I love the opportunity to do arts and crafts with my kids anywhere but at my dinner table (they are so messy!), so we love the classes at Smart Toys and Books whenever we can make it. They’re held every Friday at 10a.m., 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. and as each class fills up they open up the later class.
We booked into the home made play dough class faster than you can say “sign me up” a few weeks ago. We made no-cook play dough and it was so easy, I could do it with a baby hanging from the front of me (little L. was wriggling about like crazy in his sling). Big J. and I have cooked together so often that he needed very little assistance from me – which was confirmed when he kept insisting “mama, I can do this part now”. And I happily sat back.
The play dough worked out beautifully and we now have a big blob of it sitting in the fridge for those times when he starts bugging me in the kitchen around dinner time!
The classes are geared towards preschoolers and are ideal for ages 3 and up, but they certainly welcome two year olds too. A craft is followed by story time each week.
It’s essential that you reserve your spot in Mommy & Me Art Classes in advance for two reasons; firstly to ensure they have enough supplies and secondly, the classes fill up fast. The fee is $5 in advance. Stop by the store or call to sign up.
Upcoming Classes Include:
September 16th Bury a Treasure
September 23rd Cardboard Tube Puppets
September 30th Decorate Your Light Switch
October 7th Soft Squirrel
October 14th Paper Bag Owl
October 21st What’s Inside a Pumpkin
October 28th Scarecrow Bags
November 4th Falling Leaves
November 11th Pumpkin Pie
November 18th Button Indian Corn
Smart Toys and Books – 9700 Kingston Pike, Knoxville. Tel: 865-691-1154
And here’s the No-Cook Play Dough Recipe Smart Toys and Books shared with me:
What you need:
1 cup of cold water
1 cup salt
2 teaspoons oil
3 cups all purpose flour**
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Powdered paint or food coloring
Bowl and spoon
Cutting board or clean surface (remember you are using food coloring.)
**Note If you or your child has a wheat allergy use gluten free flour/food coloring.
What you do:
- In a bowl mix the water, salt, oil, and enough food coloring or a few drops of juice dyes to make a bright color.Want to try making natural food dyes? Combine a 1/4 cup of the colored food like beets, blueberries, or raspberries with 2 cups water, simmer for an hour. Cool, strain, and use as coloring. You can also use these colors in home made goo, silly putty and finger paints.
- Gradually work flour and cornstarch into the mixture until it reaches a bread dough consistency.
- Pour the dough on a cutting board and knead until ready. (I like to use disposable gloves to work the dye in).
- Store in plastic containers or zip lock bags for the kids to play with over and over.
Recipe adapted from Mary Ann F. Kohl