Beach Sand Play Dough: The Stories We Tell

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. And here's a fun recipe for Beach Sand Play Dough. Such fun!

Not long after Cassidy and I got back together and knew it was serious, he took me to his father’s house in Truro on Cape Cod. It’s a long house in a wooded area on a gravel road that I always think is impossible to find. It has four bedrooms and has recently undergone renovations, but the soul of the house is intact. You walk into that house in July and breathe in the smell of summer vacation. You walk into that house in December and breathe in the smell of summer vacation memories. Summer could be far away but you can’t turn in a corner in the house without being reminded. Pictures and poetry hang all through the house. There is one wall in particular that captivates me every single time I visit the house. And, it always will.


It is filled, floor to ceiling, with photos of Cassidy and his brothers and cousins from babyhood to adulthood. It tells tales of being buried in the sand, of OREO and peanut butter sandwiches, of beach days and outdoor showers, of corn on the cob and ice cream and finding sand in your shoes long after you have gone back to work or school or winter and whatever other dreaded thing you escaped. You look at these pictures and you see a gift that children have been given. They have been taught to truly know joy and pure fun. Not everyone receives these gifts. The evidence is on the wall. It is written in every expression on every face of every photo. You can’t look at these pictures and not smile. I looked and thought, “I want that.”

father son beach

I grew up with 7 grandparents and my kids are growing up with 6. And I just lost the last of mine only weeks ago, and I not-so-secretly and magically want my kids to have all six for the next thirty years or so. Whatever it takes to bend time and let the stories go on. Grandparents are laughter in the rain, echoes in the wind, and footprints in the sand. They are everything.

They’re truth and consequence and buried secrets and wonderful release. They are time on water and joy through tears.

grandmother and granddaughter

They are history and power. Dreams and time travel. And they are full of stories and memories, because one day we are nothing but stories, so you might as well make it a good one. My grandparents and my children’s grandparents give me that sense of both peace and urgency that everything is ok/not ok, and that it all boils down to love. My grandparents and my children’s grandparents infuse me with the parenting I aim for and sometimes even achieve. All that stuff. It matters. It sticks with you. Where you take them, what you feed them, what you tell them, and how you tuck them safely into bed.

Every night. Sleep tight.

great grandmother and great grandson

I know I promised you some Beach Sand Play Dough and I won’t go back on a blog promise. This “recipe” or craft, if you will, is dedicated to my grandparents, my children’s grandparents, and anyone else who takes their grandchildren to the beach.

Beach Sand Playdough

What You Need:

1 cup flour
1 cup fine sand
¼ cup salt
1 Tbsp. cream of tartar
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
¾ cup boiling water
Shells, small glass stones

ingredients needed for beach play dough

What You Do:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sand, salt, and cream of tartar.
  2. Add the oil and water and mix well.
  3. Knead the dough for 1-2 minutes until it is all smooth.
  4. Mix in some shells and glass stones and have fun molding and playing with the sand playdough. Just like playing at the beach but this sand holds its shape!

mix ingredients together for beach sand play dough

add oil and water to beach sand play dough

mix together ingredients

knead the play dough

mix in shells and glass stones

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “Grandparents..” 5 minute freewriting (I always go over five minutes) Come link up with your spin on the topic HERE.

So, what would you say?

Beach Sand Play Dough

Sequin Rainbow Hair Clip

This Sequin Rainbow Hair Clip is the CUTEST! And it's easy to make. Surprise someone in your life for St. Patrick's Day or Pride Month, or make one together.

We find ourselves with another snow day!

I have to be honest – western MA is not having a record-breaking winter here. At least not Northampton. I think this is the third or fourth time that we’ve found ourselves in what our local weather nut calls “The Snow-Lover’s Triangle of Disappointment.” My family in New Jersey, and Cassidy’s family house in Cape Cod are getting hit way worse than us. So maybe we WON’T be stuck with kids in school in late June, when summer camp is already happening. That said, the kids are home with me today. Des is reading (or trying, anyway) himself Dr Seuss books and Scarlet is refusing to help me with photos for my blog. Luckily she has a few redheaded cutie friends who are more than happy to help model this amazing hair clip:

It’s really cute, isn’t it? You know I love St. Patrick’s Day and you still have time to make this! And if not, Pride MONTH is just that – a whole month. Also rainbows are every day and eternal. Never forget that. It’s rainbow season ALL YEAR LONG.

Sequin Rainbow Hair Clip


Sequins in rainbow colors
White paper
Purple craft foam
White school glue
Plain hair clip
Hot glue gun (optional)


1 – Draw the shape of a rainbow on a piece of white paper. Make it more of a blocky type rainbow, that will make it easier to fill in with the sequins. You also want to adjust the size of your rainbow according to the size of your hair clip. You can view the photo for reference on how to make a simple rainbow shape.

2 – Cut out the rainbow shape from the white paper.

3 – Using the rainbow shape as a template, trace it onto a piece of purple craft foam.

4 – Cut the rainbow from the craft foam.

5 – Place a thin line of white school glue along the outside edge of the craft foam rainbow shape. This is where you will place your first row of sequins.

6 – Starting with red, place the sequins carefully, one by one onto the glue line that you just made on the craft foam rainbow.

7 – Let the glue dry completely, and then repeat step six for each color of the rainbow until you have covered the entire surface of your craft foam rainbow shape with sequins. Be sure to let the glue dry completely before continuing on to the next row of sequins or they will slip and slide all around.

8 – Use glue to attach the plain hair clip to the back of the sequined rainbow. This is where you might find it more handy to use a hot glue gun if you like. The glue will dry much faster and will form a stronger bond.

This Sequin Rainbow Hair Clip is the CUTEST! And it's easy to make. Surprise someone in your life for St. Patrick's Day or Pride Month, or make one together.

Be honest. Would you steal this from your daughter and wear it yourself? (I would)