Recipes: Playdough, Finger Paint and More

Recipes: Playdough, Finger Paint and More

Fall is the perfect time to cozy up at home. With shorter days and cooler weather, gathering in the kitchen to mix up some home-made art materials can be just the thing to make a darkening afternoon or rainy weekend day into a special time for child and parent alike. Here are some of our favorite recipes for playdough, finger painting and a cool color mixing experience. Homemade Play Dough Ingredients 3 cups flour 1.5 cups salt 6 tsp. cream of tartar 3 tbsp. oil 3 cups water Directions: Pour all ingredients into a large pot. Stir constantly over medium heat until a dough ball forms by pulling away from the sides. Knead dough until the texture matches play dough (1-2 minutes). Add food coloring. Store in plastic container. Should last for at least 3 months. Finger Paint Recipe Ingredients 2 tablespoons sugar 1/3 cup cornstarch 2 cups cold water 1/4 cup clear liquid dish soap food coloring or food coloring paste Directions: Mix together sugar and cornstarch in a small pan, then slowly add cold water. Cook over low heat, stirring until the mixture becomes a smooth; almost clear gel about 5 minutes. When it’s cool, stir in clear dishwashing liquid. Scoop equal amounts of the mixture into containers and stir in food coloring or, for even more vibrant colors, use food-coloring paste.   Color Mixing This is a great color mixing/sensorial activity for all ages. Squeeze two primary colors into a large ziplock bag. Tape the bag securely onto a low window or glass door. Your child can explore the results of mixing the paint together by running their hands over the outside of the bag.  ...

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An Introduction to Maria Montessori for Children

An Introduction to Maria Montessori for Children

Our School Director, Michelle Vogel, tells this story to children at our Peace Pole Ceremony in October. Each year, we gather on United Nations Day to rededicate our Peace Poles at the Children’s House and the Toddler House. A long, long, long time ago, before your parents were born and even before your grandparents were born, a little girl was born in a small town in Italy. Her name was Maria Montessori. When Maria was a little girl, she enjoyed going to school and knew at a very young age that she wanted to learn to be a doctor. Her father told her she could not. He told her that only boys could be doctors and that she would have to be a teacher or a nurse. But Maria did not want to be a teacher! She did not think it was fair that only boys could be doctors and decided she was going to study to be a doctor. Often Maria had to study alone because she could not work with the boys, but she did not mind. Maria studied very hard and became the first woman doctor in Italy! Her fist job after getting her degree was to work in a hospital with sick children. When she got there she noticed that the rooms looked very sad. They did not have any pictures on the walls or pets or plants around the room. She noticed the children did not have any toys to play with or books to read. Maria Montessori did not think the children were very happy. She decided to make their rooms attractive and made the children some toys. One of the works she made them was the Pink Tower. They liked to build with it. She continued making them materials like the knobbed cylinders and the Broad Stair. Maria and the other doctors at the hospital noticed the children getting better quicker and that they were learning easier. Soon after, Maria Montessori was asked to teach some children in an apartment building in a very poor part of Italy. Maria decided to take on the challenge even though she didn’t really want to be a teacher. She wondered if she used the toys that she made for the children in the hospital if these children would also learn quicker. Maria Montessori noticed the children loved working with the materials and kept making more. People from all over came to see the children working at Montessori’s school. They were impressed by how busy the children were working all by themselves and how much their learning had advanced. Maria Montessori noticed the children helping each other to learn. She noticed they were kind to each...

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