Saturday, April 23, 2016

Little boys and dirty hands

The final product - in a jar for keeping out the air.
     My son is almost two-and-a-half. This means that he is learning and experiencing at an incredible rate, and I do my best to foster that learning. One of the best tactile indoor activities I have for him right now is play dough. When I was a kid, I remembered hours and hours of using the brand name PlayDoh when I went to friends' houses. I love that you could do anything that you wanted with it, so many hours of creativity just waiting for you.

     I wanted my son to have that too, but I also wanted to make it at home. My son still puts things in his mouth from time-to-time, and I wanted it to be extra safe for him to do so. Yes, I understand that the brand name stuff is 'non-toxic', but that doesn't mean if he swallows a whole mouthful of it, it's going to digest well. Making it from pantry ingredients means it'll be a little easier on his little tummy.

     The second benefit of making it at home is that I can try and make it better in other ways, and I decided to do that with essential oils. I looked up a recipe on Pinterest from Kimber at The Pinning Mama, and I really enjoyed her approach, so I decided to try it.
Adding more thickener
      We don't use food coloring in our house - although I'm going to start making food coloring from scratch so that we can - so I just added some red sugar crystals to the liquid part before mixing, and mine came out with a pinkish tinge. For my essential oil, I decided to go with dōTERRA's 'OnGuard' blend. It's an immune support blend to help fight off the nasties. With as many hands as there are that go into play dough, I wanted to kill some of the germs from the start on the toy itself, but also on my son as he plays with it. The recipe was very easy to do, although I did end up adding more thickener, but that was just a personal preference for easier cleanup on our table that has grooves.

     I can't wait to get into different colors when I make the food coloring, but right now, my son is happy enough with just the one, and I can't help but wonder if that makes him more creative when he thinks of objects that are more colors than what he's playing with, rather than having red dough and saying it's a tomato, green dough and saying it's zucchini. Who knows!

     What do you make from scratch for your kiddos? Do you try to add some boosters like I did, or are you trying to save money from the brand name stuff? Let me know, I'd love to hear from you.

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