How to Make Salt Dough Fossils

How To Make Salt Dough FossilsI have wanted to make salt dough fossils for quite sometime. We are currently studying ‘Flying Creatures’ for science and making nature fossils seemed to be a perfect fit. I also teach at a local homeschool co-op once a week and we made this same salt dough recipe in class – 3 batches of salt dough later I think I have mastered the recipe and wanted to share it with you!

It is easy to work with, rolls out great, bakes up nicely, and provided hours of entertainment for many little people. Speaking of entertainment, did you make our best ever play-doh? We are due to make another batch soon. In the summer months we like to take our dough experiences outdoors for a messy, hands on, multi-sensory learning experience.

Whether you are looking to make nature fossils, cute baby foot print momentos, or ornaments – this recipe will surely be a hit for the whole family.

My head is already spinning with ideas. After all, Mothers day is just around the corner…I’m thinking a layered handprint casting is on order at My Happy Homestead stay tune for more!

How to Make Salt Dough

How to Make Salt Dough Fossils

How to Make Salt Dough Fossils

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups of flour
  • 1 Cup of Salt
  • 1-2 Cups of Water {depending on the humidity in the air - we used approx. 1 3/4 C}

Instructions

  1. Measure dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Gradually add water to dry mixture.
  3. Mix with hands {it's just more fun that way} and it assures the perfect consistency. When it feel slightly moist {not dry} and not too sticky you're good to go.
  4. Roll or Pat out dough to approx 1/4in thickness. Use cookie cutters, knives, etc. for your idea shape. Press nature, hands, thumb prints, and small objects in dough until desired imprint is achieved. Careful to not push too hard and puncture the dough.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees on parchment lined cookie sheet for 2 hours
  6. Let cool. Paint with Acrylic Paint {we used water colors paint that worked too}
  7. Seal with Modge Podge.
http://jennyirvine.com/make-salt-dough-fossils/

How To Make Salt Dough Fossils-2

 

Best No Cook Play-Doh a Multi-Sensory Learning Experience

 

Best Ever No Cook Play Doh, Play-Doh DIY Recipe- Approved by mom and easy enough for kids to make themselves - get your kids in the kitchen and start creating After years of buying store bought play-doh, and many play-doh recipe failures. I think we have officially stumbled across the best no cook play-doh recipe ever. We use play-doh both during read loud time and for busy bin free play.

 

I have found when children are able to keep their hands busy during read aloud time they are more likely to pay attention with their ears and less likely to want to speak over me; thus, making our time together much more enjoyable and productive.

While play-doh can be messy at times – it is still my preferred messy, fun activity {especially over glitter glue..}   Play-doh is great for fine motor development. The malleable properties make it an excellent choice for building hand strength and pre-writing development. It can be squashed, rolled, chopped, poked, and shredded allowing for hours of endless imaginary play.

Check out just some of the creations our kids created in our time together this week. Everything from play-doh pizza’s, ‘sugar’ cookies, to snakes, snails, and turtles –

Best No Cook Play-Doh a Multi-Sensory Learning Experience Want to make their open ended play-doh play time even more exciting? With a few simple supplies you can create an expansive play-doh tool box at a minimal cost. Here are some of the play-doh tools in our box;

    • small toys {dinosaurs, fish, farm animals}
    • straws
    • rolling pins
    • egg cartons
    • sea shells
    • buttons
    • plastic letters and numbers
    • popsicle sticks
    • plastic spoons, forks, and knives {you can omit this of coarse…our kids are a bit older now so I am comfortable with their ability to use them safely}
    • plates/bowls

 

Each of our children are typically given a tray with their selected dough color {they are encouraged to share}. I then, place a ‘tool box’ of supplies in the middle of the table for community use. They play and I read to them. When you add open ended play items to their dough experience the imaginations explode. {Encouraging them to create things they hear in the story is also another great way to ‘test’ their listening and comprehension.}

Want a multi-sensory experience? Flavor up your dough by adding any of these –

  • pumpkin spice
  • cinnamon
  • essential oils
  • ginger
  • oregano

Make it pink, blue, and yellow too…we use plain old food dye but, you can try any of these too I’m sure with an equally good result…

 

Add some texture –

  • rice
  • sand
  • glitter
  • tiny pasta
  • sequins
  • pebbles

Want to try the recipe we use?

Best Ever Play-Doh Recipe

The Best Ever Play-Doh Recipe

The Best Ever Play-Doh Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups of Flour {I have also used gluten free}
  • 1/2 C Cold Water
  • 1/2 C Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Oil
  • Food Coloring or Powdered Paint

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in the bowl {with hands. Keep kneading until it is just the way you want it. Too dry? Add a little more Oil. Too sticky? Add a tablespoon of flour until it feels perfect. You will now add any additional texture items or spices to your play-doh. Store in an air tight container or zip-lock bag for future use.
http://jennyirvine.com/best-ever-no-cook-play-doh/

Be sure to visit our Kids in the Kitchen page for ‘live’ demonstrations, kid friendly recipes, more mess, and lots of fun. Never miss a thing from My Happy Homestead sign up to get “The Homestead Daily” Free to your in box.

