Pumpkin Monster Playdough!

October 31, 2013 § Leave a comment

pumpkin monster playdough

Inspired by Nurturestore‘s post on Babycentre this morning, I packed all the bits and bobs I’d need to make up a batch of orange sparkly cooked playdough over at Gran and Grandad’s house. And of course a few other bits – googly eyes and pipecleaners! Also on my agenda was to carve the final pumpkin we gathered from the pumpkin farm the other morning, and to use the seeds from it as extra decoration for the playdough. I didn’t use spices to scent my playdough though, I hadn’t thought of that (I might sneak some in and give it a good knead this evening now!) – I scented mine with almond essence, mainly just to get rid of the floury smell!

pumpkin monster playdough

It was fab though :) I left the dough out as a simple invitation to play, while I carved the pumpkin. First, Bear came along and climbed up, and played with the dough with Gran while I carved.

pumpkin monster playdough

pumpkin monster playdough

pumpkin monster playdough

Then, we had lunch and the playdough seemed to be forgotten about so once I’d finished the pumpkin and had cleaned and baked the seeds I re-made the invitation to play, and set it up so that both boys could sit at the bench and get to it. I told Bean that it was ready for whenever he was finished playing with his new lego!

pumpkin monster playdough

I settled down with my wool and left them to it, playing with their grandparents – but soon I heard playdough noises and went to investigate, and found…

pumpkin monster playdough

pumpkin monster playdough

this!

Bean and Bear, sitting at the bench with Grandad, making alienosaurs with the googly eyes and pumpkin seeds! They played for such a long time making their creations. Eventually Bear got tired and came for a cuddle and fell asleep, but Bean just kept on playing and eventually the playdough scene became inspired by watching the workman in the garden who was laying a new set of flagstones. Just amazing listening to his running narrative about what he’s doing and what the story is about. I don’t make playdough very often to be honest, but when I do I always think I should make it more often! Or at least try and make a fresh colour every couple of weeks and set up a new invitation to play :)

 

pumpkin monster playdough

pumpkin monster playdough

pumpkin monster playdough

pumpkin monster playdough

pumpkin monster playdough

pumpkin monster playdough

pumpkin monster playdough

pumpkin monster playdough

Pirate Playdough

May 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

Took a fair bit of food colouring gels but it was SO worth it!! I made pirate playdough today. My eyes needed matchsticks and I forgot to put any caffeine in my coffee but Bean wanted to make pirate cakes and pirate playdough and how could I refuse?!

pirate playdough

I split a batch of regular cooked playdough gloop into three: the first bit I cooked plain, the second I added a tube and a half of black gel and a big squirt of blue gel; and the third I added almost two tubes of red gel and a vial of edible gold lustre (which I had left over from making my birthday cake last year!). Yeah, a LOT of gel colouring went into it but oh my goodness it was gorgeous to play with. The boys LOVED it. We added a lot of blue glitter to the black dough, and the boys both had a lot of fun mixing the red and black together, and hiding and finding pirate treasure (red glass beads). I cut some little flags out of shiny black card and taped them to cocktail sticks, and Bean found a Lego Bob to be his pirate. Bear had a wooden cow! They played for ages. LOTS of fun!

Pirate playdough

Pirate playdough

Pirate playdough

Pirate playdough

Pirate playdough

Pirate playdough

Pirate playdough

Pirate playdough

Pirate playdough

Pirate playdough

Pirate playdough

Pirate playdough

Pirate playdough

Pirate playdough

 

Doesn’t it look gorgeous all marbled together like this?!

 

 

Pirate playdough

Pirate playdough

Easter Playdough Chicks

March 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

We combined two loves today: paint AND playdough! Last night I made a batch of yellow playdough ready for easter playdough fun. Today we have had an abysmal day with cranky children and the playdough cheered both of them up.

I laid out the playdough in balls, and scattered some red craft feathers on the table along with some googly eyes.

Bean had a lot of fun!

easter playdough chicks
easter playdough chicks 2
easter playdough chicks 3
Bear decided he was just going to eat everything today so I was kept on my toes a fair bit more than normal. But he still had fun!
easter playdough chicks 4
Then Bean asked me to make the chicks so that he could play with them. I made some chick shaped critters for him and he put feathers in their heads and for wings and tails. Of course then they needed a nest.
easter playdough chicks 5
Then I brought out the paintings he’d done, because they looked like water! Bean was thrilled, and had a long playtime with the chicks in the water.

Bear joined in of course and did his best to flatten the chicks and eat their googly eyes.
easter playdough chicks 6
easter playdough chicks 7
easter playdough chicks 8

easter playdough chicks 8

 

Happy Easter everyone!

