Homemade Playdough

When it comes to homemade playdough, I love to keep things natural. To experiment with naturally occurring colours and scents, to heighten the sensory and play experience for the girls. I have to say, once you start making Homemade Playdough it becomes rather addictive and when you find yourself assessing your herbs and spices and fridge contents in terms of Playdough potential, you know you’ve got the bug!

Making Homemade Playdough is amazingly simple and can take less than 15 minutes to make!

The gorgeous red shade of our  Homemade Playdough comes from beetroot. The Playdough is silky soft with an unexpected delicate sweet scent. Little lovely, to my surprise, picked up on all of these qualities and loved playing with it.

Homemade Playdough – Ingredients

1 Cup of Plain Flour
1/2 a Cup of Salt
3/4 a Cup of Warm Water
1 Sachet of Cream of Tartar
1 tsp of Oil
1 Medium Sized Beetroot

Homemade Playdough – Creating the Natural Dye

Roughly chop the beetroot into small squared segments and place into a pan, with a 1/2 a cup of water. Apply heat until the water begins to bubble and then reduce the heat to a simmer for up to 5 minutes. Craft Ideas for Kids - homemade playdough

Once the pan water appears deep red in colour, use a sieve to drain the water into a jug.

Craft Ideas for Kids - homemade playdough

Allow the dyed water to cool until warm and then add to the playdough mixture, following the method below.

craft ideas for kids - homemade playdough

 

Homemade Playdough – Method

1. Place the flour, salt and cream of tartar into a bowl and mix.
2. Gradually add water until the consistency thickens and becomes ‘dough’ like.
3. If it’s too sticky, add more flour. If it’s too dry, add more water.
4. Knead the dough until smooth and roll into a ball.
5. Wrap the playdough in cling film and allow to stand for hour before using. This settling time allows the dough to richen in colour and prevents any transference of colour onto little hands.

The Playdough can be reused and stored for up to six months in a tightly sealed container, however the dough may require a little oil to soften. To create other red shades, beetroot can be replaced with strawberries, raspberries and red cabbage or for other colours, maybe try blueberries or blackberries?

 

 

Craft Ideas for Kids - Halloween Sensory Play Monster Pizza Parlour

Halloween Sensory Play – Monster Pizza Parlour

Wowee, where do I start! My girls loved running their very own Monster Pizza Parlour in today’s Halloween themed Sensory Play Session.

My baby enjoyed exploring the different textures and colours, whilst my eldest whipped up wriggly worm pizza’s with eyeball sauce and spider crunchies!

Her bat special was monst-abulous! A grotesque sensory delight.

Craft Ideas for Kids - Halloween Sensory Play Monster Pizza Parlour

They both had a blast with this easy to prepare activity and to use the words of the little lovely, our Halloween Sensory Play session: Monster Pizza Parlour was “awesome!!”

Craft Ideas for Kids - Halloween Sensory Play Monster Pizza ParlourCraft Ideas for Kids - Halloween Sensory Play Monster Pizza Parlour

Our Monster Pizza Parlour was inspired by Claire Freedman’s ‘Spider Sandwiches’. (affiliate link below)

Craft Ideas for Kids

A book we’ve read again and again and again. Its gruesome culinary combinations really tickles Olivia’s sense of humour and captures her imagination.

She loves to imagine her own bug-filled and gross meals that are always described in great detail with a cheeky snigger and a little chuckle.

The idea of mummy eating slug and earwax soup is a particular favourite!

As such, we came up with the idea to have our very own Monster Pizza Parlour and if you’re looking for a book to make your little monsters imaginations sparkle this Halloween, then Claire Freedman’s ‘Spider Sandwiches’ will do exactly that!

Halloween Sensory Play: Monster Pizza Parlour – What’s in it?

Craft Ideas for Kids - Halloween Sensory Play Monster Pizza Parlour

To maximise the ‘sensory’ element of our Halloween Sensory Play session, I’ve incorporated smooth, rough, squidgy, fluffy, wibbly and wobbly textures into our Monster Pizza Parlour and used a range of bright and engaging colours, with some added sparkle to stimulate the senses.

Most of the ingredients used are the basic staples found in most kitchen or bathroom cupboards (nothing too fancy or difficult to find), for instance: flour, spaghetti, salt, shaving cream etc

In terms of prep, much of the ‘monster mixture’ will need to be prepared the day before, however each element will not take long and it’s totally worth it!

