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

 

21 Day Tech Less Challenge; Why I Took Our Kids Electronics Away

 

21 Day Tech Less Challenge - Why I Took Our Kids Electronics Away-2 Do you have a love hate relationship with electronics? I know I do! I love it and I love to hate it.

But, recently I have found myself ‘hating’ it more than ‘liking’ it. Everything is in our face 24/7; the good, bad, and the ugly. Our kids are becoming increasingly aware of the crazy world we live in. And, we can agree it is crazy, right?

Over the last year I have fought it, ignored it, and knowingly made a choice to turn my back on it – the problem; our kids and their tech use. What started off as innocent gaming in the morning while mommy wrapped up her work – eventually led to asking for more screen time in the afternoon, and then asking for electronics again before bed.

I found myself increasingly frustrated with our children; their shorter than normal attention spans, lack of listening, and aggressive behaviors. With each passing day I resented those little devices just a little more. Until eventually I had enough and snapped.

I was scared to take them away. It was as if I felt like I was doing them some sort of disservice by eliminating something so prevalent in todays world. I struggled with feelings of being the ‘mean mom’. However, I knew in my heart – it needed to be done but, man the struggle was real!

Those little devices we hold in our hands have an ever increasing amount of power over us.  I’m guilty too {I’m sure you can relate} – if I’m searching something on my phone, can I really hear that my child is asking for a glass of water?

It’s only after I hear; “Mom, mom, MOM…for the 100th time….

I snap; “What?”

“What do you need?”

Why do we do this? Because we weren’t really listening to them in the first place. Heads down and self absorbed in our own little worlds – we are missing the little moments as well as the big.   Why I Took Our Kids Electronics Away

These feelings of hatred towards these little devices only grew with each passing day…a tug on the strings of my heart. “I have to do something!”

But, what? I can’t possibly get rid of electronics in my homeschooled kids lives – after all I need to make sure our kids are ‘normal’. {By the way, when someone figures out what “normal” is please let me know – thanks}

I am a teacher. I see it. I hear it week after week in my classroom. I hear the conversations of my students – our children today aren’t talking about riding bikes, playing outside, or meeting at the neighborhood park. They are talking about “how do you get _______ ?” in such and such video game. “There’s a new update in________”, and “I found this great cheat on ______”.

Ok. let me make something clear – I’m not anti-electronics. I love technology and all that it has done for us. I blog {obviously}, I can be found on most every social media platform out there {Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Periscope, and have recently ventured into the Vlogging world over on YouTube}.

Thanks to the internet I have friends all over the world – some of which I talk to more than my ‘in real life friends’. I pray for their children and their families as they do mine- they teach me and I teach them from afar. It’s wonderful gift.

The time had finally come – I needed and craved an electronic/life balance and, our home was well over due for some much needed limits and boundaries. It was time I stepped up my mothering game and not just choose the ‘easy’ road {any parent who has ever entertained children in a doctors office for any length of time will likely agree Steve Jobs is a saint.} I needed to regain control: control over the one thing I can’t buy more of – time!

21 Day Tech Less Challenge - Why I took are kids electronics away for 21 days

Our 21 Day Tech Less Challenge

We agreed that ’21 days’ would be a good ‘cleanse’ for our family – we didn’t get rid of all screens {we are still able to watch tv and use electronics for education/work purposes}.

We are currently doing a 21 Day #techlesschallenge on Instagram and have decided as long as technology is something we are engaging in TOGETHER than it is ok. But, six people with faces down in their own self absorbed electronic world was now, going to be a thing of our past.

We are already on day 3 of our 21 day #techlesschallege and the results could not make me any happier. Our kids are blossoming in so many ways – they have actually missed their little electric devises very little.

Shockingly, the child who is struggling most is the three year old. Likely because he doesn’t understand the abrupt disruption to his routine but, I know in time he too will ‘see’ all that he was missing with his face buried in that little square of bubbling lights, music, and sound.

If your reading this shaking your head – thinking ‘yes, this is my house’ then let this encourage you to make a change too. Join us and take the challenge; “putting family first, exploring more, and using tech less”.

If your reading this and patting yourself on the back because ‘your kids don’t use tech’ – humble yourself a bit and really ‘check’ do you have another vice that is holding you back from being the parent you were called to be? Reading? Television? Any ‘escape’ that carries your mind from the present situation…..change that and regain control of your most precious gift. Time!



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