Free activity sheet

Playdough Recipe

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cooking playdough
Playdough ingredients

As the cold weather draws in we are all going to be looking for a few more indoor activities for the little ‘uns.  The best things provide a range of activities rolled into one to keep the kids engaged for a reasonable amount of time.  This is an old one, but a great one and both Munchkin and I love it – making playdough and having a playdough party.

Activity one: playdough making

Even young children can help with the mixing and kneading as both are done away from the heat.

Ingredients:

1 cup water (it doesn’t matter what size cup, just use the same one throughout)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil  

½ cup salt (This preserves it and makes it unpleasant for little ‘uns to munch on!)

Homemade playdough

1 teaspoon food colouring (You may need more if you want very vibrant colours)

A few drops almond essence (This is not essential, but mimics the scent of the bough playdough)

1 cup flour (Make sure it’s plain)

Put all the ingredients, other than the four, into a large saucepan and warm gently.

Remove from the heat and add the flour.

Stir in the flour, then remove from the pan and knead until smooth

Keep in an airtight container (we often use old take away containers)

Activity two: playdough playing

Once you have made the playdough, you can keep it for months (no exaggeration, if you’ve used cream of tartar) in an airtight container, but nothing beats that first game with the new, still slightly warm dough.  I actually find it quite relaxing, rolling, shaping and squishing the dough!

Munchkin and I usually have a playdough party the first time round. We get cake decorations, fairy cake cases and candles and make numerous cakes.  We usually then get out all the stuffed toys, a picnic blanket and the tea set and have a playdough party.

Making the dough is brilliant for their cooking skills (older children could help weigh and measure too) and the child’s enquiring mind will love watching the individual ingredients combine and create a new substance – chemistry in action!  Playing with playdough encourages imaginary play and also helps with fine motor skills.

Playdough cakes

All in all, then, making playdough is a great activity for a cold, rainy day.

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Tresure Hunt #2

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Working together

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

I hope that one or two of you had a go at the treasure hunt over the last couple of days. I don’t know about where you are, but we have had glorious sunshine over the last few days and after the wash-out summer, it’s been nice to get out and do things with the kids, so we took munchkin and bear-cub to Kew Gardens with some treasure hunt sheets to see how it worked with two…

Often when we visit Kew, the kids want to head straight for Climbers and Creepers, the indoor play area, but today we wanted to get them to explore outside as we didn’t want to miss the beautiful sunshine! Bring on the treasure hunt.

To ensure at least one child was onside, munchkin and I created the sheets together.  She helped to choose pictures for the sheets, which also provided us with another activity, and we personalised each one with the kids’ names and headed to Kew.

First we popped to the Princess Diana Conservatory and looked at plants and fish – which promted comments such as “the crabs are behind the glass” from the munchkin and “can I put my finger in the water with the piranha” from bear-cub! Then we headed outside for the treasure hunt.

One sheet each (see below for link to printable sheet), one bag each and we Mummies were able to sit chatting while toddlers ran off together, (sometimes even holding hands and often calling to each other, searching for their treasure!)  When they got confused, they’d head back to us and we would look in their bags, and chat with them about what they’d already found and then direct them to a good area to look for the next thing.  It really didn’t take much effort on our part and it extended our time for chatting and catching up no end.

After the kids had completed their treasure hunt, it was time for a snack then off to look at the ducks, but throughout the little treasure bags were gripped tightly in their hands and then after a picnic lunch they headed off to find their own treasure, proudly bringing back fir-cones!  Back to nature, little ‘uns!

Did you have a go at the treasure hunt?  If so, let us know how it went.  If not, why not print one off today and have a go?

R and L

Download a treasure hunt sheet here


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Treasure Hunt

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Download a treasure hunt sheet here

How do you get a two-year-old, who is perfectly capable of walking, to go where you want at a speed that isn’t so painfully slow you want to cry, without demanding to be carried after about 2 minutes?

If you already have this cracked then I worship you!  For me, a walk to the shops, the library or even the park, can have me breathing deeply and counting to ten rather too often. I regularly resort to the buggy for journeys, despite knowing that she can walk the few 100 yards, just so that I don’t have to a) chase her the wrong way down the street, b) drag her along like a sullen teenager or c) carry her!

The other day I hit upon an idea, however, and it was so simple…we did a treasure hunt.  I printed off an A4 sheet with her name at the top (that alone was exciting for the munchkin!) and six pictures of things to find: a brown leaf, a green leaf, a stick etc.  We headed out with said list, a bag to collect things in an a smiling, excited daughter.  She walked all the way to the park, gleefully searching for stones and grass.  She didn’t say she wanted to be carried.  She uncomplainingly held my hand across the roads and she went the right way at a reasonable speed.  Result!  She even came back in the same way looking for the last thing.

One word of warning though…I printed a red flower.  Red flowers are not often found wild at this time of year. Darling daughter would not pick a different coloured flower, despite my protestations that I had only meant a flower, and the red was just for illustrative purposes, so if you want your child to be able to achieve the treasure hunt (without climbing over people’s garden walls…) consider the colour of flower!

R

Download a treasure hunt sheet here

 

Click link above to download