Thursday, 14 April 2011

Play dough tea party

Both children seemed a little grumpy in the afternoon a few days ago so I decided to make some play dough.  I added a few drops of lavender oil to the recipe to give it a calming scent.  I tried to make it purple but put too much colouring in and it went a kind of sludge colour (which is Boy's favourite colour so he was happy).  I made a half quantity of the recipe given here
I gave then some cutters, rolling pin, cake cases, bits of drinking straws and some paper plates.  I sat with them but just allowed them to be creative.
First both children stick objects into their play dough.
Without saying anything I made this 'cake.'  Then.....
They started making party food.  Cakes, biscuits, curly sausages.....
This play dough feast was made by them.  I only made the original cake.  Boy made all the curly sausages (that's what he said they were).  They worked on this together for about an hour and then did some role play - having a party.
'It's your birthday!' He said to his sister.  I joined in with the party.  Sometimes, it's really important to allow your children the freedom to do things without you 'helping.'  It can be really tempting to intervene (and sometimes your help will be needed!) but it really helps children to build independence and self esteem if they are allowed to do things on their own.
Playing with dough like this can lead onto other kinds of play too.  Yesterday afternoon Boy's nursery teacher told me he made a drum kit out of play dough.  This led to the whole group making percussion instruments outside from other materials and singing together.  Children's interests will very often crop up when they are playing with dough.  Use this to extend their learning and ignite their imagination!


  1. I love that his idea developed the next day at nursery!

  2. It is truly wonderful to see what children will come up with.

  3. Fabulous...we made kool aid play dough this past week if you havent tried it yet. It smells really good too.

  4. We don't have Kool Aid here in the UK I'm afraid, I have heard from lots of people it is brilliant in play dough. I did it recently with some dried rosemary and that was very good too. Thanks for your comments.