Some of our Best of the Best Recipes for Children’s Play

Ooey Gooey

  • liquid starch (found in the grocery store laundry aisle)
  • school glue (such as Elmer’s white glue)
  • liquid food coloring, ambulance if desired

Mix equal parts liquid starch and glue until it forms a rubbery consistency, salve then knead to blend well. Store in a cool airtight container. If you want colored ooey gooey, decease only add a few drops of the liquid food coloring and add it to the starch before mixing with the glue. Too much food coloring will stain children’s skin and clothing. Use with a smock or apron and away from carpet and upholstered surfaces.

To remove ooey gooey from clothes and fabric, pull off large pieces (don’t rub or smear), then set the item in a freezer until the ooey gooey hardens and can be “cracked” off. Or, remove all possible ooey gooey with a plastic scraper, then mix white vinegar into the stain to dissolve the remaining substance. May need to repeat. Don’t dry the clothing in the dryer until all the ooey gooey is removed.

Washable Window Paint

Add just a few drops of dish washing soap to tempera or acrylic paint before painting on a window with it. It will make the paint much easier to remove.

Clean Mud*

  • 6 rolls white toilet paper
  • 2 bars Ivory soap
  • water
  • 1 1/2 cups Borax* (in the grocery store laundry aisle)

Have kids unroll 6 rolls of white bathroom tissue paper into a large plastic tub. Generously add water until toilet paper is covered. Grate 2 bars of Ivory soap into mixture, then add Borax and mix well. Use sand molds, scoops, and other tools to shape and play with this clean mud. Store with an airtight lid; discard when mud is dirty or has an off odor.

*Because this compound has soap and Borax, it’s not appropriate for kids who still put non-food items in their mouths.

Homemade Toys

Make Your Own Jigsaw Puzzle

Jigsaw puzzles have been providing entertainment and challenges for people since the 18th century

They're a great, cheap form of entertainment that can amuse some people for hours and hours. Many jigsaw enthusiasts specifically choose more difficult pictures or patterns to hopefully extend the time it takes to complete, thus increasing the challenge and prolonging the entertainment value. If you plan to make a homemade jigsaw puzzle then you have the freedom to choose any picture or pattern you want to use.

Step One
Select a picture you want to use on your completed puzzle. You can use an enlarged family photo or for small children, let them choose their favorite cereal box or cardboard food package . Remember to keep a second copy of the original picture so you have a reference to look at when you're trying to solve the jigsaw.

Step Two
To make your own jigsaw puzzle you will need to find some suitable backing. Heavy cardboard backing works well as it will retain its shape and be more resistant to breaking or tearing. If you intend to create your jigsaw for young children to use, you might consider using foam instead of cardboard so the pieces are soft, but be sure to make the pieces bigger.

Step Three
If you choose to mount your picture or image onto a chosen backing it should be relatively easy, but you will need to choose your glue or sticking medium carefully.

Craft glue or white glue can sometimes cause your image to bubble or wrinkle, which will give you an uneven finish on your picture.  A dry glue spray designed specifically for mounting pictures to backing board or cardboard will work very well for your needs.

Step Four
Cut your puzzle into pieces.  Large pieces less difficulty & smaller pieces for more difficulty.  Zip lock bags are a great way to store your pieces until you'd like to use them again.

Homemade Marbles

This clay recipe for marbles is one I've used on many occasions and it's very simple. The finished clay can also be stored in airtight containers until it is ready to be used.

What You Need:

  • 4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of water


  1. In a large bowl mix all ingredients together, then work it until it develops into a good molding consistency.
  2. Next…..take a marble size piece of clay and work it in the palm of your hand until its smooth and round.
  3. Place each marble on a nonstick baking sheet and cook in the oven at 350-degrees for about 50 minutes or until they develop a light brown tint, then allow to cool completely.
  4. If you are not completely happy with the smoothness of your marbles use a fine sand sheet to perfect them.
  5. Paint and decorate in your own style and for an extra special finish use a good clear varnish forshine and strength.


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