ZDough at Creations

You can imagine my surprise as we were moving out to Madison, WI when I received an email from a new shop in Madison, CT about a wholesale ZDough order. "Madison! Yes!! Oh, wait. Connecticut? Well, yes!"

So Connecticut friends, don't think we've forgotten about you! Creations is a new shop in Madison, CT that features hand-crafted products of all sorts. They've gotten off to a great start with their grand opening earlier this month and their shelves are stocked with ZDough, so if you're interested in supporting makers and local businesses drop on by! You can check them out at www.creationsmadison.com.

What a summer it has been!

As I sit in our new place in Madison, WI I feel right at home, despite the stacks of boxes still around me. It has been a nomadic summer for my family filled with hotel living, family visiting, road trips, Dramamine (oh sweet, sweet Dramamine!), and new beginnings. Thank you to those of you who have reached out along the way to inquire about ZDough for your birthday parties, store grand openings, wedding favors, and giveaways. It has been such a treat to know that we have not been forgotten despite being enormously distracted for the past few months. Today the Etsy shop officially reopens and ZDough is now Madison-made! 

Feeling Springy?

Happy Spring!

Happy Spring!

It feels like it's taken a while for spring to actually arrive, but with the warm sunshine, flowers blooming, and robins hunting for their worms, it's finally possible to celebrate the beauty of the season!

In honor of spring use code FEELINGSPRINGY for $5 off your order of the Spring Seasonal Set. You'll receive 8 oz of the eucalyptus, lavender and strawberry scented ZDough and the first 3 people to order will receive a bonus item as well! 

As always, ZDough is made with all food-grade ingredients and is scented with essential oils and baking flavors. The natural scents are never cloying- they just give that hint of aroma that makes squishing the silky play dough that much more enjoyable. The sale ends May 15, so act now before spring gives way to summer!

ZDough for Baby Beast: Fun & Fashion

Looking for a side of fun with your microfashion? Check out this weekend's giveaway by Baby Beast, a Detroit-based children's clothing company, and enter to win a Baby Beast children's tee and a mini tin of ZDough! 

ZDough and BabyBeast team up for an amazing giveaway!

ZDough and BabyBeast team up for an amazing giveaway!

When Baby Beast approached ZDough to create an EXCLUSIVE VARIETY, we jumped at the chance. The jet black play dough has a rad Rootbeer Float scent that brings back happy childhood memories. This combination of a vintage toy with modern children's fashion is such fun. Don't miss out!

Baby Beast designs are minimalist, urban, and fun and they use only the finest organic fabrics. My little one has several of their t-shirts and loves their buttery softness. I wish they made them in adult sizes! For directions on how to enter the giveaway go to their Instagram at @shopbabybeast, follow both @shopbabybeast and @z_dough, and tag five of your friends in their Baby Beast/ZDough giveaway post.

Best of luck!

ZDough on the go

At first thought traveling with a tin of play dough might sound like a bad idea. Won't it get all over everything? Won't you leave a trail of (albiet amazing) play dough everywhere you go? While it may not be the right choice for every child, given their age or play style, you may be surprised how wonderful a travel tool it can be!

Little Z uses her Lavender ZDough on a cross-country flight.

Little Z uses her Lavender ZDough on a cross-country flight.

Our family has been traveling quite a bit recently, and for anyone who is on the go with toddlers even a trip out to a restaurant requires some materials to keep little hands and imaginations busy. I tossed a mini tin of ZDough in my toddler's backpack a while ago, and it has come in awfully handy! Here are a few tips and tricks to enjoying ZDough whether you're out for dinner or traveling away from home:

1. Only bring it out when the conditions are right. Ask yourself, "Is this a formal setting (think white table cloths...) where play dough will not be appreciated?" If so, keep it tucked away. But if you're eating at a casual restaurant or are on a long flight then I say go ahead! Those of you who have ZDough at home will know that the vibrant colors will not come off on hard surfaces and a quick swipe of the table with your napkin will leave it ready for the next customer. The only things that play dough does not play well with are fabrics (like table cloths) or paper (like menus). Plastic or wooden toys work very well in the dough.

2. Think about how your child is likely to play with it. Does he still like to pick it up and drop it on the floor over and over and over again (just to see you pick it up?) Again, this may not be the right time to bring out your ZDough. But if your little one is old enough to become engrossed in his play and can keep the dough on the table then it could definitely buy you some uninterrupted time to say eat your food...while it's hot.

Use your ZDough tin as a tool!

Use your ZDough tin as a tool!

3. Consider bringing a tool or two. Z's backpack has a mini tin of ZDough and a simply plastic cylinder that she uses as a rolling pin. She's even figured out how to use the tin itself as a tool! The lid can be taken apart to reveal a round ring which can be used as a cookie cutter and a plastic disk that is perfect for flattening little balls of dough and cutting it into strips. Leave it to children to find the best ways to play!

I hope this has given you some good ideas about how to use your ZDough even if you're away from home. Happy travels!

ZDough + Rolling Pins = Hours of Fun!

ZDough has teamed up with Humble Elephant, the makers of engraved rolling pins for children, to bring hours of happy play time to your door! Check out their Kickstarter campaign to see the entire line of children's pins, which are hand-crafted and perfect for use in the kitchen and at the play table. Add ZDough to your package and you've got the perfect gift all ready to go!

