Do you remember making forts when you were a kid like we do?  Our hearts fluttered when we saw the A-Frame Pup Tent by Lindsay & Drew thinking about how much fun it would have been to have a fun little spot like that!

 

Time to bust out some power tools and make a tent!  Next stop, a campfire with cowboys in the desert, or maybe we’ll be astronauts building a house on the Moon!

 

Please click here to visit Lindsay & Drew and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Amanda

Mission: Put my hubby to work (and his power tools) to create a playful little hide out that my kids will enjoy and will be easy to store.

 

Details:

  • I busted out an old flannel flat sheet of my daughter’s for this project. In our house flat sheets are not our friends so we put it to good use. It was twin size and perfect for this project.
  • I put my hubby in charge of purchasing the other supplies and although I was VERY specific he still felt the need to deviate and purchased a larger PVC tube. He of course gave that a try and realized that as usual I was correct in my original request. Never cross a momma on a mission!
  • We ended with the same materials used in the original post plus a little coupling to hold the wood in place and keep the tent a little more stable.

Amanda - Tent 1

Tips & Tricks Learned:

The coupling made a huge difference! I highly suggest it.

Also, it is key that you attach the inner wood piece to the inside of the A-frame and not the bottom. It will keep the whole thing more stable and may actually reduce the need for the coupling.

You may need to sand the inside of the whole slightly in order to fit the PVC inside it. That was our experience anyway.

Amanda - Tent 2

Pros:

The materials needed are fairly cheap and easy to find.

I felt it was such a bonus to use old sheets but I bet you could find them on the cheap at a second-hand store!

Think of all the fun your kids could have inside on a rainy day or outside when it is hot.

Cons:

I am not all that comfy with power tools so I left that part up to my hubby.

I would be very interested in learning how to use them…maybe in my next life.

Amanda - Tent 3

Conclusion:

This was a huge success.  Now to build two more so my kids will stop fighting over the one we have already built.

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #2 – Alicia

Mission: Create a cool, foldable tent for my kids!

 

Details:

I was super excited to give this a try- how hard could it be to make an A-frame tent?! Apparently HARD!!! Holy-heck this project was a pain in my rear.

I carefully read all the directions and set out to Home Depot for supplies.

  • I guess I was totally not paying attention and purchased 3 1×1” boards (which required 1×2),
  • ¾” PVC pipe, caps and my hubby’s brawn to saw and attach. Yeah right!

So we begin to drill and noticed that the PVC pipe is ¾” in the middle and about 1” total in diameter. My hubby has a ¾’ drill bit and there was no way, even with wiggling the drill bit back and forth, it would fit. Back to Home Depot to purchase a 1” drill bit at $15 bucks- oh gesh! At this point I think Mark is about to leave me- seriously!

Alicia - Tent 1

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Make sure, absolutely sure that you get all the correct boards and measurements for this job. It is pretty intense.

If you do purchase smaller boards, be careful not to split the wood with your drill (which totally happened to us). Home Depot loved us that week.

Alicia - Tent 2

Pros:

The final product is really cool.

Cons:

It is a little advanced for me. Not as easy as I thought.

Also, this tent is huge. I mean 5 feet long HUGE, but it does fold up.

Alicia - Tent 3

Conclusion:

I think I bit off a little more than I could chew with this project. Mark pretty much took this project over from start to finish. I think I attached the caps and helped staple on the fabric. My kids’ absolutely love it, though. My son has been under this thing for days; he has even been sleeping under it.

 

 Tent Conclusion


The darling
A-Frame Pup Tent and photo by Lindsay & Drew


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PlaydoughRecipe.org has a nearly 20 recipes for homemade playdough to share.  We were excited to learn about their Jello Playdough which uses the fruity gelatin to add light color and a yummy aroma.

 

With cold temps outside and antsy kids inside, this sounded like a recipe for a fun afternoon!

 

Please click here to visit PlaydoughRecipe.org and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Sheri

Mission: Attempting to make my own play-dough for the first time ever. The boys’ school has sent a homemade play-dough recipe home with us every year but we’ve never made it. However, this recipe was different, this recipe called for Jello. It’s going to smell yummy. I must admit I was a bit frightened after our disappointment when we made our own finger paints.

