Friday, January 27, 2012

Creative Play

Punky Brewster and I went out to lunch recently. For a special treat, we did the drive-thru and she was able to get a kids meal. She was so excited to get the toy...until she pulled it out of the bag. After carefully examining it, she frowned at the toy that only did one thing.

"Mama, next time can we go to Burger King? They have crowns and then I can play with my imagination."

It was one of those moments where I had to smile at her disappointment.

I did something right as a mom. My child would rather play with a paper crown than a piece of plastic.

We've never done electronic toys at our house. With The Boy's sensitivities to noise, beeping, flashing and other loud toys have always been completely out of the question.

Whenever we get a larger brown box,  the kids go nuts for it. Even the tweens! Suddenly it's a family project to decorate the box into the next great rocket ship, boat, robot taking over the world...or even a TARDIS. Hours of fun out of one box. It's parental bliss.

I'm still working on my project for the impossibilities challenge. It looks like my girls' imaginations are taking the project in an additional direction: Giving them a colorful stage for puppet shows!

I certainly don't mind seeing a zillion puppet shows a day. I may end up putting furniture disks under the beast while it's put away so the girls can move it out for more playtime. I'm a bit disappointed in myself for seeing this project as a one trick pony. Leave it to little girls to find the best use for this!

Lately, the little girls have been on a playdough kick. By the end of a week of play, the once pretty playdough colors are all into one giant blob of purple or green. I'm not sure why those are the only two colors we ever seem to end up with. I'm going to try to steer the coloring to end up with a blob of orange next time. Just for something different.

Making playdough is super easy. I used Leelee's gel food coloring to get a really deep color. One batch makes enough to fill three playdough jars. Not bad for just a few pennies! Many recipes call for cream of tartar. If you're like me,  you think you have it and you don't. Did you know the difference between baking soda and baking powder is the addition of cream of tartar into baking soda? That means you can substitute baking soda into the playdough recipe.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon oil
2 T baking soda
Food coloring by drops or gel

1. Combine all ingredients in a pan and stir.  Cook over low heat, stirring until a ball forms.
2. Add food coloring and mix thoroughly until desired color.
3. Cool.  Store in covered container.


  1. baking powder is baking soda, cornstarch and cream of tartar. though the cornstarch is just there to prevent clumping.

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