Natural Finger Paint
With an oober crafty tot it seems like A LOT of our time lately is spent at the craft store. To cut costs, I’ve been inventing ways to keep my little DIY-er occupied on a budget. This SUPER EASY RECIPE for homemade finger paint will provide you and your little one hours of fun, and chances are you already have all the ingredients on hand. Better still, you DON’T HAVE TO WORRY if your tot decides to taste his creations.
*Note: I made VERY bright colors and had no problems with staining. I did, just to be safe, let my tot get creative in the bathtub. It easily rinsed off with warm water.
Organic Food Coloring (Its plant derived vs. synthetic)
Small containers (baby food jars work GREAT)
Place 4-5 drops of food coloring in the bottom of your container. Add 1 tablespoon of hot water, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and GENTLY stir. Add 2-3 tablespoons of flour to each container and GENTLY stir again. You will have an OOBER thick paste. Begin adding a teaspoon of hot water, stirring in between each addition, until the mixture resembles finger paint (not too thick, not too thin).
You can store the leftovers (as if there will be any) for 1 week in the fridge. Just add a few drops of hot water to reconstitute the mixture.
Easter is fast approaching and it has been drawn to my attention that many of my girlfriends are completely INCOMPETENT! I kid, I kid. But seriously, there seems to be a few people out there that DO NOT KNOW HOW TO BOIL AN EGG.
No fear. I have the perfect, NO FAIL egg boiling “recipe” for you. Follow it precisely and you’ll have perfectly cooked boiled eggs before Peter Cottontail has a chance to make it to the end of your drive way.
How to Boil an Egg!
Ingredients (lol, seriously?) :
In a large pot, place the desired number of eggs gently in the bottom. Salt generously (about 1-2 tablespoons for stock pots). Cover with water and bring to a boil. As soon as the water begins to boil turn off the heat, cover the pot and set a timer for 13 minutes. Your boiled eggs will be PERFECTLY cooked when the timer goes off.
So, the only question is what to do with your 13 free minutes?
-take a shower
-walk the dog
-paint your nails
-prepare the egg dying kit
The options are endless!
Homemade Play Dough
There are two words one must whisper in our home. Shhh…say it with me. PLAY DOUGH. Ok, we’re good. He didn’t hear us. Seriously, he’s that addicted. He’s woken up (more than once) at 2am for a fix, screaming and pointing at the top shelf of his book case saying “dowwww- dowwww”. So, needless to say, we were more than peeved when a certain big box retailer, who can carry disposable diapers for tots, geriatrics and dogs, ran out!
I know, I know. Just go to another store, right!? Well, apparently the play dough truck hit Santa Claus or something because every store known to man WAS OUT OF FREAKING PLAY DOUGH! And its not like our tot has a normal 18 month old fixation with the stuff. No, he doesn’t squish it between his fingers, make silly shapes, or heck, even eat it. No, not our tot, bless his heart. Our tot smells it! Yep, he’s addicted to the smell of play dough. There, I said it. Judge me not. He gets his tiny little fingers on the plastic container, opens it up, shoves his entire nose down in to the dough and sniffs just as hard as he can. He’ll close the container up tight, so not to loose the smell, and say “mmm” with a big cheesy grin on his face. Oh, sometimes I wonder.
So, after trucking into town for a week straight to feed my son’s addiction only to be sorely disappointed by the supply, my BEST FRIEND sent me this recipe. I gotta say this is why she’s his God Mother, for when our tot’s a-Jonesen for the sweet smell of “dowwww”, its Aunt Emmie to the rescue!
prep/total time- 25 mins.
yield- 2 1/2 cups
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup salt
2 cups water
2 Tbsp. canola oil
food coloring of choice
In a large saucepan, combine the flour, cream of tartar and salt. Gradually add the water and oil. Cook and stir over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until a ball forms.
Cool. Divide dough and knead in colors as desired. Store in airtight container or resealable plastic bags.
Tot Sized Cleaning Kit
If your tot is anything like mine, 18 months brought about a new sense of independence, unlike anything we’ve experienced yet. So, rather than fight my tot about everything under the sun, I pick my battles and inspire him to become an independent thinker in all situations.
Chore time is no different. I noticed right away that he likes to “help”, so off to the dollar store I went. With a little imagination I put together a cleaning kit he can use that resembles mommy’s!
For about $4 I not only fostered his independence and creativity, I saved myself from a headache and my tot from numerous time-outs!
Find a tote he can carry, then consider filling it with:
- A mini dustpan and hand broom
- A lint roller (good for couches and chair cushions)
- A set of all-purpose microfiber towels
- A plastic shower squeegee and a spray bottle filled with scented water (add a drop or two of lemon or orange extract) for cleaning windows and glass doors
- A homemade “dust bunny” (draw a face with fabric marker on the toe of an anklet sock as shown, then follow the manufacturer’s directions for setting the ink)
Smelly Bin? Naturally Deodorize It!
Just like grandma used, plain white vinegar provides a great, natural way to disinfect and neutralize odors in baby’s room.
Add a cup to your diaper bin, swish it around, rinse and turn upside down to dry. You’ll eliminate those pesky odors in a snap.
Add 1/4 cup to a spray bottle, top with water. Use it around the house as you would your regular cleaners. You’ll feel good knowing baby isn’t crawling around in all those chemicals.
Pour a cup of baking soda down a clogged drain. Top with white vinegar for a natural approach to Drain-O.
The uses are limitless. White vinegar will save you time and money in your everyday cleaning.
Homemade Diaper Rash Ointment
1/2 cup sweet almond oil (you can also use olive oi)l
2-3 drops lavender oil
2-3 drops tea tree oil
4 Tablespoons water
Mix all the ingredients together well. Transfer to a jar or bottle to use for applying to baby to ease a red bottom or diaper rash. Be very careful not to double dip!
BabyLeggs Made Easy (and cheap!)
Is your baby longer than he is wide. Baby Legs are the answer, but at $12.00 a pair they add up quick. Check out this link for a simple, and I do mean SIMPLE, way to construct Baby Legs from a pair of cute socks. For around $2.00 you have a great pair of Baby Legs made to order for your kiddo!
Saving you time and money…
Homemade Baby Wipes
When I first decided to use cloth wipes I was bombarded with “specialty” “organic” “dye free” versions costing WAY more than purchasing regular manufactured wipes.
Here’s what I did. I found solid colored baby washcloths at a local discount store (which rhymes with Boss). I paid roughly $6 for 40. The washcloths were thin enough to fit in my warmer, which my little one LOVES!
To keep baby and washcloths fresh I use the following pre-soak:
Fill sink with water
2 Tablespoons of baby wash
2 Tablespoons of baby lotion
Soak for a few second and wring well
Like I said, I use a warmer so this system works well for me. After they are used, I throw them in the cloth diaper bin and run them through the wash with my cloth diapers.
Remember, Homemade is Bestmade and often saves you time and money.