Keeping the Kids Busy this Summer with Homemade {Play}Dough

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on June 10, 2014

Summertime can be a challenging season in which to keep the kiddos busy. It gets quite toasty here in Texas and there is only so much sun and swimming a mama can handle, so when the kiddos come in hot and tired it’s difficult to keep the TV and other electronics to a minimum. Reading is a great way for the kiddos to pass the time, and a fantastic way to keep their minds busy, but for my younger kiddos some hands-on imaginative play does the trick!

I kept seeing homemade play dough recipes, of various kinds, all over Facebook and Pinterest, so we decided to try to make some ourselves. We made three different types of {play}dough with just a few simple ingredients, found at our local Walmart. All have different textures, but they are all equally as fun and are so very easy to make.

3 Play Dough Recipes Using Everyday Ingredients | Moon Sand, Play Dough, & Gooey Goop

Also known as Moon Sand, or simply Sand, Moon Dough can be messy. Honestly, this is my least favorite, but it happens to be Timmy’s fave!

Moon Dough

Mix together -
2 cups flour
1/4 cup baby oil
bright chalk to color, crushed

Homemade Moon Dough

I had heard that there was a recipe that made the silkiest play dough, so I was excited to try a few different ones to test the claim. Let me tell you – corn starch and hair conditioner is a magical combination!


Mix together -
1 part conditioner
2 parts corn starch

<Homemade Playdough. img>

Ever since an old babysitter made goo with the kids, Noah had been begging me to help him make some. Not only is he glad he doesn’t have to beg me any more, but I feel bad for waiting so long to get him some corn starch. This one is super fun, but it’s incredibly messy. Fortunately it’s easy to clean up and has made me the best mom ever!

Gooey Goop

2 parts corn starch
1 part water

Add coloring to water. Place corn starch in a bowl and mix in colored water to create desired consistency.

Gooey Goop

What are some creative ways you keep your kiddos busy in the hot summer months?



Great Valentine’s Day Ideas for the Whole Family

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on January 28, 2014

Valentine Ideas for the Whole Family

Valentine’s Day can be a day to celebrate your love for each other as an entire family. There are so many great activities and goodies that everyone can enjoy together. Here are some great ideas. (Most of them incredibly easy for this craft-challenged mama!)

Follow Christine Young’s board Valentine Ideas For Kiddos on Pinterest.

Ray and I have never really gone out and made a big deal of Valentine’s Day. It really is just another day for us to show our love and appreciation for each other, as we try to do every day. Actually, just a couple of days later is a big anniversary for us. This year, on February 16th, Ray and I will have been an official couple for 17 years! SEVENTEEN YEARS!!!

So, on Valentine’s Day this year, like most, we will be staying in. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t make the day special or still have a romantic evening of our own. I’ve gathered just a few ideas on Pinterest to inspire the same for you.

Follow Christine Young’s board Be Mine on Pinterest.

What do you and your family do for Valentine’s Day? Any special traditions?


Mimi and the Rocket

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on November 11, 2013

We had the great privilege of being blessed with my mom’s company for the better part of this last week. It was the first time she had seen our new home, so we were excited to explore our new city with her and just hang out. (Well, Mom couldn’t help herself and she did a bit of organizing and lots of cleaning, too - Thanks, Mom!!) But, for the most part we all had lots of fun!

The highlight of our adventures together, however, was today. We played with the Smithsonian Rocket Science kit I recently got from the Walmart Moms Holiday Trip.

We got all of the supplies together, measured out the baking soda and vinegar, and headed outside.

Oh, my goodness… the hilarity that ensued!

Try #1 flopped

So, we added more soda and vinegar and we were on to Try #2

Try #3

Try #4 (with a little lesson about Thomas Edison)

Try #5

Try #6

And, then… finally!!


As y’all know, I am part of the Walmart Moms Program. I did receive the Smithsonian Science kit, but did not receive any other compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post… I just thought it was a fun story! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


Circus Vargas – The Circus With a Touch of Broadway – Comes to Roseville

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on July 9, 2012

We were just invited to join in the thrilling world of Circus Vargas. We are looking forward to taking a look beyond the sawdust and spangles, and peeking past the wonder and the mystique and discover why Circus Vargas is America’s Favorite Big Top Circus!

Unveiling its greatest collaboration to date, Tabares Entertainment joins forces with famed singing Ringmaster Kevin Venardos for a production of musical magnitude in its most exciting, innovative edition ever! Acting as host and master of ceremonies, Venardos skillfully melds melody with movement, adds a bit of Broadway and a splash of razzle-dazzle for an unbelievably entertaining extravaganza!

We plan to arrive thirty minutes early for the interactive pre-show where we will all get a chance to be the stars in center ring. I hear we’ll even be guided through a crash course in circus skills with host and the “Iron Chin” Jon Weiss and his lovely wife Laura. Fun times!

IT’S MUSICAL, IT’S MEMORABLE … IT’S CIRCUS VARGAS — It’s family entertainment at its finest, and it’s coming our way. The blue and gold big top will be in Roseville at the Westfield Galleria August 9 through 13 and in Sacramento at the California State Fairgrounds August 16 through 20.


For more information about Circus Vargas and to purchase tickets visit, by phone at 877-468-3861, or at the circus box office which opens one day prior to the first show.


Enter to win tickets for your family to see Circus Vargas at either the Roseville or the Sacramento location (four tickets total). Just leave me a comment with your favorite circus memory – when you were a kid or with your own kids, what you think of when you hear there is a circus in town, and/or what you look forward to most when the Big Top is in town. You may enter once a day through July 31st.

We were given tickets to experience Circus Vargas in exchange for this giveaway.


Easy-to-Make Memory Cards and a Discount Code

June 29, 2012

School’s out for summer! And thanks to MOO, the leading online print service and gifting resource, parents at their wit’s end won’t need to fret about how to entertain their kids. Here are a couple of great ideas to keep your young kiddo’s sharp through the entire summer: Flashy fun with memory cards - Flash cards are a very […]

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Our Summer Bucket List

June 4, 2012

This is the last week of school for my kiddos. We are all so excited, but I’m afraid summertime will fly by way too fast. It doesn’t feel like there will be enough time to catch up with the kiddos for all of the time lost together during the school year. I just hope we […]

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tweet, tweet

May 22, 2009

As an ambassador for Graco Nation, we are always receiving great perks. Like yesterday, when we received a fun little surprise… A birdhouse kit! Zach was so excited when he saw the kit and immediately began inspecting it’s contents…. wood panels, glue, nails, and even paint. He wasted no time but got to work right […]

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Homemade Play-Doh

February 18, 2009

Have you ever made Kooky Dough? This stuff will keep your kiddos occupied for quite some time on a cold winter’s day! It’s super easy to make, using only three ingredients: * 1 cup flour * 1/4 cup salt * 1/2 cup water My kiddos are able to mix it all on their own, and […]

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