recipes for play {homeschool craft ideas}

“dear mess,” the book begins, “why are we not better friends?”  and so my heart is warmed, and i’m invited to play with my littlest.  to dive once more (years into parenting teens and working at a more orderly home) in to the sweet times of play dough and finger paint.  the book recipes for play* by rachel sumner and ruth mitchener is full of homeschool craft ideas.


salt dough recipe d


as we dive into a cross country move (well, it’s more “up” than “across”), we look forward to slowing down, to playing more.  to structuring formal school around hearts and gifts and callings.  so when the publishers offered me this book to review, the timing was perfect.


salt dough recipe a


“creative play provides the foundation that learning is built on.  while great joy comes from play, great learning comes, too.”  i believe this – i do.  so why do i so easily fall into the rut of “sit down and do your worksheet” and ignore the sweet memories of marching ’round the room with made-up Bible-verse-songs and stacking blocks till they tumble?  so i dive into the book Recipes for Play, determined to resurrect the heart of a mom-of-littles, and get my hands dirty with my youngest.  i’m betting the big ones will join us.


salt dough recipe f


i love the authors’ introduction, encouraging us to engage all five senses in learning, and indeed, enticing us as parents to not just survive, but to thrive ourselves in the act of (intentional) messy play.  “engaged children are happy, connected children,” she asserts, “and happy children are a lot easier to parent!”  while of course my goal goes way beyond raising happy children, i know that my Papa has been calling me to engage them more deeply, and to not fall into the rut of engaging those who are intellectually “easier” to engage as they grow older, but to keep part of my heart and mind engaged in playfulness with both the littles and the big kids.

salt dough recipe c


“although it is aimed at pre-schoolers, Recipes for Play is designed to be compatible with the differing interests and abilities of siblings and friends.”  as a mom of multiple ages of children, and one who passionately promotes their being each other’s best friends, i embrace this vision of the authors’.


salt dough recipe b

oh, those precious little-boy fingers.

creative play shouldn’t be difficult, or dangerous.  i love that there’s consideration for allergy-free play, for non-toxic creating and clean-up, and for simple recipes without expensive or difficult-to-find ingredients.


salt dough recipe e


projects are ranked with set-up time, clean-up time, and mess factor.  love this – makes for no-thought planning.  vital when parenting and teaching five.  🙂


we received this book as a digital review copy, and i’m happy to share the information with you.  if you’d like to purchase a copy through this affiliate link, we receive a small portion of the proceeds, which helps us keep writing and playing.


disclaimer acs web copy

this, our first “messy” project with littles in a while (sadly, sometimes things get more “practical” when they get older), was a somewhat-messy tactile and joyful meandering back into the world of giddy playfulness with my littlest.  i can’t wait for our next one.


dancing divider webb



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