Friday, 13 April 2012

Orange playdough fun

I think play dough has to be one of my favourite 'inside' activities. It's simple to make, its fun and 'The fairy' loves it which means I love it too! Its a great way to develop imagination and fine motor skills. With an added bonus that we both find it relaxing (a bit like kneading bread or using clay). So this morning when it appeared that we both had got out of the wrong side of bed (largely due to lack of sleep as 'The frog' is teething) a play dough session seemed to be in order. As 'The fairy' had just had a clementine as a post breakfast snack we commandeered the peel and set to work on the easiest play dough recipe in the world - with a citrus twist.

The play dough recipe below was given to me by my wonderful friend and collegue D, who is Portage worker .... (as an aside the Portage workers I have had the joy to work alongside have been a very talented and inspirational bunch - they are all very special people and have taught me lots especially about sensory play).

Very easy playdough
1 cup of plain flour
1/2 cup of salt
1 cup of boling water (just from the kettle)
1 table spoon of cream of tartar
1 table spoon of oil (this makes it nice and stretchy)

Mix it all up, give it a bit of knead and away you play.

There are loads of things you can add to make the sensory experince different... food colouring, flavouring or a tiny bit of essential oil (NB make sure that it is a non toxic one as some can be toxic) for a different smell, bits to make it give a different texture (lentils, porridge oats) glitter for added sparkle or flowers for a natural touch. When adding ingredients I usually omit a bit of another similar ingredient (e.g. if I'm adding food colouring I leave out a bit of water, flavoured oil then I omit a bit of olive oil or if I'm adding porridge I leave out some flour). The basic mix keeps well in a sealed container in the fridge for a bit (if the there are added 'foody' bits then it doesn't keep as well).

As we had an orange theme we used some food colouring and added orange oil to give an olfactory dimension. We snipped up clementine peel to poke in. After a root around in the cupboard I found some lentils and dried citrus peel to add as well.

Today I encouraged 'The fairy' to use other utensils rather than the favourite rolling and cutting and so we raided the kitchen for interesting looking items.

We squeezed

and banged

and pressed

and pushed

and sprinkled

and finished with some 'pizza cakes'

I love watching The Fairy come up with ideas in play. She often makes worms when we play with playdough with 'no cutters'. I wonder if today she chose 'pizza cakes' because of the food related materiels she had available.

Language Focus
Vocabulary: roll, hit, push, squeeze, sprinkle, smell, orange
Other skills: fine motor skills and imaginative play

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