Details:

I read the instructions multiple times before starting. I decided NOT to include the kids in this one. The recipe scared me a bit. It let me know that there was a large margin for failure. What I got out of it…keep stirring and don’t burn it!

  • I chose Melon-Burst Jello. It smelled good and was a light color that let me make the dough blue and green dough, as the kids requested.
  • I first combined all of the ingredients in a bowl.
  • I then put the ingredients in a sauce pan and kept stirring, and stirring, and stirring some more. Sip of wine, stir some more. Finally it started to tighten up and form a ball.
  • I dumped it onto wax paper to cool. As I examined the blob I began to think I should have let it cook a little bit more, it looked a bit sticky. Well it didn’t just look sticky, it was sticky. I ended up adding quite a bit of flour to it to tighten it up.
  • Then I added gel food coloring. I was worried that this would end up staining the kids’ hands when they played with it, but it didn’t.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Adding flour while kneading will help to tighten it up, also gel food coloring works fantastic for this project.

Sheri - Playdough 1

Pros:

It smells really good and it wasn’t difficult to make.

Cons:

If you don’t get it just right, it’s rather sticky and a waste.

Sheri - Playdough 2

Conclusion:

Well we definitely have some great melon smelling play-dough! Logan keeps putting it up to his nose.

I’m not thrilled with the consistency, I think I should have left it on the heat a little longer, but they don’t seem to mind. They were able to work with it and build their snowmen and reptiles.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sarah

Mission: To create some fun with my kids and have an activity to entertain them.

 

Details:

This household LOVES playdough – seriously, my kids are infatuated with it! We have made lots of homemade playdough before and I always keep some in the fridge on-hand for them to play with. My tried and true playdough recipe uses Kool-Aid as a color addition – and it adds great flavor for those kids that eat it! Come on, who hasn’t tried it before?!? I was excited to try this version using Jello instead of Kool-Aid

  • I had everything on-hand already the day we made this, which always gets a project going on the right foot.
  • We had Black Cherry Jello, so our playdough turned a deep pink hue.
  • The steps were very easy to follow and it came together very quickly and easily. My kids were playing with their new playdough in no time!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Let your playdough sit a bit to cool before you begin kneading it into the floured surface – it is very hot!

Sarah - Playdough 1

Pros:

Quick, easy, cheap and a fun activity for you and your kids.

Cons:

The use of Jello made our playdough a bit softer than we are used to.

This isn’t necessarily a con, but something I noticed as a difference to our previous playdough.

Sarah - Playdough 2

Conclusion:

So much fun! My kids played with it for at least an hour using their fun rolling pin, cookie cutters and their darling imaginations. We will be making it again!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Amanda

Mission: Try out a new playdough recipe that the kiddos can enjoy and that isn’t too much work to make.

 

Details:

  • I used Strawberry Jello, although the flavor really didn’t matter since I was already planning to add food coloring, too.
  • My kids (and by “kids” I mean me) LOVE color so I kicked it up a notch by adding a couple drops of Wilton Neon Gel Food Color in Magenta. As you can see we are talking BRIGHT folks!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I did not dirty an additional bowl by pre-mixing all of my ingredients before putting them in the pan and deeply regret this. I think it added a lot of extra stirring in the cooking process. I definitely suggest following the instructions precisely!

Amanda - Playdough 1

Pros:

The texture was lovely as was the smell! Sweet and fruity thank to the Strawberry Jello.

Cons:

I did not enjoy the stirring process that cooking on the stove required.

My go-to playdough recipe involves the microwave and my KitchenAid mixer. I do prefer that method but really wanted to give this one a shot.

Also, after only a couple of weeks the playdough grew some fiercely disgusting mold and I had to toss it. My go-to recipe has NEVER molded.

Amanda - Playdough 2

Conclusion:

I do not think I will be making this one again only because I already have a recipe that I have had great success with in the past with much less work.

I did like the idea that all of the ingredients were edible. My go-to recipe happens to call for baby oil, so that would be a point for the Jello version!

 

Playdough Conclusion

 

The lovely Jello Playdough and it’s photo by PlaydoughRecipe.org


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