My sons and I attend Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) classes once a week during the school year. My boys have a great time, and I really enjoy “parent time” as well. ECFE classes are definitely worth every penny. I’ve learned so much and made new friends. My sons are learning things, making friends and having fun.
One of the things I’ve learned from ECFE is how to look at things with new eyes. So many times people get caught up in the thinking that all things fun must come from a toy store. I’ve learned to see new life in paper plates, coffee cans, and empty milk cartons.
I’ve also learned about new resources in the community – such as the Children’s Fair we went to a couple of weekends ago. My kids had a GREAT time at the carnival and they got loads of wonderful goodies – books, sunglasses, beach balls, toys… we’ll definitely go back next year.
Probably one of the most helpful things ECFE has taught me is how to keep my kids entertained on rainy days when there’s nothing to do and not a lot of money. The staff has happily shared with me their recipes and ideas for art projects.
I thought I would share a couple of the recipes they gave me. (Keep in mind: these are the recipes they use for their classes, so they do produce large quantities. If you don’t have a lot of kids, you may want to reduce the recipes.)
Homemade Play Dough
3 cups flour
1-1/2 cups salt
1/4 cup oil
3 cups water
3 tbs Cream of Tartar
food coloring/Kool Aid
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Set aside. Heat water to boil, food coloring and oil. Carefully pour boiling water into dry ingredients, stir. As mixture becomes cool enough to touch, mix with hands. Turn out onto counter and continue kneading until all ingredients have been mixed through. Store in an air-tight baggie. Will keep for quite awhile. When play dough starts to crumble, make a new batch.
1/3 dish soap or baby shampoo
1-1/4 cup water
drop of food coloring (optional)
2 tsp of sugar
Combine ingredients and pour into an unbreakable bottle. To blow bubbles, experiment using plastic straws, pipe cleaners formed into loops, strawberry baskets from the grocery store, slotted spoons or any other items you can think of.