Soft and Long Lasting Playdough Recipe


Are you thinking of DIY-ing your class playdough?


Look no further because I have a no-cook, simple, and mess-free recipe for you.

If you are an Early Childhood teacher or even a stay-at-home mom, this is one recipe you should know by heart. ;)

This Do-It-Yourself activity was a result of experimenting and trying a lot of playdough recipes I have found on Pinterest. And I finally was able to perfect, a soft and long lasting one (this is about to last for six months).

And my little rascals loved it!

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Trust me, there's nothing more fun, more creative, and more motor skills development than giving your little rascals a playdough to play with. Three years old and above is the ideal age to have this. 

Plus this is way cheaper than store bought ones!


What do you need?


2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup salt

2 tablespoon cream of tartar

2 tablespoon of oil

1  3/4 cups of boiling water

*food coloring of your choice (optional)

 

How to make your playdough?


1. On a deep bowl or pan-- put the flour, the salt, and the cream of tartar. Make sure to mix all these dry ingredients first.

2. Add the oil into the batter and mix them well again.

3. Then pour the boiling water into your batter mix. Caution: It's very hot, so please be careful when you're doing this part.  (Mix all the ingredients well again.)

4. Keep it cool for about five minutes, or until the mixture is not too hot for you anymore.

5. Knead your playdough and add your food coloring while doing this. I had at least put 10-15 drops on this ratio.

6. Store them into ziplock bags or containers with lid.

7. Enjoy playing it with your little rascals!!!


Wasn't that easy?! Your little rascals can make this thing with you, too! But just be very careful with the boiling water. For I don't wish any harm on doing this activity!

You can also provide some playdough mats that you can make or print from online resources, popsicle sticks and cookie cutters!

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If you will try this, please let me know what you think. I would love to hear from you!


Do you love playing with playdough? What do you think of this recipe?

Counting Years in Teaching


Why did I become a teacher?


I honestly, didn't want to.

That's because growing up, I saw how my dear Nanay have greatly dedicated her daily life to lesson planning, making test papers, checking papers, marking grades, and submitting piles of papers at the end of the year. 

At a young age, I thought to myself while watching her, I don't want to do THAT job and the amount of work she's doing as a teacher. 

Yet, my favorite game as child was role-playing as a classroom teacher--- with a plywood board, white chalk, and imaginary students.

Looking back, I believe it is truly my fate and destiny to become one.

So here I am, 13 years and counting in a profession that I no longer consider as a job, but more than anything, my passion.

In honor of this profound realization (haha), I am starting a series of blogs about teaching and other teaching-related stuffs. Hopefully, by doing this, I can help guide new teachers and at the same time learn from them. Perhaps it will eventually lead me to create a sole website about this, but for now, allow me to start my baby steps here. ;)

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What topics I would most likely to share here?


  • Classroom and Behavior Management

  • Circle Time Ideas

  • Pinterest Inspired Activities

  • Classroom Games and more

  • Literacy Books and Literature

  • Songs and Youtube video resources

  • Organizing your lessons and plans

*Please keep in mind that my teaching (years) experience is more on Pre-school and Kindergarten. So this may only be good or applicable to the teachers on this age group. But I am open to discussions, guidance, and sharing ideas with teachers in all age groups. ;)


Are you a teacher as well? Are there any topics you wanted me to write about? ;)


Teaching My Way Into The World


I'm in freaking BRAZIL! Hell yeah!


Specifically in Vitoria, Espirito Santo. I marked this as my solo travel for 2015-- but more like a beginning of a new epic adventure!

It took me over a year to get here than originally planned, but I'm just really grateful that I'm well settled with my new environment, new city, new job, and new culture.

Some friends have been asking me how I ended up in Brazil? So I think it's best for me to address it here on my blog, sort like a comeback post, after a long hiatus (too busy settling in) and at the same time, I hope this will also bring inspiration to many. Wink. Wink.

Why Brazil?

Well, having lived outside of the Philippines for a decade now, I developed my curiosity for the people of the world. I have to credit to Frenchie for suggesting the idea of trying to live in every continent. And so, South America came to my mind because a lot of my foreign friends who traveled to the Philippines have commented that "Philippines is like the South America of Asia." That made me even really curious. I have to see it to believe it, so to speak!

But why Brazil? Because I felt that I can easily find a job in line with my profession-- English Teaching.

The country was the host of 2014 World Cup and hosted the 2016 Olympics in August. For me, it was like Beijing, China circa 2006.

What did I do next?

