October 16, 2011

Fantastic Homemade Play Dough!

Homemade play dough by <span class=
Homemade play dough, a photo by FrankenberrysKiss on Flickr.

I was teaching a small group of students in September and my program was primarily sensory based therefore play dough play was a daily event in our space. A few of the kids couldn't stop themselves from eating the yummy looking materials and although Playdoh is considered non-toxic I have read that there is petroleum in it which is just nasty and it is definitely not for those with gluten allergies so I went on the hunt for Gluten Free Play Dough recipes.

Google turns up a million possible recipes but I also read a load of posts from people complaining about gritty, stinky, sticky results so I spent a good deal of time reading reviews before settling on the first recipe I'm going to share with you. Super easy to make and the finished product is comparable to 'real' Play doh without the nasty smell.

Gluten Free Playdough
Recipe snagged from THIS site
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 cup hot water
1 tsp. cooking oil
food coloring

1. Mix all ingredients together in a pot, cook on low heat, stirring occasionally for at least 5 minutes or until it forms a ball.

2. Remove from heat, let cool for 10 minutes.

3. Scoop into a large bowl, add at least 1/2 cup more rice flour, and 1/2 cup more corn starch, knead until well mixed and no longer sticky. Store in airtight container.

Rice flour is a little pricey and I'm cheap so I hunted further for recipe that wasn't gluten free. I found a blog called Robin's Song and the author shares an awesome recipe there. I made a batch of her dough for the Rockstar yesterday and it turned out really well - not at all sticky or stinky. My only word of advice would be to split the batch up once you've mixed all the ingredients together so that you can make various colours. I was a bonehead and added the colour to the whole batch which left me with an insane amount of blue play dough. Whoops! Looks like the Rockstar will be arriving at daycare with the gift of a big ass ball of blue dough tomorrow.

Homemade Playdough

Recipe snagged from THIS site

3 cups Flour
1 1/2 cups Salt
3 cups Water
2 TB vegetable oil
1 TB Cream of Tartar
Food coloring or unsweetened Kool-Aid pkg for color.

1. In a large saucepan mix all ingredients together

2. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan and gets too thick to stir (about 10-15 minutes).

4. Remove from heat and let cool until it can be handled.

5. Place on counter or wax paper and knead several times until smooth. Store in an air-tight container.

I will never purchase Play doh for my child now that I know how easy it is to make non-toxic, non-stinky dough myself.
AWESOME! Love this recipe and will use it again and again.

October 15, 2011

A Reason to Celebrate the Number ONE

Alright so it was almost 4 months ago now but our Rockstar turned ONE on June 24th!! What a strange feeling to look at him asleep in his crib that morning and think that a year earlier we were in the hospital staring at this little man for the first time.

We had cupcakes for breakfast. Yum!

He really wasn't a huge fan of the chocolate cupcake but he did try a little (his first taste of chocolate) and made a minor mess. Mike took the day off work and we spent the day playing, the Rockstar's grandparents all popped over to with him a happy day and of course he ate his favourite foods and watched an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba.

We went to African Lion's Safari the following day; it was the first time for both the Rockstar and his Daddy and we had a great time!!

Daddy's first time carrying The Rockstar in the carrier
I think they were both pretty comfortable with this arrangement. :)

We threw a first birthday party for the wee man in July. Immediate family and a few close friends made up the guest list; the kids played in the kiddie pool and had a blast on The Rockstar's roller coaster while the adults roasted in the afternoon heat. Despite the crazy heat I think everyone had a good time; I know the Birthday Boy and his parents did! I'll share more details around the party in another post.

The Rockstar's 12th month (June) was really an awesome month. We took our first solo trip to visit my girlfriend Cara and her family - just the Rockstar and I on a 5 hour flight - I was a bit nervous but he was a stellar traveler. We had an amazing time out West, we spent loads of quality time with Cara and Rosie which is rarely possible due to the distance obviously but also the many obligations Cara and Herwig have when they come home to visit. I wish I could afford to travel to Van every year for a few days to catch up...maybe one day!

Mike was happy we were able to get away but obviously disappointed he wasn't able to join us; we missed him!! I purposely did not encourage the Rockstar to work on standing skills while we were away, I didn't let his hand go AT ALL when he was standing in open spaces for fear of him standing on his own and Mike missing it. Clearly my tactic worked!! When we returned home following our trip he showed off immediately by standing independently for about 20 seconds!! A few stumbling steps happened in June as well, and of course that was super exciting!

I still can't believe we have celebrated our son's first birthday. He is now going to experience all of the special holidays a second time which is crazy to me. It blows me away to think of how much he has changed in the last year and I cannot even begin to imagine what changes will take place this year. Of course I'm not going to worry too much about it, I'll just continue to do what has been working well so far: live in the moment and enjoy every second of our time together as a family

Happy Belated First Birthday, Baby Boy!! Mommy & Daddy love you to the moon and back, times infinity. xoxoxo

A late 11 month update!

May was the great sleepover month!! The Rockstar had his first sleep over at Granny and Grandad's and another at Grams and Papa's house; of course he slept through the night. Tooth number five arrived this month! Lots of gross motor development: sitting up for the first time with no help, standing without support for about seven seconds, standing up in his crib using the rails for support!! So awesome!

This month The Rockstar started signing "finished" and "bath" independently!! After dinner he would sign "finished" followed by "bath" and then point upstairs. "Cute" doesn't cut it, this kid is ridiculously adorable and of course brilliant!

I love the baby signing, it gives little peanuts some control over their world. I think so much of infant/toddler frustration comes from the inability to clearly communicate (both receptively and expressively) and signing takes some of this frustration away. Our Rockstar is big on pointing and it is super helpful, he still points a lot at almost 16 months but he started early and it has saved us many moments of stress.

Month 11 meant the introduction of one of the Rockstar's favourite foods: strawberries! He still can't get enough of his berries.

It's funny, my crazy monkey is almost 16 months old now, he's such a big boy now I can barely remember May - it's hard to picture him at a point when he was unable to get himself to a sitting position or stand all by himself. You've read it a trillion times and will read it a trillion more: time flies when you have kids. I thought it moved quickly before but had no idea how fast it could really fly by.

Happy Belated 11 months, Sweet Boy!!

Still kickin'

I keep popping over here thinking about how I really should get back to blogging, and then one of 8 million other tasks pop into my head and I don't post anything. I miss leisurely reading my favourite blogs and I miss posting bits too so here's my umpteenth attempt at returning to it.

I have to apologize to my little Rockstar for missing his 11 and 12 month posts. He's almost 16 months old now and I had hoped to at least keep up with my monthly updates for his first year!! I'll to post a quick run down of months 11 and 12 now so that they have been taken care of. Thankfully I was still writing updates on the calendar then... I've bombed on that job recently as well. Whoops!

Here goes...