December Play Ideas

As the weather gets chillier, it's important to have some fun indoor play options. Enter ZDough! With a few items from around the house you can turn your Wintergreen ZDough into a crowd pleaser for little ones and adults alike :)

1. You've probably got some cookie cutters and a rolling pin lying around, and instead of making another batch of cookies you can use them with your ZDough! Kiddos can do this unassisted (parent win!) and can decorate what they make with pom poms, jewels, foam shapes, etc. Really whatever you have close at hand (that you aren't concerned about your little one trying to eat!)

2. Now add a few stamps into the mix! Any rubber stamps will work (think fun without the mess of ink!), but letter stamps make the perfect addition for young learners. They can make messages, practice writing their name, or just immerse themselves in the joy of squishing the stamps into the dough. We also happened to have some dyed pasta on hand, so that became another play material :)

3. What to up your game? These engraved rolling pins from Humble Elephant are sized for children's hands and pair perfectly with the dough! They combine the fun of stamps with the ease of a rolling pin and come in a variety of options from alligators & frogs to hearts & flowers. PS. They can be used in the kitchen too! Check them out at https://www.etsy.com/shop/HumbleElephant.

Shop Small for Black Friday!

It's here!!! The best time of the year for the BIGGEST deals before the holidays. But this year small makers like ZDough are getting into the game too! The more makers and small business owners I meet and collaborate with, the more I realize how much good can be done in our communities by shopping small. You put money into the pockets of real people who make the items you order with their own hands. We work during nap times and after kids have gone to bed. We personalize your gifts and make them for YOU, not just someone. And that money you pay goes toward our children's dance classes, endless jars of pickles (anyone else's kid obsessed with pickles??), and giant 50 lb. bags of flour (at least it does in my case!) We makers thank you for your support and in turn we want to make it easier for you to shop small this holiday.

So for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday shop here at ZDough with the coupon code SMALLIDAY (small business holiday, get it??) With the code you will get 20% off your order and a FREE Mystery Gift!

So now is the time. Click on the SHOP button and choose your favorites. Maybe you're looking for stocking stuffers. Maybe it's a gift set or two. Maybe it's a 2 lb pail for your child's class. Need a custom order? You're in luck, because I do all of that. And I'm happy to help this holiday be special for you!

The coupon code is valid from Friday, November 27 - Monday, November 30. Happy shopping!!

It's Holiday Gift Guide Season!

As adults everywhere scramble to find those just-right gifts for the holidays, there has been an influx of Holiday Gift Guides that offer up excellent suggestions. ZDough is so honored to be included in several of them! These bloggers have tried our handmade scented play dough, have fallen in love with it, and want to shout it from the rooftops!! As more gift guides go live I will post more, but for now head over to http://munchkinsandmoms.com/20-brain-stretching-gifts-for-little-learners/ to read an amazing list of gift ideas for young children. Clarissa used to be a teacher and is now a stay-at-home-mom who writes about all things kiddo & educational, so she has a great eye for gifts that will be fun and valuable for the little ones in your life. Here is what Clarissa had to say about ZDough:

"My kids hyper-love play dough. We play with it nearly every day and I usually make it home made ourselvesโ€ฆbut then I found ZDough. I kid you not- this is the BEST play dough we have ever used. Itโ€™s super pliable, smells amazing, and lasts far longer than store bought dough. I have to feature it in this brain-stretching gift guide because when you give kids a ball of play dough, their imaginations go wild! I canโ€™t even begin to count all the ways we use this stuff! This is a must-have stocking stuffer item for sure. Learn more about our favorite play dough here.

** Right now you can enter the code โ€œyay10โ€ for 10% off your order! Holiday shipping is also available to ensure your dough will be fresh, soft, and in time for wrapping!"

She is also hosting a GIVEAWAY for several of the items on the gift guide list, and ZDough is among them! We'll be giving away a Christmas ZDough set which includes 8 oz. of Spiced Cranberry and Vanilla Mint scented play dough along with a set of mini letter stamps. It comes gift wrapped and personalized as well, so it's totally ready to head right under the tree! Enter now through the link above!!

ZDough for the Holidays!

ZDough really isn't a seasonal item, especially not in our house where we play with it almost every day. Its versatility is part of what I love about it, but now that we're nearing the holidays I couldn't pass up a few holiday ZDough options. Here is a bit more about them:

Christmas ZDough Set: This gift-wrapped set comes with 8 oz. of Spiced Cranberry and Vanilla Mint ZDough and a set of mini letter stamps. Here's to fun with a little dash of literacy too ;) *All gift sets can be personalized!*

ZDough Stocking Stuffers: The 2.5 oz. ZDough mini tins are rarely offered individually, but around the holidays I've made an exception. These make the PERFECT stocking stuffer, and this way you can buy just the number that you need. You can choose from any of the regular varieties as well as the Christmas varieties described above.

Winter ZDough Set: This gift-wrapped set comes with three 8 oz. tins of ZDough in the winter varieties- Wintergreen, Peppermint & Rose. It makes for a great play activity when the weather outside is not so delightful... *All gift sets can be personalized!*

*HOLIDAY SHIPPING*

I've rolled out a new option for holiday orders this year. If you'd like to place your order now (and get a few things off your To Do List!) you can elect to have your ZDough made and shipped in early December so it will be at its most fresh and fun for the holidays. Just write HOLIDAY SHIPPING in the Note to Seller section.

Brown Play Dough?

I have to admit, I had some reservations about making brown play dough. Was it going to look at all appealing to play with? Would it be the tin that was always left out? But then I thought about fall, the sweet smell of cinnamon wafting from the kitchen, and my confidence started to grow. Of course brown play dough can be fun! Maybe it's because of my initial uncertainty, but I've come up with more play ideas for November's Cinnamon scented ZDough than any other! Here are just a few to get you started...

