Sunday, March 29, 2009

welcome spring

This time of year my kids and I are having a hard time waiting for spring to arrive. Although there is still snow outside, it is starting to look like spring inside.



My kids have been helping me start seeds inside. We have flowers, herbs and vegetables. They love to fill the pots with dirt and planting the tiny seeds. It is very interesting for the kids to compare the different seeds. Some are huge and others tiny. My six year old liked the ones that were "spikey and looked like germs."

It has been been a great learning experience watching the plants sprout. Each plant's sprout is so different. My boys love to water them. We've found it helpful (and fun) to mist the seeds. They can spray as long as they want without overwatering the little sprouts.

In a few weeks we will take the plants outside and plant them in our garden. Imagine all the fun we'll have digging holes for all those plants!

Happy Spring!

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dishwasher Detergent

If you are like us, you wash more dishes than you care to think about. Even with the help of the dishwasher it can still be a monstrous task. And with it comes the cost of buying all that detergent - it can really add up! So we were inspired to find a recipe for our own, homemade dishwasher detergent that would cut the cost to a minimum while still getting the job done. There were quite a few recipes that we found, but this one (from www.stretcher.com) seems to work great - at a fraction of the cost of commercial brands!

Mix together equal parts Borax and Baking Soda in an empty canister. Pour vinegar into the rinse agent dispenser in your dishwasher. This is important because the Borax definitely needs some extra help getting rinsed off, and vinegar is a super-cheap and effective way to do it! Scoop 1 Tbsp. into each side of your dishwasher's soap dispenser. Run your machine as you normally would!

You'll be surprised at how great this works and how cheap it is!
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Playdough


This recipe has been past down to us from our aunt, and has been a favorite of many preschool teachers. We make it all the time - even the kids love to help! This recipe can be doubled or even tripled, but any more than that gets tricky.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 Tbsp. oil
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 cup water
food coloring

Mix all of the ingredients together in pot (nonstick if you have it). Cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently until it forms a ball. Turn out onto counter, let cool, then knead a few times. You can mix food coloring in before or after you cook it. It keeps best in refrigerator.

Some add-ins include:
  • glitter
  • cinnamon
  • different extracts (vanilla, peppermint, etc.)
  • sugar-free drink mix packets
The possibilities are endless!
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