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on January 24, 2016
Great book for the kiddos.
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on November 23, 2013
All I can say is love it love it love it! Great for both parents and teachers who are on a budget or are looking to use earth friendly ingredients in their children's art work.
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on May 3, 2015
Fun book! Easy and makes the kids happy!
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on August 30, 2007
This book has been a great help to me as a stay at home mom of a toddler!! Great ideas to keep her busy when the weather is too hot to get outside(or as winter approaches too cold!). I love the ideas and my daughter has loved the varied activities in her "art" time!
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on May 28, 2009
This book contained so many excellent paint, playdough and clay ideas that you can make yourself. My preschool class loved them! It was fun to introduce new textures and sensory experiments to them! It was both a learning and playful experience!
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on April 28, 2008
to my daughter with the four kids. Can't say she'll ever have time to look into it but she surely buys enough of the real stuff that she should. Can't say that I've looked into it myself.
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VINE VOICEon August 3, 2007
I have to assume that this book is very good. I bought it for someone else and had it sent directly to them. They specifically asked for it by name and author.
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on March 8, 2007
Every parent, teacher, childcare provider, and scout leader should have this budget friendly book. The variety of recipes, science experiments, and resourceful materials presented are valuable for expanding a child's education. Using just about everything a person already has in his/her kitchen, creative materials can be formed with little cost. It includes over 100 recipes, and presents ideas for every season of the year.

I recommend buying this book, not just to have fun with your children, but for the knowledge they will gain, homemade gift ideas, holiday decorations, and the many other educational teaching elements it provides. You will find simple, but affordable gift ideas for children to make, discovery table suggestions, and many experiments. Each chapter of the book lists what children can learn and accomplish. Whether your child needs help learning measurements, hand-eye coordination, or learning science, you'll find this book to offer it all. The recipes and activities offer instructive and physical advantages for children, and teach them, as well as parents, about ways to recycle.

The Author has worked with young children for over ten years, and the quality of her experience in this book is evident. She understands that family resources are difficult to manage and still afford the extras, while providing an educational and fun activity for kids.

Kristina N. is a thrifty stay-at-home mother of six children, and home schools her preschooler. She does freelance writing in her spare time.
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on February 21, 2012
Very first recipe:

1/3 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons talcum powder
3 tablespoons liquid dish soap
2-3 drops food coloring.

Ask yourself how 1/3 cup cornstarch is supposed to make a stable gelatinous matrix in 1 1/2 cups water.

It doesn't. Neither the talcum powder nor the liquid dish soap are going to help. What you will get is basically sticky, foamy white gravy. It's like foamy glue. Think about it--cooked water and cornstarch (roughly gooey gravy) mixed with dish soap and a little talcum powder. It's possible that the author cooked it down so much that the ratio of cornstarch to water was much higher than mine, but it just says "comes to a boil and thickens". I let it cook as long as I dared. That wouldn't make much sense anyway; in that case just start with much less water.

I kept expecting some sort of chemical miracle to happen. I can't think of any obvious way to fix this, short of more cornstarch. Also, I would suggest adding oil instead of dish soap. Otherwise, this stuff is about as manipulable as pancake batter. Maybe the dish soap is preservative or to keep it from drying out, but salt would work better for the former purpose and oil better for the latter. And oil would make it non-sticky.

My guess is that there's a typo, or a step missing, or expectations regarding what this was supposed to be (it's not 'playdough') set wrong.

I added some oil and a lot more cornstarch to salvage the project as best I could. However, after playing with the dough, I found that our hands were coated in dish soap. I suppose that kids aren't going to ingest enough to hurt them but I wonder at the wisdom of this.

My guess is that nobody on the publishing staff bothered to test these instructions out, or proof-read them. Notice that several reviewers gave the book a 5-star rating despite apparently not having actually done any of the projects.

Maybe some of the other recipes work better, but after the sticky mess this made, and all the time it took to try to salvage it (about an hour), I feel once burned twice shy.

There are other problems, such as questionable advice such as telling a child "That is very smart of you to add a sun to the sky". Encouragement is good but it's better to praise what the child is doing instead of the child ("I like how you added a sun to the sky"). Children who are constantly told that they are smart tend to be underperformers later on, because they try to live up to the self-image and "protect" it by not trying very hard. It's a well-known phenomenon documented in any of several books, and experience bears it out.

You can find similar recipes on the internet, that probably actually work, and they come without the questionable attitudinal advice.
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on October 11, 2007
I think this book is wonderful! If you have any of the "how to make and do things" type of books some of these recipes might be included but to see them all laid out in order with recipes for different things is very nice! Plus most of the recipes all share common ingredients so you don't need to buy a lot of hard to find stuff for each project.

The way this book is laid out,with one recipe per page and large print,is very easy for children to read.My daughter really enjoyed being able to read the list and help mix up the ingredients.We especially liked the gloop and glop recipes for making slime.

If you work at a school or daycare or if your kids go through paint and playdough like it is going out of style,I highly reccomend this book to cut supply cost because whipping up large batches of supplies will save you lots of money and if you get the kids involved is an awesome learning experience!
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