I left a good paying job in China. Packed eight years of my life in eight huge boxes. Went back home to the Philippines. Told my family that I quit my job and I'm going to travel my way to Brazil stopping by a few places in Asia, in the US, and South America with a man better known to many as Frenchie. ;) And yes, everything was uncertain at that time. 

No definite plans, no job waiting for me, no friends and families that live in Brazil.

But then again, I know that deep in my heart, I'm going to be okay. It is of course rather important to be financially ready if you ever decide to take a route of a nomadic life. In my case, I'm grateful that I have families and friends who were generous and kind enough to adopt me during the whole ordeal of my taking-risk-mantra-phase-of-my-life.

How did I eventually end up in Brazil?

"If you build a dream, it will come." That's how I have always lived my adult life. As crazy as this may sound, but no matter how difficult life could be, your dreams will always find its way of making it come true for you. And the best part is, it's even better! Personally, I love writing down my dreams in on my journals or put it up on my wall as a #Bucketlist. I love visualizing my dream, as a form of mantra. And then specifically pray for it. GOD did the rest. :)

From where I came from, it is an open book that the only ones who can live and work abroad are the ones who studied in the medical field in college--- like nursing. When you're a guy, you should be a seafarer working on ships. Or if you're not a professional like that, being a domestic helper is the only option.

But I want to break that stereotype. I want to stop that kind of thinking. I'm not saying that to be a nurse, a seafarer, or a domestic helper is wrong. I have the same equal amount of respect to Filipinos around the world as to any OFWs. What I'm trying to say is, you can and will always be able to see the world, by simply doing what you're most passionate about. You don't have to settle to the norm or sacrifice your own dreams and desire. Dare to be different. 


In my case, it was teaching.


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Finding job these days, could make or break you. Fortunately for me, I have found legit teaching jobs online. It also really helps that you do a lot of research and get into forums to know which ones are suited for you. For teachers, www.tes.co.uk or www.teachabroad.com are a good start for the new career abroad.

That's what I did. I sent out a good number of applications around, waited for replies, did a lot of Skype interviews, and finally, being given a CONGRATULATIONS greeting. This whole process took at least half a year. I got a teaching job in Brazil!!!

When the job is right for you, it will come to you. Know in your heart that it will. 


Positive thoughts, attract positive results.

How am I adjusting so far?

I am on my own here and I'm already adjusted. Frenchie and I are still on a LDR thing. I'm so lucky and fortunate that I found a man who is ever supportive, respectful, and understanding-- to what I really want. And this is one of my personal dreams, to travel and live in South America.

My goal for traveling is quality over quantity. And I have to give credit to Frenchie for teaching me that. I am not after how many stamps I will get on my passport or how many famous tourist places I can visit. Trisha of PS I'm On My Wayone of my Pinay #girlspiration has also explained her side into her recent post. I am also more into understanding, learning, and most of all, interacting with the local people of the country or place. There's certainly a whole new level of genuineness when you really immerse yourself to your new surrounding and it's people. Where valuable lessons and memories can be taken from. That's why I've chosen to live here. At least for a while.   

I think what made me survive a new place or a new culture different from mine is that, I embrace the whole experience with an open mind and an open heart. I know that in order to keep myself sane is that, I can't compare the good and the bad from where I came from, because again, each culture is different and unique on its own. I have developed a deep understanding that some things are just way too different from what I considered "normal".

I remembered one instance, on my brief stay in the US, I took care of an elderly woman for a half a year, who has a life partner, age of 82 years old (may their souls rest in peace now). He was admitted in the hospital and the 911 ambulance took him there. But when he was released from the hospital, he just took a taxi back, went inside the house to get his fare because he had no money when he left. Not one of his three children has offered to take him home from the hospital because they were still all "at work" by the time he was released from the hospital. That to me, was a major shock!!! Because in my culture, when you get out from the hospital, you are treated by family members like a most fragile thing. Someone will bring your things, drive you back to your house, make sure you get settled on your own bed, prepared a good meal, and will never leave you unless they know for sure that you're 100% better. And mind you, he's 82 years old, who was in the ICU for days. How could they treat him less?? That situation has given me a new perspective. And I was thankful that my parents will never ever be treated that way, because we will drop and leave everything for them in that given situation. 

That being said, I can't change any of that. All I can ever be is learn from it and accept it. But it doesn't mean I have to be that. Having been given the chance to experience new cultures, I have ultimately valued my own beliefs, virtues, and where I came from. It is indeed a fascinating world we live in!

