Category Archives: DIY

Thankfulness Activity

Teaching Thankfulness- Thankfulness Garland Craft

I’m certain many parents have had that moment when they realize their children may not show much gratitude or thankfulness towards something or someone.

My moment was when my daughter sat in front of the TV screaming, “I want that! and that! and that for my Birfday!” over every single toy commercial. She did not comprehend that the toys she receives for her birthday are something given to her by others out of love, and she definitely didn’t care for them like they were something she was thankful for.

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Welcome to the New Blog- Now Let’s Have a Giveaway!

Giveaway

 

After blogging as a hobby for quite some time, I am excited  to announce that I have moved to  my new self-hosted blog!

I am so thankful for all of the positive feedback I have received in the last year, and I cannot wait to start this journey with Young Earthy Mama. You will be seeing plenty more urban homesteading and education posts, as well as a few great recipe posts!

I wanted to open my new site with a giveaway to thank all of my readers, and hopefully gather some new ones too! If you want to be updated about new posts, please don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar!

Don’t forget to like the Young Earthy Mama Facebook Page as well!

Good Luck!

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Ways To Reuse Your Melissa And Doug Trays

melissaanddougtrays

Our kids got a lot of Melissa and Doug gifts this year for Christmas. I have always loved the company, and I also really like the way they package their products. Many of the smaller toys (magnets, play food, etc.) come in these cute little shallow wooden boxes or trays.

I have always kept them, thinking I could find uses for them in some way or another. Well, yesterday I was cleaning the sea of toys we call the playroom, and realized I have a ton of those little boxes and we’re doing nothing with them. So, instead of tossing them in the trash, I brainstormed and compiled a short list of ideas!

To be honest, I feel silly because the list of things I can make the trays into are things I have wanted to do with my kids for a while! Yay!

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 1. “Tinker Trays”– You can set up all sorts of small pieces and items that kids can work with. They love sorting, organizing, and even creating patterns and art work. Meri Cherry has a lovely post about her “Tinker Trays” if you are interested in exploring this idea.

My oldest also loves to sort and collect pieces of “nature,” as he calls them. He collects lots of stones, acorns, leaves, etc. This is a great way to help them explore nature and understand what parts of nature are alike and different. You can encourage children to separate things by color, texture, shape, or just stand back and watch their little minds work.

This type of tray really gives the children to be creative and do what they want with it. It is definitely my favorite way to use old Melissa and Doug trays!

2. Sand Tray– This is something that works really well when teaching younger children to recognize and write the alphabet or sight words. You don’t have to use sand though, sugar or salt work just as well! I usually stick with salt, because I’m pretty sure my kids would figure out it was sugar and they would be licking it off the table in no time 😉

3. Drawer Organizer– Give one of the trays a little makeover and stick it in your junk drawer! You could also add some soft decorative fabric to create a nice spot to keep your jewelry.

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Save Money: Make Reusable Snack Bags!

I had a little fun this week after discovering this great reusable snack bag tutorial from Cotton Bottom Mama! This lovely woman has based her website around motherhood and finding ways to become more green and holistic. When I found her page, I knew it was just up my alley!

The tutorial was so simple, that I decided to give it a try (even though sewing is NOT a talent of mine). I was able to make reusable snack bags quickly, and easily….

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I followed the tutorial on Cotton Bottom Mama’s website, but I did choose to use a waterproof fabric for the inside rather than cotton. I also used the serger sewing machine that I use to make my reusable cloth baby wipes and paper towels. A serger is not something that is necessary to make these bags though, so check out the tutorial and give it a try!

**UPDATE**

I have washed and used these snack bags many times and they have held up GREAT! Even without a zip or velcro closure, they keep food fresh and it doesn’t spill out. I’ve made several more since this tutorial and my kids love all of the different patterns and prints.

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Simple Playdough Recipes

Since I am a mom of 2 littles, playdough is a pretty common thing in our home. I used to buy the expensive “Play-Doh,” until my mom gave me a couple of great simple playdough recipes. After making the first batch, I realized it was ridiculous I had spent so much money on the premade stuff. What is that stuff made of anyway?! It doesn’t even smell safe.

Now I make a healthier, safer alternative to store-bought Play-Doh that is safe for little ones.

Simple Play Dough Recipe

Homemade Playdough

Prep Time: 5 minutes.

Cook Time: 5 minutes.

Supplies

  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 Teaspoons Cream of Tartar
  • 1/3 Cup of Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • Food Coloring/ Natural Coloring
  • Knead in Essential Oil for smell if preferred, after it is cooked (I love adding peppermint and lavender!)

Mix everything together in a sauce pan. If you are going to add food coloring, add it in as well. Cook over low-medium heat while stirring. After several minutes of stirring, the playdough will suddenly thicken. Keep stirring until no liquid is left. Take the pan off of the stove and let cool for a few minutes. All you have to do after that is knead it so it becomes a smooth dough. Then it is ready for smooshing and mashing, and all of that fun stuff! When the kiddos are done playing, I always store it in a baggie in the refrigerator so it lasts longer.

My mom also had a Peanut Butter Playdough recipe in the back of her old recipe book. She used to make this stuff when I was very little. It’s pretty great because you don’t actually have to cook anything and it only takes a couple of ingredients.

Peanut Butter Playdough

Prep Time: 5 minutes.

Cook Time: 0 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Honey
  • 1 Cup Dry Milk Powder

Add all three ingredients together, and mix well until the playdough becomes the proper consistency. Store in a baggie in the refrigerator for future use. Easy peasy 🙂

Always remember that you have little helpers that will learn just as much from measuring and cooking their playdough with you, as they will playing with it once it’s finished!

I also have a Pinterest Board dedicated to Playdough Fun! All of the pins contain free printables  for playdough mats. Click here to check them out: Free Playdough Mat Printables. I haven’t invested in a laminator yet, so I just use cheap plastic page protectors, and they work to protect the paper perfectly.


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