Homemade, Non-toxic Play-dough Recipe

Store-bought Play-doh, which consists of a mystery list of ingredients and comes in individual little plastic containers, is more expensive than homemade. It’s easy to make a non-toxic version with a few common pantry items. I like to leave it white instead of coloring it, but below you’ll find how to use natural ingredients to color your play dough. If you roll it out, cut it into shapes, and bake them like cookies, you can even paint your creations. Try a batch today and see what your youngster thinks.

 

Edible Play-dough

 

Two Play-dough recipes

I found these recipes here.

Rubbery Play-dough

2 cups baking soda
1 1/2 cups water
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Natural Silhouette Easter Egg Dyeing

natural-easter-eggs.jpg

This eco-friendly craft can go from a simple twenty-minute project to a full-fledged artistic adventure lasting several hours.  The result is quite beautiful in either case.  My mother first made a batch of blown natural silhouette eggs with my sister and me when we were little.  She saw the article in Sunset Magazine two decades ago explaining how to silhouette leaves and ferns onto blown eggs using natural, homemade dyes. 

I envisioned myself with pots full of red cabbage bubbling and beautiful eggs emerging from the multicolored washes.  In fact, I flubbed this craft up quite a bit before I had success.  Hopefully you will learn from my un-Martha-like mistakes and have better luck.

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Last-minute Eco-friendly Valentine’s Day Creations

My daughter is attending her very first Valentine’s Day party today.  Ah–what is more romantic than a room full of toddlers exchanging cards and eating heart-shaped cookies?  The party hostess, Audrey’s daycare provider, gave us a list a couple weeks ago with the names of the children in attendance on Valentine’s Day.  Of course I immediately went to work making chocolate-covered cherries, composing personal poems for each child, and cutting out doilies and foil hearts.

All right, I didn’t really make candy or pen sonnets–how could I, when I left everything to the last possible moment?  I did manage to create my own last-minute Valentines rather than buying a box at the store.  A few days ago I saw a woman on television demonstrating how to make some easy eleventh-hour Valentines.  She threaded a tissue through a hole in a cut-out heart and wrote “Ah-cho-choose you” on the top.  I don’t know . . . unless I used 100% post-consumer recycled tissue, I just wouldn’t feel right about giving Audrey’s daycare friends this Valentine.  (Although, on second thought, who needs a tissue more than a little tyke in the dead of winter?)
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The Homemade Nursery: Eco-friendly Decorations for Baby’s Room

According to Denise and Alan Field’s Baby Bargains, the average American spends $1800 outfitting a nursery—that includes a crib, mattress, dresser, rocker, bedding, and décor.  I managed to spend just $245.  How did I do it?  Well, I did get a lot of stuff for free, thanks to the generosity of friends and family.  I also simply avoided buying all of the nursery “must-haves” on the market, such as a rocker.  My daughter’s room may not look like something you’d find in the pages of Architectural Digest, but it has a certain cozy appeal to it.

Homemade Nursery

Much of the eclectic charm comes from homemade creations.  My daughter received beautiful quilts and blankets from her grandmothers and great-grandmother.  They make great nursery decorations—I hung the quilt my cousin Lindsay made on the wall for all to admire.  My daughter will treasure all of these hand-sewn blankets as she grows up.  After all these years, I still have the baby blanket my grandma made for me when I was born.  Homemade items become keepsakes, making them greener than store-bought goods.
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