Craft Ideas for Kids - Halloween Sensory Play Monster Pizza ParlourSalt Dough Pizza Base

Craft Ideas for Kids - Halloween Sensory Play Monster Pizza Parlour1 Cup of Plain Flour
Craft Ideas for Kids - Halloween Sensory Play Monster Pizza Parlour½ Cup of Water
Craft Ideas for Kids - Halloween Sensory Play Monster Pizza Parlour½ Cup of Salt
Craft Ideas for Kids - Halloween Sensory Play Monster Pizza ParlourFood Colouring

Mix the flour and salt into a bowl and mix, gradually adding water. Keep mixing until you get a doughy consistency. If it’s too sticky, add more flour. If it’s too dry, add more water.

To create the marble effect, I added small droplets of food colouring directly onto the dough and kneaded it in.

To finish off, place the ‘pizza base’ into the oven on a low heat until nice and firm. Allow to cool before using.

Using a salt dough pizza base was fab, as they could be reused a few times and added a little bit of realism to the play.

Eyeball Monster Sauce

Really simple: Mushed up jelly and googly eyes.

Olivia loved this ingredient and couldn’t resist a little nibble!

Craft Ideas for Kids - Halloween Sensory Play Monster Pizza ParlourCraft Ideas for Kids - Halloween Sensory Play Monster Pizza Parlour

Spider Cream

We used shaving cream and food colouring.

Only a couple of droplets of food colouring is needed with a little stir to create this really cool marbling effect.

Craft Ideas for Kids - Halloween Sensory Play Monster Pizza Parlour

Wriggly Worms

I cannot believe how easy it is to dye spaghetti and I have to say, I love the results!

All you have to do is boil spaghetti until very soft and then rinse it with cold water until cool.

Separate the spaghetti into small bags and add a few drops of food colouring ( I used food colouring gel). Give the bags a good shake until all the spaghetti is covered and leave for 24 hours.

Before using our wriggly worms, I added a few droplets of vegetable oil to each bag to add moisture.

Craft Ideas for Kids - Halloween Sensory Play Monster Pizza ParlourCraft Ideas for Kids - Halloween Sensory Play Monster Pizza Parlour

To complete our Halloween Sensory Play: Monster Pizza Parlour, I added a few inexpensive creepy crawly extras to bring it all together and to not only invite play, but to make it irresistible. Enjoy!

Craft Ideas for Kids - Halloween Sensory Play Monster Pizza Parlour

 

 

 

This post is part of an AWESOME Halloween Read and Play Blog Hop.  Make sure to check out the other book based activities from fantastic bloggers!

Preschool Powol Packets- Room on the Broom- Croaking Frog Craft
Betsy’s Photography- Popcorn- Making Popcorn Bars
Where Imagination Grows- 5 Little Ghosts- Ghost Collages
Rubberboots and Elf Shoes- Skeleton Hiccups- Paper Chain Skeleton
Little Bins For Little Hands- ABCs of Halloween- Sensory Bin
Line Upon Line Learning- The Spooky Old Tree- Prepositions Game
Wise Owl Factory- Bunnicula and others- Halloween Book Fun Learning Round Up
Planet Smarty Pants- The Picky Little Witch- Halloween Cupcakes

Don’t forget to check out the Halloween Read and Play Pinterest Board which features ALL these great activities!
 



 

 

 

Craft Ideas for Kids - Pumpkin PlayDough

Pumpkin Playdough

With Halloween approaching, Pumpkins are currently hot topic in our household. My little lovely finds them fascinating and cannot wait to get involved with decorating and carving pumpkins.

In the meantime, I thought that I would surprise her with some Pumpkin Playdough as an after school treat.

The recipe I used is non-cook (perfect!) and very simple.

