Natural Playing & Crafting

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Natural Play

We have slowly and steadily been attempting to decrease the amount of traditional toys that the Bug has been playing with at home.  You know, your garden variety selection from Wal-Mart or Toys-R-Us.  I have been wanting to increase the toys that help her mimic appropriate adult behaviors (dolls, babies, kitchen play, etc.), connect her with God's creation and help her to develop her imagination.  We have been looking for ways to add to her "nature-based" toy collection (made with materials that were made by God) or educational toys, without spending more money on actual toys.  Her daddy has been crafting some toys for her (I will post on that a bit later) in his wood shop with materials he already has on hand.  I looked for a solution in the kitchen to make her some goodies to go with the things he has been making.

We joined forces as a family to create some fun "salt dough" objects for her to use in her Natural Play area.  It was great fun, lots of family crafting time and we spent our time and talents to bring a little bit of joy to the Bug.
Plain ole' salt dough recipe: 4 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 1 tsp. oil,  1 - 1 1/2 cups of warm water
Bake your salt dough at 200 degrees for 2 hours.

The girls had a good time mixing up the salt dough . . . perhaps a bit too much fun at times, as proof of all the flour that had to be swept up later.

 My husband took this pic to prove that I was having fun as well.  I do avow that I did not make as big a mess as my girls, Scout's honor.

Here is a picture of the end result.  A feast fit for a gnome, fairy or any one else who may be dining at the table of Bug's imagination.  

 Closer look.  Clockwise from top - Each place setting has a plate, bowl, fork, spoon and cup; super 3-layer "Dr. Seuss-like" cake; basket of veggies; French bread; chocolate cake with strawberries, vase with flowers, turkey with veggies; chocolate pie; cabbage and carrots; bowl of mashed potatoes and a blueberry pie!

 Here are some toadstools and trees that I crafted.  Mr. Mac had cut up a few logs for the Bug to use as trees, tables, chairs, etc.

We have almost finished our refashioning of the new Natural Play section of Bug's toys.  We are completing some final touches and I will post a bit later on how to create Natural Play on a "next to nothing" budget.

Until then . . . 

Happy Homeschooling!
Mrs. Mac says, "Welcome!"
Heather Mac

(a.k.a. Joyful Socks Mom) 

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