Before my journey into the small business world, I was surrounded by 24 eager 6-year- olds. All of which had a passion for learning, exploring, and soaking up the world around them. Leaving the classroom to stay home with my littles and focus on my brand this year was not easy in the slightest and there are still days where I wonder if I made the right choice. It's not that I don't love being with my own kids and having more time to truly devote to this business, but I miss my colleagues and those smiling faces that would greet me at Room 124 each morning.
Today was one of those days that made me realize that I can have the best of both worlds. I got to see that passion for learning, exploration, and soaking up the surrounding environment by my curious little two-nager, Declan.
Two days ago, I woke up and just had this odd feeling. Like I knew I was supposed to be doing something or had something important that needed to be completed. Then it clicked. I was in charge of making and bringing in the play dough for the month at Declan's preschool..and preschool started in 3 hours. Not going to lie, I was like, "Gahhhh...seriously?" I had all the ingredients required except Cream of Tartar (go figure). So off I went at 10 am with my two littles to the grocery store to hunt this one item down...an item that required a measly 2 tablespoons. And there I had it..tartar sauce in my cart. In my head I just could not understand why anyone would use this in play dough, so my inner instincts told me to ask a worker. You know those moments where you do or say something and you don't even know how to react because you feel so silly? Well, it was one of those moments as the worker led me to the spice aisle for the correct item. FYI: Cream of Tartar is a powder down the spice aisle. Hahaha..
Fast forward..got home, made the play dough and it was SO easy. After making the batch for Declan's preschool, I decided to rock the mom thing that day and make some for us at the house. Check it out below!
1 cup salt
2 cups flour
2 cups water
2 tablespoons Cream of Tartar (say it with me "down the spice aisle")
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
food coloring (if desired)
essential oil (if desired)
Mix all ingredients except food coloring and essential oil in a pan and stir constantly over medium heat. It takes about 3-5 minutes or until it is super hard to stir any longer. Remove from pan and let sit on a plate until cool. Knead as soon as it is cooled down to touch.
You can put the food coloring in the mixture when making it in the pan, but I wanted to make three colors and did not want to do this three separate times. Instead, I split the dough into three equal parts, and then put all three in different clear baggies. I dropped food coloring into the baggies and just kneaded the dough to color it. I did red, yellow, and blue to start, the primary colors.
And I just LOVE essential oils, so I added a couple drops of lavender to each dough ball.
Now here's the fun part..the play dough exploration. Sure, play dough is a great tool to just let little explore with..but there are so many amazing benefits to this easy activity.
Creativity..even at an early age toddlers are demonstrating creativity. As we were playing with the play dough he would say things like, "Look mom! I made a dinosaur!" It looked nothing like a dinosaur (sorry, kid), but he was using his imagination which is so powerful.
Fine Motor Skills..play dough is PERFECT for helping your child to develop and strengthen so many of those muscles that will be used in preschool and kindergarten, especially when learning to appropriately hold a pencil, crayon and learn to write, tie shoes, button buttons, zip-up coats. Encourage your child to poke, squish, roll, mash, use tools to cut, and mold the play dough into shapes. Who knew strengthening those little finger muscles could be so fun?!
Educational..in the 20 minutes that we explored with play dough, we talked about so many things. We started by naming the colors we had started with; red, blue, yellow. I explained that we could mix colors to get new colors and Declan helped me to mash the two colors together to get green, orange, and purple. Pretty sure he thought I had just performed a magic trick he was so excited.
We also practiced rolling the dough into a "snake" and I showed him how we could make letters with them. He has an alphabet mat that we do play dough on so I made a "D" and he instantly connected the letter to his mat and his name. He refused to make his own "D" so I knew that we officially were done with our learning adventure for the day!
And storage..I just used some glass containers we had however you can really use anything that will seal and keep the dough from drying out. Tupperware or plastic baggies work well too!
Now off you go to explore, learn, and get creative with that little sweetness of yours. I'd love to hear about the activities you did with your babe!