To answer my question, yes, I'm very much okay and very well adjusted. Most of all, I love it here! Like a child who just got a new toy, I'm enjoying every bits and pieces of my new adopted city, country, and culture. And it also doesn't hurt that the Brazilian women are too sexy and gorgeous and the Brazilian men are such an eye candy...nakaka laglag ng panty!!! haha!

And the food?!? Oh damn, it reminds me so much of home.


Would you like to live or teach abroad? Why?

I Listened to the Child in Me

 

I first wrote this on June 9, 2009 on my facebook notes.

It was a different kind of day.


Today is Tuesday.

There is something different today. When I looked at my clock, I'm not supposed to be up and awake yet. But there's just something different today.

Then there was a knock on my door. It's my roommate.

That's one different thing about today. She never knocks on my door to wake me up. First time.

I tried going back to bed but my friend, "sleep" bid me goodbye before I even said, Hi! I still have 30 minutes to sleep if I could.

I waited, waited, and waited for my morning rooster.

There's just something different today.

I finally got up, do my usual thing in the morning, except I had a piece of cake from "Despidida" party of a friend. I don't eat breakfast at home, but at a small breakfast restaurant near the school.

There's just something different today. I have a weird feeling of this today.

I took the bus and then the subway, my two usual transits in my mundane life. I then headed to my breakfast stop. I was surprised to see our school bus driver there. I never knew he eats breakfast there as well. I mean, he picks up the kids from their homes and wait for them to come pick me up at the crossroad where we agreed to meet up everyday.

That's the second different thing about today. Our school bus driver dining at my breakfast stop and he even paid for my food!

Today is Tuesday. The moment I woke up, I knew there's just going to be different on this day. Perhaps, this is the day...

His name is Leo (from Le-Le). I gave him that name. He has two beautiful eyes, two very distinct eyebrows, and has the sweetest smile.

When I first met him, he completely ignored me. He doesn't want to talk and doesn't even want to tell me his name.

Our relationship took a very long process compared with others. I did understand his coldness towards me. I did understand him for ignoring me, most of the time. I did understand him for being lime that. After all, I'm not only a stranger but we also do not share the same language, which is very bizarre to him.

Day after day, he watched me with confused eyes. I looked back to him with my sweet smile. When I tried convincing him to join us in our games, he'd simply turn his back from me. I encouraged him to listen to my stories but he pretended he didn't hear me. I don't know if he was scared or he really doesn't like me. You can't please everybody, they said. I can't simply please him-- at those times.

We went on being like this for months and months. I know and I believe in my heart that he will come to me-- at his own will, at his own phase, and at his own time. And everyday, I'm hoping it could be the day for it.

I came inside the school campus, 30 minutes before my time. I love this community. I love the people I see around me. If there's one place I love-- it has to be a Kindergarten school. I love the small aisles, the wall paintings, the noisy playground, the cute chairs and tables, the colorful toys, the smell of the books, and most of all, the adorable children that brighten up your day! (The list could go on and on.) And I can't wait for the time, where I could have my very own one day. (I know it'll take time but I'm grateful that the universe is conspiring with me for making this into a reality.) 

When I reached my usual spot, I prepared all the materials needed on this day. I was going to teach them the people who live in their house and the names of the places inside a house. As I got what I needed, I headed to where Leo and his classmates were waiting for me. Most of them will be excited to see me, but not Leo. Most of them will say, "Good morning, Dinah!" but not Leo. Most of them will come and hug me, but not Leo. I know he would be on his chair which is right beside the computer table and which is on the end to my right when I start the class. He never sits anywhere but there-- that's his own little corner.  

I'm walking slower as I used to. I forgot to stop by in the baby class, where I have a favorite boy that I never failed to kiss good morning. He's my chubby little baby. But today, I forgot about him. It's the third of today.

Then, I stand in front of the door. I heard them say my name. They were once again enthusiastic to see me. When I got in, they run and try to grab my legs for a hug. But there's one familiar face that caught my attention who is standing right in front of me-- waiting for his own turn. Then minutes later, he held my legs with his tiny little hands. I saw his face lit up. It was priceless! My instinct was to reach him so I knelt down in front of him, as if we were of the same height. He smiled when I said, "Good morning, Leo!" I waited for his response but it was not a "Good morning, Dinah" that I expect to hear. Instead, he held on to my neck as his way of hugging me, and whispered to my ears, the four sweetest words I have ever heard from this almost-three-years-old boy...


"Wo ai ni, Dinah"

I was speechless! I hugged him even tighter than I should. It was the longest five seconds of my life! I don't know what transformed him of doing this today. He simply melted my heart. Indeed, this is the day I have been waiting for.


This is the very thing that made this day different and way unexpected. This was Leo's own will, own phase, and own time. I couldn't wish for anything more to happen on this day but this.


