For example, play dough. I abhor play dough. Can't stand the stuff. And I will boldly say that I rarely let my kids play with it and then that is only when someone else gives it to them as a gift and I can't avoid it.
Call me a horrible mommy if you will but I tell you I just don't understand why I must subject myself to MORE cleaning of floors and shampooing of chairs and sofas and carpets when I already have enough house work to do. I mean, isn't playing in the dirt outside or the sand at the beach good enough?
Okay, so I do feel a teeny bit of guilt about this. I do remember loving to play with play dough as a kid. I used to eat it because we used the stuff made of salt.
Which occurred to me, why can't they play dough with something edible. Then it'd be worth it. Say cookies or bread dough. I remember that my mom used to make marzipan* cookie dough and I really enjoyed that, as much as I ever enjoyed play dough.
So I made some marzipan cookies and let them go to town. Since I get to eat the end result, instead of just clean up, I'm feeling pretty good about play dough now...as long as it's cookie dough.
*not the same as marzipan, this is marzipan cookies...different.
Here's my mom's recipe for marzipan cookies...I think it's a Betty Crocker recipe:
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Cream the butter and sugar then add the flour and vanilla. Color if you want and make shapes. Traditional marzipan is shaped like fruits and vegetables. My kids made Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber and other VeggieTales characters and...stuff.
Bake at 300 for about 30 minutes or until set but not brown.