Playdough storytelling

March 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

I declared a “no-tv” morning this morning after watching LOTS of DVDs yesterday. I suggested lots of different things we could do instead. Bean asked if he could watch something while I did some housework, so I let him watch an episode of Octonauts. And he didn’t want any more after that, he came and said he wanted to do some “work” now! I’m not sure I like that he considered playing with playdough or painting “work”, I might have to ask his preschool about that one.

We got the playdough out. He asked for black playdough, he likes the black stuff at the moment! Bear was given a tub of red playdough (I keep pots of various coloured dough in the fridge, if it doesn’t get destroyed it keeps really well for quite a while) and they set to work.

Bean wanted to make a beach! I have a tub of red glass pebbles and pieces of smooth shell so I went and found that. He wanted wood as well but I don’t have any driftwood at the moment. I did have, however, his velociraptor and a plastic tree and was that ok? It was, and so the story began….

The dinosaur was a mummy dinosaur and she had three eggs, and they hatched and she carried them on her head to a tree and helped them climb and play in the tree!
playdoughstorytelling1
playdoughstorytelling2
playdoughstorytelling3
playdoughstorytelling4
The Bear was having a ball with his red playdough. He was pressing glass beads and shells and playdough tooltips into his dough, and using the rolling pin to make indents in it.
bearplaydough1
bearplaydough2
Then I found Noah, and a pig, and a plastic hoop – and we had a funfair, with the pig jumping through the hoop!
bearplaydough3
bearplaydough4
Good fun this morning!!

Rainbow Playdough

January 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

Kind of unexpectedly a little while ago on a Friday I found myself child-free and did what any rational mama would do and made a break for freedom, to wander round the shops alone for ten minutes! Ten minutes turned into a little over half an hour and the little Bear was decidedly awake and had just started wailing for me when I returned, but in the meantime I managed to wander around the supermarket completely aimlessly, sure there was something I ought to be buying.

I got home with all the bits I’d need to make a batch of playdough, and fingerpaints! Good old brain, lets me down in the best possible ways sometimes!

So when we started being struck down by the horrid winter vomiting bug the next day I was glad I’d been out and got these supplies. I made up a batch of regular cooked playdough, this time though to make things easier on myself I mixed it up in a bowl and ladled out portions into the pan to cook my red, yellow and blue separately, adding the colour before cooking. Ohhhhh I love the feel of freshly cooked playdough!! I made twice as much yellow as I did blue and red, as I planned to put the dough into pots like this, ready for play:

20130115-225417.jpg

The plain blue, red and yellow pots had piles of glitter ready to mix into them, and there were two other pots ready to mix together to make secondary colours of orange and greeen. Every opportunity I get I try and reinforce the idea of mixing colours to make other ones, one day I’m sure the Bean will remember!!

By Monday everyone had been through it and we were exhausted but needed something to do so out came the playdough. My Bean was super happy, I forget (and I think he does too) how much he enjoys playdough. He loved mixing in the glitter, and was excited about the glitter being the same colour as the dough, and then needing to share the glitter with the other colours too! He really got the hang of cutting out shapes this time as well, squashing the dough down flat and cutting out stars.

20130115-225504.jpg

20130115-225425.jpg

Even little Bear got involved, even if he is still obsessed with trying to eat the stuff.

20130115-225448.jpg

The colour-mixing pots were a success too, although they came out so early on in our playtime that Bean hadn’t really got the hang of squashing and squishing so he handed it over to me to finish mixing, once we’d seen what colour it was making.

20130115-225517.jpg

He made LOTS of stars. The star cutters were a brilliant idea!

20130115-225526.jpg

(A couple of days later I made a batch of chocolate biscuit dough and his obsession with stars didn’t let me down – these are all his handiwork!)

20130115-225539.jpg

Then he surprised us and asked for some scissors, to snip the ends of the stars off, to make “diamonds”. Very very diligently he started cutting all the points off his stars until my heart couldn’t cope any longer, and we substituted the scissors for a wooden knife! I know he’s good with scissors, but for some reason I was more twitchy than I usually am. Baby Bear watched intently, and added finger poked holes into the row of stars.. I’m sure he would have loved to have had a go with the scissors.

20130115-225550.jpg

This is the invitation to play that was set up ready for the following day – small balls of coloured dough, with the star cutters, some mini cake cases, and foil wrappers. I live in hope!

20130115-225600.jpg

This however is what I actually came home to, after taking the Bear out for a walk to get him to sleep. ALL the playdough was out and Bean and Grandma were having a whale of a time!! I think Grandma was having as much fun as Bean, she was doing the dough modelling as Bean was weaving a fantastic story, using her models and asking for others, weaving the mall into his story, The models evolved with the story, ducks laying eggs, eggs hatching, ducklings having sleepovers and visiting friends, crocodiles making friends, ponds and nests and grass – it was amazing. They were both delighted when I produced a pack of playdough tools!!

20130115-225607.jpg

20130115-225621.jpg

Bean was keen to show his baby brother what he’d been doing.