My daughter has several animal pins and loves rolling out her ZDough and printing the animals on the dough. She also has a personalized pin with her name on it! The Humble Elephant Kickstarter campaign is in its final hours, so head there now:

 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1393077533/tiny-hands-on-a-roll 

ZDough Giveaways for Autism Awareness Month!

Attention friends, parents and teachers,

ZDough has teamed up with Autism Sensory Box this month to provide new and exciting sensory materials to kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Check out their FaceBook page, www.facebook.com/AutismSensoryBox, for amazing giveaways all month long in honor of Autism Awareness. I will be giving away two 8 oz. tins of Eucalyptus and two 8 oz. tins of Lavender ZDough. Enter to win the Eucalyptus tins on April 16 and the Lavender tins on April 19!

As a former Special Education teacher I worked with many kids on the spectrum and think that ZDough would provide a wonderful sensory experience, both through the tactile interaction with the dough as well as through the scents. The Eucalyptus and Lavender doughs are scented with essential oils and have a natural calming effect. As always, the ingredients in ZDough are all food-grade, but eating it is not recommended. While ZDough smells great it does not taste good! So enter for the giveaways and let's start playing!!

Shout out from Artist & Craftsman in New Haven!

I stopped into Artist & Craftsman in New Haven today and received the warmest welcome from their staff. These people definitely know their art materials, and they were so excited by a play dough that smells great and is silky and soft. I left some ZDough samples from the Rainbow Set in their shop, and if you're downtown you should definitely check them out! They have every craft material under the sun, not to mention great gifts for people of all ages. Here's what they had to say on FaceBook:

"We had a great visit from local craftsperson Kira Rama today. She showed us her hand made product ZDough , and is REALLY neat stuff. It's a kids modeling material that has bright colors, and smells sooooo good (like CRAZY good). We're ALL about supporting our local artists and craftspeople, especially when we love the product, so check out her Facebook and Etsy page (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ZDough). If you are tired of mass produced crap for your young ones, you may really like her colored modeling dough. Feel free to come by the store here to check out a sample she left behind!"

Fine motor fun for St. Patrick's Day!

Most children enjoy fine motor activities, and while they're great fun they're educational too. Learning to string beads, roll play dough, and pick up small objects helps children strengthen their fingers and build dexterity that they will use later on to grip a pencil and learn to write. But before you go racing off to teach your toddler the correct pencil grip, remember that children learn best through play. So gather a few materials from around the house and have some fun!

For this project you will need:

Eucalyptus ZDough (Great for St. Patrick's Day play but you could use any variety.)

6 Pipe cleaners (It will help little ones to have one for each color of the rainbow so they can match the color of the bead to the pipe cleaner, but as you can see below it's fine to go with what you have lying around.)

Beads (Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple pony beads work well. I used dyed pasta that we had left over from another beading project.)

Dishes for sorting beads

Golden treasures (Beads, coins, jewels- whatever you have that looks precious enough to be found at the end of the rainbow!)

Now that your materials are assembled you can invite your little one to play. Depending on their age they will be able to help you sort the beads by color and then match the color beads to the color of the pipe cleaner. If sorting is out of their league just yet, they can string any beads onto the pipe cleaners. If your kiddos are older they can use the beads to make patterns on their pipe cleaners! Once the pipe cleaners are adorned the kiddos can divide the ZDough into two balls and stick the ends of the pipe cleaners in to make rainbow arches. Now all that's left is to put the treasure at the end of the rainbow!

*Project Note* This activity is wonderful for kids at a variety of ages and abilities. That said, it does include small items that may pose a choking hazard. Please use your own judgement when it comes to choosing materials and activities that are best of your little one and supervise their play.

ZDough teams up with Project Storefronts!

New Haven Friends,

Don't forget to visit ZDough at the Project Storefronts Pop Up Shop this Wednesday, February 11! We will be there with mini tins, valentines and play dough tools for sale. Mention the code SHOPLOCAL for 10% off. For more details go to the Events page. See you there!

Beaded Valentines

There is nothing like Valentine's Day to bring out the sweet heart in little ones. Unfortunately it can also bring out their sweet tooth. Rose ZDough is the perfect way to turn Valentine's Day into a time to create and share with the people you love! Roll it out, cut out some hearts and decorate them with beads, jewels and other household items. Make them at the kitchen table as a Friday family activity, lay out the materials for a Valentine's Day party, or simply let your little one become engrossed in creating and recreating with this open-ended material.

Jeweled snowflakes

Since this cold snap doesn't seem to be taking it's leave anytime soon, here's an idea for some indoor snowy fun: make your own sparkly snowflakes with ZDough! Ask the littles to help knead a packet of shimmery glitter into your peppermint ZDough and it will sparkle like freshly fallen snow. Trust me this may be their favorite part! Then roll out your dough with a rolling pin and use a cookie cutter to create a snowflake shape. Make as many as you can and then decorate them- remember every snowflake is unique! Stamps, beads, and costume jewelry work well for this, but you could decorate with any household item that is safe for your children (ie. not a choking hazard.) Enjoy the wintertime fun without getting cold fingers and toes!