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.

Always.

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

Back to School Recipe: Peanut Butter and Jelly Fruit and Crunch Wraps

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine.

#ad These Peanut Butter and Jelly Fruit and Crunch Wraps are the perfect #backtoschool recipe, using Jif + Smucker’s, granola, and freshly sliced fruit!

Oh my goodness – these are so good!

Thick creamy peanut butter, sweet and tart strawberry spread, crunchy granola, and then fresh strawberries and bananas. It’s the perfect back to school recipe! I’ve had to get creative after an entire summer of soggy camp lunches. Now that the kids are back in school, I’ve had to make better lunches for school days. And let’s face it – peanut butter and jelly are made for each other. And that’s where Jif® Natural Peanut Butter Spread and Smucker’s® Natural Strawberry Fruit Spread come in. I get them at Walmart, in order to make my favorite Peanut Butter and Jelly Fruit and Crunch Wraps. They’re divine!

I have a soft spot in my heart for all things peanut butter and jelly. Legend has it that my late father packed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day of his life as a school teacher. I think he also ate it on weekends, and as a kid too. He was a man of lunch routine and I have so many questions about those sandwiches, and what made them so good? Des had a play date over the spring, and I made the boys peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The boy’s mom stayed for the play date as well and I made her a sandwich too. She told me I make GREAT peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because I spread the peanut butter and jelly on thickly. I aim to please! And that’s the only way I want to make them. I want to make them well.

#ad These Peanut Butter and Jelly Fruit and Crunch Wraps are the perfect #backtoschool recipe, using Jif + Smucker’s, granola, and freshly sliced fruit!

Speaking of which, I really did commend myself aloud the first time I made these crunch wraps. They are that good. It’s the perfect mix of flavors. And now it’s time for you to pack them a lunch they will love for back to school season. Like I said, peanut butter and jelly are better together and Jif & Smucker’s are better together too! In fact, these are the go-to brands for the perfect back to school PB&J. I remember my mom making it for me and when fall comes, I still feel like I’m a little kid on the brink of big change. That’s why I’m glad some things stay the same – like lunch. The same, but something new:

Peanut Butter and Jelly Fruit and Crunch Wraps:

What You Need:

Jif Natural Peanut Butter Spread
Smucker’s Natural Strawberry Fruit Spread
Honey wheat wraps
Granola
Bananas, thinly sliced
Strawberries, thinly sliced
A touch of cinnamon (optional)

What You Do:

1 – Take out your wrap and spread peanut butter thickly on it, followed by jelly

2 – Then add granola, but try not to add big chunks – and spread it out evenly

3 – Add bananas and strawberries to the middle of the wrap

4 – Then roll it up like a sushi roll, careful to get everything all nice and stacked in the middle

5 – Cut in half and enjoy!

#ad These Peanut Butter and Jelly Fruit and Crunch Wraps are the perfect #backtoschool recipe, using Jif + Smucker’s, granola, and freshly sliced fruit!

Tada! Like I said, I was pretty proud of myself the first time I made this – for myself during a lunch break at home. Then I tried this recipe out on the kids and they were super impressed. You can absolutely vary it up, but I’m a big fan of these specific tastes going together. I’m a busy parent and I like to know what works, and then make it work on the regular! I’m like my father that way, and I remember being that way as a kid – when opening up my school lunch every day.

What’s your favorite peanut butter and jelly recipe?

#ad These Peanut Butter and Jelly Fruit and Crunch Wraps are the perfect #backtoschool recipe, using Jif + Smucker’s, granola, and freshly sliced fruit!