Easy no-cook Playdough

Playdough creations using the recipe below

Recipe:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbps cream of tartar
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • Food color (i use cakeflora gel colors)
  • 1 & 1/2 cup boiling water (add 1 cup and mix and then add the balance)

Method:

  • Mix all the dry ingredients together
  • Add the oil
  • Add some food color
  • Add 1 of the 1 & 1/2 cups of boiling water on top of the food colour (this helps to dilute it so it colors easily) and then mix
  • Add the balance 1/2 cup of water slowly to the dough until the desired feel is achieved (you may notice that you dont use all of the 1/2 cup)
  • Knead well and store in airtight plastic or containers.

Yellow Tinker Tray and Playdough Invitation to Play

Yellow Tinker Tray and Playdough

After learning a particular concept like colours, shapes, animals etc i like to reinforce my tots knowledge and understanding by setting up trays that combine a number of learnt concepts into one. Today we focussed on the colour yellow, the square, rectangle and circle shapes and of course our little duck which she is all too familiar with but since its yellow i thought it gave me the opportunity to question her about its colour.

The playdough (like playdough always is) was a fun fine motor exercise. The suction beads also offered a good workout on the little hand muscles and the rectangular links worked great for some hand eye coordination. We are paving the way for some handwriting to come.

Tiny little finger muscles getting a workout

School Lunch Organiser

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School Lunch Organiser
How do you plan your kids school lunches? Is it impromptu, planned a day in advance? A week? Or monthly?
Ive put up a wipe-clean board for each school-going child on my fridge with a list of their preferences: main, fruit and snack. Under each ive written in what they like and i try to make sure they get 1xmain 2xfruit and 2xsnack or 3xsnack. There arent that many preferences that are common to all 3 of them. So having this list makes it easier to prepare their lunches without asking them each day what they would like and without confusing the one who likes pasta arrabiata with the other 2 who prefer pasta and cheese.
I also aim to pack snacks and fruit portions the night before. And main portion in the morning (unless of course it is somethin that will stay well if packed the night before too)
In an effort to pack a rainbow lunch for them i have kept a pie chart with the food groups right next to lunch menu. I sometimes fail but try to make it up by offering them those foods for after-school lunch or dinner.

Mains:
Pasta arrabiata
Mac and cheese
Baked baby potatoes with cheese
Chicken pita with cheese and lettuce
Chicken sandwhiches or rolls
Buttered bread
Peanut butter sandwhich
Toast with jam and butter
Creamy spaghetti with brocolli and corn
Chicken nuggets
Fish fingers
Kebabs
Cut corn with butter
Chicken salad
Cottage pie

Fruits:
Melon
Pineapple
Grapes
Clementines
Banana
Apple
Kiwi
Strawberries
Mango

Snacks:
Cereal bar
Cream crackers
Muesli/granola
Yoghurt
Macadamia nuts
Pretzels
Cashews
Peanuts
Pistachios
Crunchy corn
Popcorn
Dried mango
Dried apple
Dried banana
Cranberries
Raisins

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Food Group Plate / Pie Chart

Playdough and Straw invitation to play

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Homemade playdough and coloured straws cut into shorter bits

This is a wonderful fine motor activity for tots and offers them an invitation to explore.
I used coloured straws cut up into quarters and a single ball of our Homemade Playdough layed out on a tray. She got busy sticking the straws into the playdough.

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Playdough and straws in action

The first time i set out this activity for her i found that it didnt hold her attention long enough. She merely poked the straws into the dough and set off to play with something else.
I took it as possibly just an off beat day for her, so i set out the activity again for her a few weeks later and it held her attention a lot longer.

Playtime expected: 10-20minutes

DIY Chalk Paint

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Today we made chalkpaint. I didnt have the usual ingredients for it so we made a compromised version:
2 parts water
1 part cornflour
Foodcolour (Although i added more conflour about a tablespoon extra because i found it too runny)
This paint is super awesome if filled in squeeze bottles like in the picture above. Offers a good amount of hand-muscle work and is loads of fun too.

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When using it on your sidewalk it will turn white when dry. You need to only spray some water to clean up.

Supersoft Playdough

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Our supersoft playdough. This playdough has the softest most beautiful texture. I made one and a half recipe and got out 10 different fistful-sized colours. We added glitter so some and left the others plain. It stays well in an airtight container.

Playdough
Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
2 cups water
2 Tbsp cream of tartar
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
Foodcolour
Method:
Mix all ingredients until smooth.
Pour into a pot and turn your stove onto medium.
Cook until mixture draws away from the side and forms a dough consistency.
Divide and colour.

Pastel 2-Ingredient Playdough

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Today we spent most of our morning making this beautiful pastel playdough that requires just 2 ingredients and is sooooo soft and sweet-smelling

1 cup cornflour
1/2 cup conditioner
Mix, mix, knead, pinch, squeeze, mix and you’ve got yourself some beautifully soft playdough.
Add in some gel food color and we threw in some fairy dust (glitter) too 🙌🙌🙌🙌
8 hands later we had 5 pretty colours ready to be rolled and cut.👐👐👐👐

If after using the exact measurements you find it too sticky add by the teaspoonful some cornflour until texture is like dough. And if you find it too hard/dry add in a teaspoonful of conditioner.

Store them in ziplock bags to prevent drying and in the event that they do just add a drop of conditioner to soften.

Dinosaur Sensory Bin inc. Pasta

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Our Dinosaur Sensory Bin is always a hit when i take it out. I pack it away after each play – totally out of sight so when i do take it out everyone wants to play.

I coloured some fusili pasta for the ground. I used two colours of green.

Dissolve food colour in some vinegar (1/4cup)
250g pasta
Put it into a container with a lid(can possibly stain) and shake shake shake!!!
Allow it to dry so that it loses some of the vinegar smell to it too. Add in some plastic trees, leaves and dinos 💚💙💚💙💚💙💚💙💚

And this was when she decided it was more fun to mix the textures from the different bins together….toddlerlife!!!!!
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Cloud Dough – Yellow

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Today we made this beautiful fluffy yellow cloud dough. It is thee easiest recipe and whips up in no time providing a wonderful sensory experience. I love this activity because it combines 2 textures in one. A smooth powdery dough which can then be crumbled.
The recipe:
4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cooking oil
Powder food colouring (as desired)
Mix all together until even.
And thats it 💛💛💛💛💛
(This recipe means that even if tots happen to put it into their mouth it wont be toxic)
You can substitute the cooking oil for baby oil for a beautiful soft fragrance but then do remember to prevent them from eating it.
If you cant find powdered foodcoloring you can use non toxic powdered paint available at all craft stores. Again remember you need to prevent them from eating any of it.

The recipe above can be halved or double. But if you follow it as is its usually enough for a sensory bin.