Happy Calm and Easy Homemade Playdough Recipe

Play dough has got to be one of my must-have parenting items. Along with Lego and a library of course! But I’ll write more about must haves another time πŸ™‚

This is a simple recipe using easy to find ingredients and including another twist which I find makes the experience more enjoyable for both parents and children – oil blends!

Choose and mix your own colours, oil blends, and quantities according to your wishes. This makes enough for about 1&1/2 cups of dough, and I like it because even toddlers can make it themselves! And they smell gorgeous and not like salt or oil haha!

Ingredients;

  • 1 cup water
  • Β½ cup cooking salt 
  • 1 tbs cream of tartar
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • A few drops of essential oil/s of choice (a few different ones can be used) – if desired
  • 2 or three drops each of your choice of food colouring (if desired). Use 4-5 drops for a stronger colour.

My oil blend of choice for kids!


Method;

  1. Heat water, oil, salt and cream of tartar in a pan over low-medium heat, until salt is mostly dissolved (if not entirely dissolved).
  2. Remove pan from stove and add flour, mixing quickly to form dough. 
  3. Remove from pan and place on a play board or similar, and knead for a couple of minutes. Section into desired number of portions for your different colour/oil blend combinations. Roll into balls.
  4. Use your finger to poke a hole in the Centre of each ball, dropping in food colouring and/or oils of choice. Knead carefully, until thoroughly combined. I usually make 4 balls out of this size mixture.
  5. Now play! And be sure to seal in an airtight container or bag – they should last 4-6 months. 

    Half mixed blue

Completely mixed and ready to have fun!

Have fun!

C xx

Advertisements

How to Make 5 Little Ducks and Old Mother Duck Finger Puppets

  A quick guide for any handy person wishing to create some finger puppet fun for your toddler πŸ™‚ 

We all know the song so I won’t go on.

Materials;

  • 1 X A4 size sheet of felt
  • Scissors 
  • Permanent marker
  • Hot glue gun

Instructions;

  1. Divide your felt into 6 even pieces and cut the rectangles.   
  2. Draw a larger duck shape on the back of one of the felt sheets, making sure to position it towards the top, and draw a line out to the edge of the piece where you’d imagine the water to be if mother duck was sitting in water. Cut out this shape.    
  3. Do the same with a smaller duck shape. Cut all 5 ducks.   
  4. Use your permanent marker to draw their eye, beak and wing, like so.   
  5. Fold the two edges inwards to create the finger puppet and hot glue them on the back.   

  
These are my little cuties – can’t wait to show them to my children in the morning !! πŸ™‚

DIY Create A Fairy Wonderland Kit

  
Making your own Fairy Wonderland Kit is pleasantly basic and affordable and makes a wonderful gift πŸ™‚

This is a basic kit which I made last Saturday night from various bits and pieces in our kitchen cupboards and craft draws. I gave them to my two children today. 

Oh the delight! The fun! The creativity! The textures!! 

To make your own, read through these items and go wild – other ideas can include wooden shapes, beetles or toy cars, rocks, toy animals, wool, felt, leaves, anything!

Materials;

  • A4 size tray (I used a box lid but you can use whichever size suits you and wooden ones are always beautiful!)
  • Green, yellow or red split dried peas. One bag or more for however big your box is – obviously here mine were intended for some form of grass or sand as a base to prop items in.
  • Egg cartons, cupcake paper liners, 
  • Wooden craft pegs, scraps of fabric, hair ties/bands (these were intended to make the “fairies” but can of course be used for anything)
  • Craft butterflies
  • Scoop and bamboo spoon
  • Wooden spheres, glass tiles of varying colours, glass pebbles in varying colours, sea shells, and wooden counting mushrooms I wrote about here).
  • Dried spices: star anise, cinnamon stick (you could probably use cloves, cardamom pods or various other whole items as well or instead of)


Presentation

I simply left the set trays as you see them with most items unopened but neatly set out. My two love opening packets so that was half the fun! Depending on the age/s of your child/ren you may need to explain what they’ve found or how to make a little person with the peg for example. But try to let them lead and create freely without your interruption or dictating your vision of how anything should look or be. My 3yo actually spent the first 30 minutes or more simply pouring and scooping & feeling the peas πŸ™‚

  
Stimulation Areas;

This activity is great for all ages and if you reduce the contents of your tray, those with sensitivities or learning delays or other differences in processing may find a lot of joy playing with these too πŸ™‚

I see that this encompasses sensory play with such an assortment of textures, and smells (great idea Mummy, if I do say so myself!). Fine motor skills, imagination and problem solving, planning, and joy are all thrown in too. Scooping, pouring, building, role playing – so many bases covered! That’s why I was so excited to do this and simply observe what comes out of it ❀️

  
Enjoy and feel free to share yours in the comments!

❀️

And here is my 6yo’s first finished fairy land. She plans to develop it a little later and build on it but for now it’s on display in her room πŸ™‚

  

Little Paleontologists; Make Your Own Fossil Dig Site

  My two children are totally into dinosaurs right now. Even my 2 yo rattles off complicated dinosaur names, followed by my 6 yo explaining to her that she can’t be that type of dinosaur (they “become” the dinosaurs!) because it’s a flying predator and as the littlest of the family can’t be that. Child logic.

So I got inspired and with some unused air drying clay had some fun building a couple of fossil finds for them !

Materials;

  • Air drying clay
  • An assortment of chicken/animal bones, scrubbed and boiled clean, then dried. We happened to eat some roast chicken so I simply saved the bones but use whichever bones you like.
  • Craft feathers
  • Broken sea shells (optional)
  • Sand and dirt

Method;

  1. Ensure your bones are completely dry. If you have a dehydrator, even better! Once you’re confident they are dry, simply pack some bones, along with any feathers or shells, rocks/pebbles etc and make sure it’s all completely pressed in. This ensures no air can get inside and create mould pockets.   
  2. Shape the covered items into a rock-ish shape and be as messy as you like – it adds to the feel and realism of the fossil.
  3. Rub some sand and dirt to the outside of your new fossil. Lay out of the children’s sight to dry. Mine took 2 weeks to dry thoroughly enough to use.
  4. Finally, hide them in the garden or sand pit. Then initiate a fossil hunting game and hey presto – Fun! 

  We used garden tools and pointed rocks to dig our fossils out but you may like to go ahead and find a children’s Paleontologists Kit if you like. To deepen our experience my eldest daughter then drew the bones in her dinosaur journal, and we sat and discussed what type of dinosaur it was! I was quite impressed with her reasoning for what she thought it was (she told me it had to be a Microraptor or other small, bird like dinosaur with decorative feathers as opposed to flying feathers). Not too far off the actual bird we did use the bones of!

  If I was to do it again I’d definitely add sand to the mixture and rub dirt on them to mask the clay, I’d even hide them in the garden soil I think. Since we don’t own our garden I tend not to dig around in it too much, though. But go for your life and share your adventure! 

The amazing thing about this was that they were both immersed in this excavation for over an hour, uninterrupted! It was like they truly were little paleontologists, and it was a most important find. My heart did soar πŸ™‚

Happy digging xx