If it sticks to the sides of the bag, add a bit more flour one teaspoon at a time until the mixture is less sticky.

If, on the other hand, the mixture is flakey, add water one teaspoon at a time, mixing in between, until the mixture sticks together without flaking apart.

Sometimes, mixing in the baggie can be hard, but it is less messy. If you’d prefer, after making sure the dough is not overly sticky, you may move to the table. It’s a bit easier, but can be messier.

Lightly coat an area of the table or counter top with flour. Once the mixture is no longer sticking, pull it out of the bag and continue to knead on the table until it forms a smooth ball.

Once you’re done, start playing! And, if you have very little ones, it won’t even hurt them if they decide to take a bite (or eat an entire ball).

Keep the dough refrigerated in the baggies when not in use. You may need to work it a bit to make it more malleable, each time you remove it and play.

Print this Recipe

No-Cook Homemade Play Dough Recipe
Recipe Type: Crafts for Kids
Author: Beth Montgomery
Prep time: 5 mins
Total time: 5 mins
Serves: 1
Making your own play dough can save money, but also get your colors you can’t buy in the store and entertain your kids for hours.
Ingredients
  • 1/4 Cup Bread or All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Ice-Cold Water
  • 1/4 TBSP Oil
  • 1 Sandwich-Size Plastic Baggie
  • Food Coloring or Gel Coloring (Optional)
Instructions
  1. Drop all of the ingredients into the plastic baggie. Make more than one, by repeating this recipe.
  2. For color, add about 6 or more drops of food coloring or gel.
  3. Seal the baggie tightly, but make sure to squeeze out all the air, so you don’t pop it first.
  4. Knead the dough inside the baggie until well formed.
  5. If it’s sticking to the side, add flour one teaspoon at a time and knead until well formed.
  6. If it’s flaking apart, add ice-cold water one teaspoon at a time until well formed.
  7. Play!
Notes

If your kids are older and aren’t in danger of eating the play dough, try baby oil in place of the oil in this recipe. It will make the play dough scented, especially if you use the lavender scented.

If kneading in the bag is too hard, once the dough is not sticky, you may move to a lightly floured tabletop or countertop.

Craving more? Browse the recipe index for more easy recipes.

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