Play Dough Discoveries

I am lucky enough to have an extraordinary mum who also happens to be an extraordinary Granma and also has had decades of experience in early learning. She is always coming up with simple ways to keep things interesting.

Enter Play Dough, I have always found it a little frustrating. Given Boston’s short attention span and strong impulse to explore everything with his mouth, the whole experience sometimes feels more effort then its worth. But mum shared a little idea that increased play time by 200% and decreased mouthing by 50%.

What's in here?
What’s in here?

I am calling it Play Dough Discoveries! (clearly someone else probably named it this already) All you need is some play dough and smallish treasures. Wrap the treasures up in a ball of dough and set them out for little ones to discover.

Shells, stones and babies
Shells, stones and babies

We used a really simple recipe, the consistency and texture was pretty divine

1/2 cup salt
1 cup plain flour
2 tbs cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tbs oil
2 to 6 drops liquid food colouring (depending on your desired colour)

STEP 1 Bring water to the boil, dissolve salt, add oil and food colouring.
STEP 2 Mix into dry ingredients, then work into soft dough with your hands.
STEP 3 Allow to cool and store in a well sealed plastic bag or container.

20150328_104842_fotorNext time we are going to fill the discovery balls with large glitter flakes, hoping to create a breaking Geode effect. This would be pretty wonderful for older children who are learning about geology, something we will use further down the track no doubt 🙂

20 minutes later and still interested!!!




Sensory Crafty Afternoony

I LOVE craft and Boston likes creating HUGE mess so I am trying to embrace art that allows a bit of both. Art/Craft/Sensory play is a fantastic way for toddlers to explore colour, texture, physics and a whole lot more. I need to be honest here and say we haven’t embraced a lot of art in our house. Boston’s delayed fine motor skills, short attention span and tendency to put everything new in his mouth has presented challenges and at times straight up annoyed the poop out of me (I am human, there I have admitted it). But the benefits and development growth that regular creative play brings are far too important for me to keep putting art on the too hard shelf. Here are two activities that are fun, easy to make with household items and eatable to a certain degree 🙂 IMG_3468_fotorDry Food Exploration We mixed together a little of everything. White rice, brown rice, beans, lentils and barley. Boston loved running his fingers through it all. He is also in the process of perfecting tipping and turning skills (like drinking from a cup). Adding a plastic cup and funnel gave him a chance to test his skills in a place other then onto our kitchen floor. The whole tray or goodies eventually ended up on the grass and some found Boston’s mouth. IMG_3466_fotor   Magical Goop! Has anyone played with cornflour and water?? Oh my gosh my world has been changed forever!! Mixing these two simple ingredients gives you a substance that feels firm when you touch and pick it up… but then instantly turns to running goopey goodness. To be honest I played with it about 300% longer then Boston but I still see it as a success. My wonderful mum helped make ours, I think you can perfect the recipe to your own liking, but here are the basics;

  • 2 cups Cornflour
  • 1 cup Water
  • Mix cornflour and water together in a large container
  • Add food colouring if desired

IMG_3474_fotor Hopefully our fun afternoon of creative play will give you a little inspiration to take art off the too hard shelf and spread it around the lawn.

Let me know of any creative activities you explore with your littles, what are your favourites? what are their favourites? any disasters?