Best No Cook Play-Doh a Multi-Sensory Learning Experience

How Much Should You Plant In Your Garden for a Years Worth of Food for Your Family

How Much Should You Plant In Your Garden for a Years Worth of Food for Your Family-2Every year I go through the same thing and ask myself the same question: “how much should I plant in our garden to supply my family with enough food for the winter?” Are you trying to figure out how much you will need too? Well, I’ve gathered up some of my favorite resources and I’m hoping to break it all down for you. So, you can take the guess work out of your garden planning and spend more time actually gardening.

If you are new to My Happy Homestead you can ‘meet our family here“. We have not always live in the country; in fact, most of our lives we have  lived in the city. So, growing all of our own food was not really an option in the past: although, we certainly did the best we could with what resources we had available and, I would highly encourage you to do the same.

We had strawberry gardens, a raspberry garden, a small scale garden, and picked local seasonally ripe food from area farms whenever possible. We ordered a cow, a pig, and shopped at local famers markets on a regular basis. You can check out how I shop for our family of 6 once a month here.

All that said, our ancestors did not have the luxury of having a grocery store on every corner they depended solely on growing a garden, having a farm, saving seeds, and preserving their harvest for survival. A garden was not a tiny, pretty little space in a perfectly manicured back yard – the garden was the entire yard. There wasn’t weekend dance classes, sporting events,  and weekly parties to attend. And, there certainly wasn’t countless vacations to be had. Life was the farm and the farm meant survival.

Since I only shop once a month for our family of six I am keenly aware of how much food we consume. I pretty much have it down to a science {now, that goes with out saying as the kids have gotten older I have had to make some adjustments}. But, I know we need 5-6 six packs of yogurt, 5 cans of each kind of bean {kidney, black, pinto, etc}, 1 Costco size sour cream, 3-4 gallons of milk, 2 lbs of ground meat for every meal, 8 packs of waffles, 3 bags/boxes of cereal, and on, and on.




How Much Should You Plant In Your Garden for a Years Worth of Food for Your Family

So, just how much ‘How Much Should You Plant In Your Garden for a Years Worth of Food for Your Family’ {disclaimer some of these we still have not grown but, this is based on my personal experience and research}




Asparagus 1-4 plants per person

Bush Beans 10- 15 plants per person

Pole Beans 10-15 plants per person

Beets 10-15 plants per person

Broccoli – 8 plants per person

Brussel Sprouts – 4 plants per person

Cabbage – 5 plants per person

Carrots 20-30 plants per person (100 seed pack would/should feed a family of 6)

Cauliflower – 5 plants per person

Celery – 4-8 plants per person

Corn – 20-40 plants per person

Cucumber – 5 plants per person

Egg plant – 1 plants per person (plus an additional 2-3 per family)

Kale – 1 5′ row

Lettuce – 10 -12 plants {obviously you can no preserve this over the winter months but, you can stagger your growing to harvest most of the year)

Onions – 30 plants per person

Peas – 30 plants per person

Peppers – 8 plants per person

Potatoes – 20-25 plants per person

Pumpkins – 1 plant per person {1-2 additional for the family}

Rhubarb – 2 crowns per family

Spinach – 10 -20 plants per person

Summer squash – 3 plants per person {there’s nothing like shredded zucchini already prepared for quick breads)

Winter Squash – 2 plants per person

Sweet Potatoes – 5 plants per person

Tomatoes – 5-8 plants per person




Another way to figure out how much your family would need to grow for the winter is think of how much your family consumes and research the approximate yield on a given plant. For example; if it was estimated that a 10 ft. row of bush beans would yield 3-5 lbs. yield then, I know I would need approx. 100+ ft. row to sustain my family over the winter as we consume approximately 5-6 lbs. of green beans per month. Of coarse this could not be broken down into an exact science since weather, natural disaster, and pests can all affect yield.

What I can tell you is this – plant what you like to eat and plant what you will use. If you are short on space plant what you can with what room you have available.

Do you have room behind your garage? That’s where our berry garden used to be. Try planting food where you would plant flowers – replace the dying tree in the corner of the yard with a fruit tree instead of an ornamental piece. And, start learning about harvesting your seeds – there is nothing more rewarding than knowing you grew something from a tiny seed and you were able to save the seeds for next years harvest thus, repeating the cycle of life.

Hungry for more gardening goodness check out these –