Tag Archives | home made play dough

Supporting Local Is Vital To Our Future

I’m noticing an exciting movement brewing and it really became apparent watching the social media mediums talking about Earth Day this year. There’s been a big shift to simplify purchases and reduce our insatiable appetite as consumers. The movement to drastically reduce what we are spending combined with saving our money for quality and locally produced items will be a huge difference in the North America economy in 2010. When you are shopping – are you asking where things are made?  Is this influencing your decision?

Many parents are putting a big focus on re-using what they already have. If you resist the urge to go out and purchase items you think are needed – you’ll always be surprised what you can make do with at home. I found it so interesting reading moms posting on Twitter wondering why to celebrate Earth Day this year they needed to go out and purchase a gift for the planet? A great question and hopefully not the message parents were getting from the media this Earth Day. Even though I’m a proud owner of a green business, I’m hoping it was the message for families to re-connect with nature and eco-activities that made Earth Day celebrations truly special this year. When talking about North America’s problem with over-consumption – even greener options – would not have been the true message of Earth Day this year.

Back to the topic of supporting local.  For years we’ve now listened to the words ‘reducing your footprint’ ‘smaller footprint’ and this no longer only means recycling.  To me, these words truly mean better decisions, asking questions, and supporting local whenever possible; from the food we eat, to the everyday items we use.  I have stopped saying “but everything is made in China!” Why?  Because it’s simply not true.  We simply gravitate to all the choices from China because they are the cheapest.  When I am buying something that is made overseas – it’s not because I can’t find it….it’s because I want that low price. The only thing that will help this problem is supply and demand. The more people that join together to support our local businesses – the cost for these quality items will go down. You can ask Europeans what the cost is for their lovely wooden toys.  It’s not what we pay here because these items that are known for quality and safety, need to be transported which costs money. I find it impossible to believe we can’t find the same things here and support a local farmer or artisan that is gifted with quality craftsmanship, etc.

It’s sad to think that our economic struggles in North America could be lessoned if we followed what all other countries do – support our own manufacturers. Network within your own group of friends or social media forums and ask who around you can sew, make quality items from wood, or where you can purchase food locally. Following a path of purchasing less and reusing what we have, then following a blueprint as a consumer of quality, sustainable, locally made items that can be recycled or are made from recycled materials will change the way we shop this year. I’m excited for Earth Day 2011 because  I think these concepts will truly be understood and followed by parents.

Please share your actions that help make everyday decisions more earth friendly. Here are a few fun ways to talk to children about reusing household items and reducing purchases that might not be required. Examples include:

Making home made play dough. Did you know that traditional play dough containers are not recyclable and the quality of the play dough cannot compare (or last as long) as the home made version?

Don’t throw away your broken crayons – save them for a rainy day project of melting them down and making new crayons to use.

Understanding that children simply don’t need buckets of new clothing that is made overseas, printed with traditional inks and materials. It honestly feels better to purchase less, spend more, and support a local “made in North America’ clothing store.

Similar Articles:

Earth Day 2010 ~ How Will You Celebrate

Mommy Eco-Tee

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Clementine Art – Naturally Artistic

A New Spin On A Classic Toy – Building Blocks

** Badger sunscreen contest note **  The winner Jen has been contacted and the contest is closed.  Thanks to everyone that completed the referral form or posted a comment to the Mommy Footprint fan page!

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Celebrate Your Little Girl’s Love For Fairies – Make A Toadstool!

While at our Ecology Centre today, I noticed their adorable mushroom stool / toadstool inspired chairs for little kids to pull over to the craft table.  As I was moving the toadstools I noticed they were custom made, very earthy as the bark was still on the base of the wood.  They were so adorable I got to thinking how I could have these made for my girls who are already big fairy fans.  The stools were so unique and nature inspired – you almost expected to see a little gnome or fairy lurking nearby.

Fairies are very popular with young girls right now.  I believe Disney is releasing a big ‘Disney Fairy’ movie this Fall and the less commercialized, nature loving butterfly girls ‘The Little Humbugs’ are gaining serious momentum.  Celebrate your child’s love for fairies by making her a custom toadstool for her room or play area.  We know how expensive room decor is for children’s spaces, save money and create it yourself!  I found the video and instructions on Martha Stewart and they don’t look all that hard to make.  We know from my trials making home made play dough, I’m not a naturally crafty person….but I think I can do this!  Before I list the instructions…check out the picture of the finished toadstool from Martha’s site.  You could buy felt to match the colors of your child’s room – these are just SO cute!

  

Source: Martha Stewart site

Materials: Continue Reading →

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The Perfect Home Made Play Dough Recipe!

Finally, I’ve found a play dough recipe that works!  Not only works, but makes amazing, easy, great quality play dough.  It really is true that once you find the perfect play dough recipe – you can make a product better than you’ll buy at the store.  I was starting to doubt my ability to pull off this great culinary feat. Even the priest that married me made light of my ‘skills’ in the kitchen.  It’s no secret I can’t bake and struggle with cooking.  So when my first 2 batches of play dough failed last month, I had decided that making your own play dough from scratch was an urban myth…one of those things only a super mom can do.  But – I’ve conquered the recipe and not only is it easy, but guaranteed you’ll have 90% of the ingredients already kicking around your pantry.  Play dough isn’t cheap to buy so you’ll save money and also help the environment because store bought play dough containers don’t have recycling resin codes.

Okay…before the recipe reveal I’d like to admit that the first two times I tried making play dough I wasn’t aware that the ingredient ‘cream of tartar’ was a baking item (looks like salt that you buy in the spice isle).  I thought they were asking you to add tarter sauce – the creamy kind that goes on fish and chips.  Just in case there are people with my cooking skills out there….these products are totally different and is probably the reason my other batches stayed wet and never gelled.  I know, who thought it could be this hard?  <smile>

Play Dough Recipe:

1 cup white flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoon cream of tartar (find it in the spice section)
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup water
food coloring

Mix first 4 ingredients in a pan. Add water and mix well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 3 – 5 minutes. Dough will become difficult to stir and form a “clump”.  Remove from stove and knead for 5 minutes–add food coloring during kneading process. Play dough will keep for a long time stored in a covered plastic container or plastic sandwich bag.

This amount of play dough this recipe produced was perfect.  Each of my 4 kids received a huge clump of play dough, so there was lots to share.  Also, a great tip with Fall around the corner – add cinnamon to the dry ingredients (as much as you want until you get the right scent).  It produces a magical smell that transports you to a world of pumpkin patches, colored leaves, and windy days.

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