I know this is the start of the wonderful things we will share together. I am looking forward for all the exciting new things he can do in class.

This is the best thing about children that we tend to forget as adults. We hurry too much about time, searching for the things we don't have, and failed to acknowledge the things we already have. We tend to run fast and forget to look back. We try to change things when we know deep down to ourselves that what is essential is invisible to the eyes. And real happiness can be found on the simplest things that life brings.


Each of us has a child within and we were too busy to even bother to listen. This child in us, if only being listened to, will appreciate and value the simple things in life.


Today is Tuesday.

Today is when I felt things are going to be different.

Today is when Leo made me listen to the child in me.


Have you listened to your 'inner child' lately?

8 LESSONS FROM KIDDOS

 

As a grown-up I believe we need to see it from a child-- on how simple and uncomplicated life is.


Teaching children everyday, for almost eight years, has surprisingly kept my sanity intact! Yes, it is no easy job but it is and has always been the most rewarding feeling for me.

If you'd ask me how I did it?! Well, I have managed to have the following ingredients in me, which kept me going through all these years: patience, energy, creativity, and imagination. It did help me. BIG time.

Since learning is relative, which is also one of the lessons I learned from my kiddos, I did not only teach them but they also taught me GREAT lessons as well, that I dare to say, we forgot to remember as adults, or as we all grow older.

1. We are all unique, special, and great in our own rights.

I couldn't imagine if my kiddos were all the same. I think, I would have given up to be a teacher after a week! Their uniqueness and different traits are the very reasons why I look forward yo a new wonderful and great experience with them each day. This is also why I love this job so much. And as I learn to value that uniqueness in each of them, I also learned how to understand the people wanted to be understood.

2. What's done is done.

Children are masters of "trial-and-error". But they never knew that they did something wrong until you told them so. You need to be specific of the judgement you made for them. The way I do it, I explain the "exact" part of the wrong things they did. And when they finally understood it, and they said "sorry", don't ever bring that up again. They knew they were wrong and they said they were sorry, so don't talk about it ever again. The end.

3. Talking is a must.

In the kind of world we live in now, wherein adults are diverting their interactions with their gadgets, I take it as a good sign when my kiddos are noisy talking with each other. It shows that they are engaged in great conversations. Most of the times, we failed to allow children to talk with us or talk enough. I learned to quiet myself and just allow them to speak. It has interesting results in the end! It's pretty remarkable, too.

4. Play is a must too.

Children learn in playing. Playing allows them to solve problems, to relate with others, and to discover that it is wonderful to be in this world. So when I find myself stuck in my own personal dilemmas, I just go out and play with them! The joy of being able to be yourself, regardless of the circumstances around you, is immeasurable.

5. Laugh, Laugh, and Laugh!

Children are champions in laughter. No wonder they are sooo happy. My kiddos can really turn my very BAD day, into a day filled of fun and laughter! That's how amazing they can be! Now, do yourself a favor, LAUGH! Put back that "sense of humor" in you. Yes, you need to be serious, I get it. But don't you think you needed a break from all that? It will make everything better, you'll see.

6. Don't be afraid to show them your real emotions.

I read this from somewhere, "We must not raise a generation of people-pleasers but children who are unafraid to speak up against the things that are not right. They learn how to do that from us (adults)." As an educator, I try my best to be cautious with my actions in front of these children. I realized that children learned what is right from what you are doing and how they see it as you do it. So I learned how to voice out my concerns and disappointments, and how to act properly, and how to handle a situation in the best possible way that I can.

7. Be patient.

Perhaps, it is my gift but such trait should be in each of us as well. You see, some of my kiddos are slow, as they have their own learning paces on their own time. So I have accepted the fact that they're not moving in the pace I expected them to be (which reminds me of #1 on this list) or along with the rest of their peers. With them, I learned not to give up and focus my determination to the good results that will come out of it. And such result is so rewarding that I could dance and shout for joy, "This child finally did it!" So don't ever give up on yourself. Never ever!

8. I Love You and its many forms

Children don't put labels on LOVE, the way we adults do. They simply show it and express it at any given moment. Whether it's in a form of a kiss on your cheek, a tight hug, a hold on your hand, a sweet smile, or a look from their sincere eyes, these gestures are the language of their pure souls. They don't need to utter the words, "I love you" because they are love in its truest form. So if I give you a kiss on a cheek, a tight hug, a hold on your hand, a sweet smile, or just a happy look on your eyes...it is my way of saying, "I love you, dear."


What have you learned from a child lately?