Playdough for Piper

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Confession: I'm a stay-at-home mom who is not very good at staying at home with a child and keeping her entertained and busy. I'm out of ideas when trying to interest Piper in doing things, and I'm thinking it's a little soon for this, considering that she's only sixteen months old.

This morning, I tried to remember some things I enjoyed when I was a little kid (as if I can remember back to 16 months). What about playdough? She loves playing with her hands and touch things and examining things. Why not?

Now, I am not a big fan of store-bought playdough, especially with a daughter who puts everything into her mouth. So I called my mom, who has a lovely little book called Mudworks, which she bought in anticipation of the arrival of her grandchildren. (You have NO idea how much stuff she has for the grandkids...)

She gave me the following recipe, which came out beautifully! Fun for Piper, fun for Dad, and fun for me to go work on photos while they play.

1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
2 Tbs oil

Mix ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over low heat until warm and thickened. Cool. Play.

This recipe was recommended for children ages 1+. It feels just like playdough without all the added colors and fragrances!

How about you? What ideas have you used (or plan to use) to entertain your toddlers? This uncreative mom would love some helpful suggestions!


Erin said...

Haa! Forget toys, they aren't nearly as interesting as *everything else* in the least according to Jon.
We did a big yogurt or oats container with a slit cut out in the top...and a bunch of metal juice lids. Kinda like putting big coins in a piggy bank; they make a nice clanking noise. Jon also loved containers and pots with spoons. And empty little boxes (like butter and tea boxes). He also loved nesting cups and old cell phones. He was also fascinated by batteries. Double A were his favorite. :-P My mom also made a book for me that was a bunch of index cards with cutouts from magazines...a rubber duck, a dog, etc. No words, just the pics. I loved it when I was little.

tupperhilary said...

Ditto to what Erin wrote. I had a paper bag full of empty plastic containers of all different sizes. Plus spools and other items to hide inside the containers. Kept my young ones busy for a long time. We spent a lot of time outside as well. Pine cone soup was so much fun to make.

Erin said...

I also remembered that Jon loved my old purses (much to Mark's chagrin...) with old driver's licenses, library cards, etc. And he liked any other sort of zippered containers with bunches of little thing he could put inside.

S. Mehrens said...

Awesome re: playdough. I had thought the child needed to be older, but it's nice to know it works for 16 month olds!

Lately Lauren's been into "cooking" -- so I put a small table (side table from the living room about right for her height) in the kitchen and let her use wooden spoons, rubber spatuals, plastic bowls and measuring cups. She has a blast, even though there's nothing in them. I also gave her a small jar (plastic) of rice that shakes and makes cool sounds.

Old purses full or random things are fun toys too. She tends to carry them around the house with her. Things like old calculators, toy keys, a handkerchief work great for stuffing in the purse.

Anonymous said...

Read lots of books and take lots of walks outside. :-) We also did "tea parties"--I'd heat up some warm milk and put it into a plastic kids' tea pot, and we'd sit together and "drink tea" with the tea set (I'd help the little ones pour), and sometimes have goodies or little snacks along with it. Baths were always a hit a my house, too--if the little ones got cranky, just put them in the bathtub and they'll play for hours; way past when the water gets cold!

dancebythelight said...

This is great! I haven't tried play dough yet with my guys, I'll have to try.

My boys LOVE going outside. I try to time going outdoors during their "fussy" part of the morning (i.e. when their old morning nap used to be, around 10 a.m.). They get nice and worn out before lunch and the afternoon nap! They also love balls right now. A wonderful thing about our local library is you can check out games/toys/puzzles! So that's a great thing. We also go to "Diaper Gang" at the library which is a toddler storytime. Love it!

dancebythelight said...

I made this for the boys the other day. THanks for the great recipe! The only thing was I got a phone call I had to take and while I was on the phone they threw little pieces of it all over the floor!

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