Pumpkin Playdough – Ingredients

Craft Ideas for Kids - Pumpkin Playdough1 Cup of Plain Flour
Craft Ideas for Kids - Pumpkin Playdough½ Cup of Salt
Craft Ideas for Kids - Pumpkin Playdough1 Cup of Water
Craft Ideas for Kids - Pumpkin Playdough1 Sachet of Cream of Tartar or 2 tbsp
Craft Ideas for Kids - Pumpkin Playdough1 tbsp oil
Craft Ideas for Kids - Pumpkin PlaydoughNeon Orange Food Colouring Gel

Extras –

Craft Ideas for Kids - Pumpkin PlaydoughPumpkin and Star Sequins Glitter

Pumpkin Playdough – Method

1. Add a couple of droplets of food colouring to a cup of boiled water.
2. Place the flour, salt and cream of tartar into a bowl and mix.
3. Gradually add water until the consistency thickens and becomes ‘dough’ like.
4. If it’s too sticky, add more flour. If it’s too dry, add more water.
5. Knead the dough until smooth and roll into a ball.
6. Decorate.

The power of suggestion is a wonderful thing and whilst Olivia has played with playdough many times, the ‘Pumpkin Playdough‘ was new an exciting. Needless to say, she was delighted and for now, it satisfied her Pumpkin fascination.

 

 

Craft Ideas for Kids - Communication Jar

Communication Jar

Craft Ideas for Kids - Communication JarBeing four is a lot of fun. Language, social and motor skills are rapidly developing and the world around them is beginning to make more sense. Emotions at this time are often BIG; recognising emotions within themselves and in others.

Managing those emotions can be a tricky business. Thinking about my daughter, I pondered over the thought “how can I help her to express herself?”

In a ‘eureka’ moment, I came up with the Communication Jar.

The idea behind the communication jar is a simple one: to provide a creative outlet for those big emotions.

Craft Ideas for Kids - Communication JarWe started by talking about feelings. I suggested drawing some circles and filling them in with the different feelings she experiences.

Olivia came up with:

  • Happy
  • Excited
  • “I have an Idea!”
  • Mad
  • Sad and Grumpy
  • “I don’t understand”
  • “I love you”

I asked Olivia to think about the feelings we had drawn and to consider what colour they should be. We then colour coded the emotions.

This exercise helped Olivia to identify the emotions she feels and together we decided to call this our ‘feelings chart‘.

Next we raided our supply of old jars and Olivia chose one for each us (Olivia, Mum and Dad).

Decorating our jars was a lot of fun and we used all of our favourite materials: Glitter, sequins, beads, string, ribbon, buttons and tissue paper.

Craft Ideas for Kids - Communication JarCraft Ideas for Kids - Communication JarCraft Ideas for Kids - Communication Jar

 

 

 

 

 

Creating three unique jars (one for Olivia, one for mummy and one for daddy) Can you guess who’s is whose?

Craft Ideas for Kids - Communication Jar

To begin using the Communication Jar we found a little home for the jars and feeling chart, supplying lots of paper and pens.

Referring to the chart, Olivia would draw a face, scribble an emotion colour or come up with something entirely new.

Once she had finished and posted her note, the recipient would be informed with a very loud and excited “Muuummmm ( or Daaaad) you have mail!”.

The communication jar has worked wonders in our home. First and foremost, it’s fun. Olivia loves receiving little messages and loves sending them.

When emotions are running high, it helps to defuse and bring calm to a situation.

It has helped Olivia to manage her emotions by enabling her to pin point exactly what she feels and why. It has also promoted openness, which naturally leads to discussion.

With time, I’m sure that as Olivia’s penmanship, letter recognition and formation develops, the
the messages may evolve into more detailed pictures or written words and sentences – making the Communication Jar a great learning tool.

The communication jar is also a fun and an exciting way to exchange notes of encouragement. I like to tell Olivia that I have appreciated her help or that I have noticed that she’s been very kind and thoughtful. Daddy likes to send Olivia funny jokes and silly faces.

However the Communication Jar is used, I hope it can help and open the doors a creative and fun form of communication.

Craft Ideas for Kids - Communication Jar

 

 

We love these Craft Ideas…

Craft Ideas for KidsCraft Ideas for Kids

 

 

Craft-ideas-for-kids-messy-play-simple-things

Simple Things

Today I set up a sensory play box, full of spaghetti, ice, stones and various animals. I envisioned hours of imaginative play. On any other day, Olivia would have been keen. However, with a shrug of the shoulders she opted for scribbling shapes in the mud instead.

Her lack of enthusiasm left me scratching my head and I decided to leave her to it.

Moments later, I was summoned (very loudly).
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