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Gluten-Free Mom Life: Playdough Update

In Gluten-Free Motherhood by HaT0 Comments

 In my last playdough post, we chatted about how I love the idea of having playdough that’s fun for my little one and totally stress free (aka, gluten free) for me. Since then, I tried the new playdough recipe that I mentioned from Fun at Home with Kids. And now I’m back with my report.

First Try: Cooked GF Playdough

As a quick summary, our first homemade gluten-free playdough experiment (recipe here from Wellness Mama) was a mixed success. We were able to cook the dough, but it turned out to be a longer and stickier process than anticipated. The finished dough was usable, but it was a little hard to mold for tiny fingers, and it probably wouldn’t have worked with traditional playdough tools. Our son had fun with it, but he moved on after a few minutes of play. I probably spent more time making the playdough and scrubbing out the pan than he did enjoying it. We saved it for another day, but I’m not sure he ever actually played with it again for more than a couple of minutes.

Second Try: No-Cook GF Playdough

Our experiment with the edible no-cook playdough (recipe) was a totally different story. We followed the recipe exactly the first time (1 cup baby rice cereal, 1 cup cornstarch, 1/2 cup applesauce, 3 tablespoons vegetable oil). For some reason, our batch turned out super oily. We added a little cornstarch to see if that would help (I’m not sure it did). Despite the oil, our son had a lot of fun. The consistency was much more workable for his small hands. The next day, the playdough was rock hard, and I wasn’t able to restore it by working it with a little water (as the original post suggests).

Third Try: Adapted No-Cook GF Playdough (WIN!)

For Christmas, our little one got an awesome playdough tools set, so of course we made another batch of the no-cook playdough. This time, I started with just 1 tablespoon of oil. That wasn’t quite enough, so I added a little extra applesauce and another 1/2 tablespoon of oil. The consistency was amazing, and this time we didn’t end up with a super oily table or hands. I think this batch got three hours of almost uninterrupted playtime. It worked perfectly with our new tool set! The playdough was rock hard again on the second day, but this time I was able to salvage the dough by working it with a little water. It’s easier to do in small increments or with the help of a ziploc bag that holds everything more or less together.

Since then we’ve made playdough one more time, following our adapted recipe (1 cup baby rice cereal, one cup cornstarch, 1/2 cup applesauce+more as needed, 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil). It’s super easier to dump everything in a bowl and just knead it together with bare hands. I really like the approach of starting with less oil and working up to the right consistency. It doesn’t give me an exact recipe to share, but it means you could make your own great product even with differences in humidity or altitude. I’m not sure why, but this batch of playdough was still soft and usable the next morning. GF miracle!!

 

Someday I’d love to find a gluten-free playdough recipe that’s cheap and easy to make but also saves really well. For now though, I’m really happy with our adaption of the no-cook recipe. It’s perfect for these freezing, icy winter days we’ve been having when it’s hard to go out and play.

Happy playing!

 

P.S. We didn’t eat any of the playdough 😉

Gluten-Free Mom Life: Playdough

In Gluten-Free Motherhood by HaT0 Comments

Playdough is awesome for keeping little hands busy and developing motor skills and strength. As a mom with celiac disease, I’ve kept my distance from wheat-containing name brands like Play-Doh. Because when you have a little one who loves to cuddle up and spontaneously touches your face and actually says things like, “Can I put my finger in your mouth?,” having home be a gluten-free safe zone is essential for maintaining sanity. When I’m not on red alert about keeping myself safe from gluten contamination, I have a lot more patience for everyday parenting.Read More

Red Checkered Reads: How Groundhog’s Garden Grew

In Red Checkered Reads by HaT0 Comments

Hello all, Taft here. Even before Heidi’s diet changed, we both knew that we enjoyed gardening and the idea of a “bountiful harvest” of healthy foods. (That’s a nice phrase, “bountiful harvest.” I should use it more often.) We also knew that we wanted our kids to enjoy the outdoors, and to learn to grow things.

While our gardening efforts are minimal right now—mostly because of very little space to, you know, garden—we’re still reading. A lot. Like, a LOT. Seriously, how much can one little boy read?! We’re pretty sure our local library has a holds shelf dedicated to our family…

One of our latest and favorite library book finds is How Groundhog’s Garden Grew, by Lynne Cherry.

Ms. Cherry does a great job of explaining gardening concepts, without sounding like a textbook. Her story manages to take gardening and make it accessible and enjoyable for kids. At least, it does for our little guy. She’s also done a great job illustrating, with plants shown at each stage of growth. 

If you’ve got a young friend who likes gardening, animals, bugs, or plants, this book has something to offer them. Buy it on Amazon, or check it out today from your local library. Unless the only copy is still checked out, in which case…we’re probably to blame.