Friday, July 27, 2012

Playdough Station

Yay for playdough! I have yet to meet a parent who hasn't had some of this stuff stashed away for rainy days. Even though we don't play with it often, my kids tend to be either completely absorbed in playdough or completely disinterested. To try and curb their recent lack of interest, I set up a Playdough Station whilst they were napping/having quiet time. I loved the expressions on their sweet faces when they woke up to see what was waiting for them - pure excitement!

To set this up, I just pulled out their desks and chairs, and laid out an assortment of novelty ice-cube trays, kitchen utensils, and some shallow containers filled with all sorts of oddments.

To add to the novelty, I also changed the playdough a little. Instead of the regular stuff, I gave Galaxy Playdough a whirl.

I used the same basic playdough recipe as always, divided it in half, and coloured one portion lilac and the other black, and added masses of glitter! If you want to try black playdough yourself, you'll need to buy black food dye - using various ratios of red, blue, yellow and green does not work. At best, you'll end up with an awful brown colour, which - how do I put this delicately? - looks more at home in your baby's nappy. When adding the black food dye, wear gloves unless you want your hands to look like this...

Eden wouldn't hold hands with me until it all washed off; "it's too dirty, Mummy!"
My girls loved the galaxy dough! Eden called it "sparklish" and Ava thought it looked delicious, but also enjoyed playing with it once I had persuaded her to keep it out of her mouth.

Some of their favourite creations were the lollipops (Eden), a hunk of black playdough covered in stars (Ava) and a "girly monster" (Eden).

It's so rewarding when an activity like this one which requires a fair amount of set up and clean up is appreciated and enjoyed by your little ones. Eden and Ava played with this for over an hour and a half whilst I cooked and pottered around! I'm sure that must be some sort of record! We had some visitors today and I got this playdough out for our kids with a minimal assortment of bits and pieces and it occupied them for a decent stretch of time too! Woo hoo!!
Playdough is a wonderful sensory material which can also be quite therapeutic to play with. The act of manipulating the dough is a great tension reliever - rather like adults with stress balls at their desks. Playdough play also offers scope for creativity (what can you make?), role play (baking cookies and pies, like Mum/Dad) and even pretend play (lollipops for sale!). Next time your tot is feeling a bit high strung, why not give this a go and see if it alleviates their frustrations? 
Thanks for reading! ~ L.

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