1. Construction Zone! For every kiddo who loves cars, trucks, and diggers, brown play dough is for you. Spread it out on the table, mold it into mountains, and you're ready to play! Enjoy making tracks with different toys, moving the dough around your construction site, or even excavating fossils. Plus, cinnamon smells a whole lot nicer than dirt!

2. Make a teddy bear! Set out a rolling pin and bear cookie cutter and let the decorating begin. Googly eyes (a personal favorite), buttons, string, and foam pieces all work well in the dough and provide kiddos with infinite options to make (and remake!) the bear of their dreams.

3. Turkeys! Mould and pinch your dough into a turkey shape and decorate with feathers, googly eyes, and anything else that comes to mind! Putting a few utensils on the table will also give your child the chance to make lines and patterns in the dough. Gobble gobble!

4. Don't have time to make gingerbread men? Give your little one the opportunity with a mound of Cinnamon ZDough, rolling pin, cookie cutter and loose parts. Pom poms work well in the dough as well as pipe cleaners. The options are endless- just make sure you take into account your child's age and developmental stage. If they're still putting everything into their mouths than small loose parts will have to wait!

Hopefully this gives you plenty of inspiration for your brown play dough. Remember to send any pics of your ZDough creations to kira.zdough@gmail.com to receive a 10% off coupon. They may even be featured on the blog and social media!

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ZDough SALE on Jane.com!

Have you heard the good news? This coming week ZDough will be featured as a seller on Jane.com! The Fall Seasonal Set, which includes 8 oz. of Caramel Apple, Pumpkin Spice & Cinnamon scented play dough, is available for more than 25% off! And here's a little insider tip: if you buy two or more sets they ship at the same flat rate. If you're looking to get the jump on holiday shopping or fill your Thanksgiving table with handmade favors for the little ones, this is the time to buy!

The ZDough sale will only last from Wednesday, October 28 until Friday, October 30, so remember to act fast! Just head over to Jane.com and look for ZDough under the Kids section. I bet while you're on there you'll find a few other lovely things to add to your basket as well :)

To learn more about our sale with Jane.com please follow ZDough and Jane on social media: 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/zdough & www.facebook.com/veryjane

Instagram: @z_dough & @veryjane

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/z_dough & www.pinterest.com/veryjane

It's time to party!

Is it me or are you getting a lot of birthday invites this time of year? We've been to parties the last two weekends in a row, and it's been inspiring a lot of card-making (on the part of my daughter) and ZDough production (for me!) It also gave me the idea to put together a little party throwing guide to make the process simpler and more fun, whether you're a guest or the host.

Now if you're the lucky duck throwing the party, you may be thinking, "What am I going to have all these kids DO while they're here?" Well rest assured because I've got you covered! The 2 lb. pail of ZDough packs enough play dough for 8 kids to play at one time. Just order your favorite variety, find a low table the guests can gather around, set out a few tools or toys for kiddos to use in the dough, and let the fun begin! The tools and toys can go with the theme of the party, if there is one, or just provide the little ones with different options in their play. I recommend wooden toys, stamps, and rolling pins, like the Humble Elephant pins pictured above, as a starting point. The best part? Kids and adults of all ages can enjoy the activity, there is no right or wrong way to play, and no one needs to be policing what happens at the table (aside from watching that one kid who always wants to nibble more than play... That's what the snack table is for! Remember ZDough smells amazing but is not tasty!) If you're feeling ambitious you can also send each guest home with a mini tin of ZDough as a favor. It will keep their creativity going and definitely beats a trip to the dollar store for plastic stuff!

And if you are a party-goer, it's even simpler! ZDough gift sets make an easy and thoughtful gift. They even come gift wrapped, and I'm happy to personalize by stamping names or short messages into the dough! And to all of you Madison locals, while I make ZDough to order I do usually have some lying in wait if you need a gift at the last minute. Reach out because I can usually pull something together!

So remember, all a good party needs are people you love, some food and drink, and something for the little ones to do so they channel all of their party energy in positive ways ;) Hopefully at your next party you and your guests will have a ball!

L & M's ZDough Wedding!

Ok, perhaps it's not just about the ZDough, but I could not be more excited about being a part of L & M's big day today. When I heard they were interested in ZDough wedding favors, the first thought that came to mind was, "This is going to be the most fun wedding ever!" From their gorgeous location on a working farm, to the opportunity for their guests to camp there over the long weekend, to the obviously lovely couple, everything about this day reads memorable, light-hearted, and filled with joy. L & M, I wish you all the best on your big day and in the many happy years to come!

Now, for those of you interested in how 100 personalized, eucalyptus and wintergreen-scented ZDough wedding favors come together, check out the little slideshow below!

Looking Forward

Things feel like they are coming together. Our move has been a wild ride, but we're here, the boxes are largely unpacked, and Z is off to her new school! Part of me is doing the Mommy-Happy-Dance because I can finally concentrate on work again, but the other part of me is missing her silly self here at home. I'm pretty sure feeling pulled in different directions is the whole crux of this parenting thing...

Right now, I'm looking forward. I hope to make big things happen this year by growing my business. I'd like to partner with local businesses here in Madison and have been so happy to continue the work I was doing with entrepreneurs in Connecticut. Bigger orders are coming my way and the smaller orders for birthday gifts, holidays, and "just because" occasions are keeping me on my toes. Here's to a happy autumn!

To say thanks to those of you who have supported my business already and to welcome newcomers, ZDough is having a sale this long weekend. Enter code LOOKINGFORWARD for $5 off your purchase of $20 or more. It's the perfect time to order those gifts you've been meaning to get for upcoming parties or try something new that you and your kiddos are sure to enjoy. Sale ends Monday, September 7th!