20130115-225640.jpg

And keen to tell me some of the story too!

20130115-225650.jpg

We had to clear up for dinner sadly, so the story scene was decanted into a one of these fab foil roasting trays, and Grandma made a clay soldier to keep watch over the story while we ate.

20130115-225658.jpg

20130115-225705.jpg

I made that dough in the hope it would be played with – never imagined the scope of the Bean’s imagination! His storytelling is hugely engaging and imaginative and he LOVES doing it!

Galaxy Playdough

August 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

I took a batch of black rubbery playdough with us on holiday in case of a rainy day. As it turned out we had LOTS of rainy days, but the day we first played with the playdough was actually sunny! We looked after my neice and the eldest of my nephews one day as we were tired and couldn’t quite face another shopping expedition.

I made the black rubber (it became rubbery because I overcooked it….. although it’s softened with age thank goodness!) using the regular cooked playdough recipe, and added a whole (small) tub of black food colouring gel, and the remains of my blue liquid food colouring. I scented it with quite a few drops of olbas oil – primarily because I really like the smell, but as it turned out we all had colds and blocked noses so it was a great scent to have used! I took a pot of blue glitter with us for the kids to mix in.

the messy mama galaxy playdough

Well, they loved it!

the messy mama galaxy playdough

the messy mama galaxy playdough

the messy mama galaxy playdough

We squashed and squished, added LOTS of glitter, rolled it out, made handprints and snails, stuck red glass beads in, buried the glass beads.

the messy mama galaxy playdough

the messy mama galaxy playdough

the messy mama galaxy playdough

the messy mama galaxy playdough

The kids asked for table playdough every time they came after that – especially for more glitter to add to it!

We finished by making imprints of our hands in the dough and comparing the sizes of our hands. My niece and nephew made their prints, and then they asked my husband to make a handprint and were amazed at how much bigger his was than theirs!

the messy mama galaxy playdough

Edible playdough!!!

June 22, 2012 § 1 Comment

Honestly. Why didn’t I realise this before? It’s biscuit dough!!!!

coffee and biscuits

Here’s the recipe I used to make chocolatey biscuits. Messy Boy was fast asleep – exhaustion finally caught up with him from our week away – but I LOVED playing with (and eating hahaha) this playdough.

Chocolate biscuit recipe

2 cups plain flour (about 170g)
1/2 cup caster sugar (about 85g)
3 tbsp cocoa powder
175g butter, room temp
1 tbsp lemon curd
1 tbsp nutella

Chocolate glace icing

6tbsp icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
1tbsp cocoa powder
1tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
2tbsp milk
a few drops vanilla extract

Sift dry ingredients, add butter, lemon curd and nutella (I was going to add just lemon curd but only had one dollop left hence the nutella) and mix with a wooden spatula (or a food processor) until it looks like sand. Squash it together, and give it a gentle knead to combine.

edible playdough biscuit sand

Wrap in clingfilm or put in a bowl and cover, and put in the fridge for a few minutes. I left mine for over an hour while we prepped our dinner. It needed scooping out of the bowl with an icecream scoop after that but it was very kneadable and with a sprinkling of flour on the table it rolled out very well.

Roll to a thickness of a little less than 1cm and cut out shapes. (It doesn’t mind lots of squishing and squashing, but bear in mind the warmer it gets, from lots of squishing, the stickier it will become. It’s very very edible in its raw state too!!)

Place biscuit shapes on greaseproof paper-lined trays and bake at 175C for 10 minutes. The biscuits will still be soft when you take them out of the oven but they will firm up as they cool.

To make the icing, sift the dry ingredients and add the milk and vanilla. Carefully mix together with a teaspoon until it forms a chocolately gloop. It should be about the right consistency – if it is too thick add a drop more milk (JUST a drop!), if it’s too runny add another tablespoon of icing sugar.

Here’s some of our creations! Boy was awake for this part as we decorated them today but he quickly tired and wanted to eat his instead!! These two are Boy’s decorated biscuits. We had white chocolate mice and jelly beans available to decorate with today, chosen by Boy this morning at the shop.

edible playdough biscuits

This is the rest of the biscuits. The small stars I sandwiched together with icing although next time I’ll probably make a buttercream filling. The round ones were balls of dough that I made an indent in before baking to create a kind of nest.

edible playdough biscuits

They’re not bad, for a first attempt (in a looong time) at making biscuits! If you have a go at making these, let me know how you get on, right?!

More chocolate mud

June 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

The chocolate mud has made two more appearances! Friday, when our Australian cousins came round, it took two and a half run throughs of  Happy Feet and getting the playdough out before Boy lost his shyness. He managed to be in the same room as the strangers, and eventually stopped whispering as well! Even better – EVERYBODY ended up playing with the dough. It stayed out all afternoon and evening. People were still fiddling with it when it was time for the boys and I to head off to our new lodgings (moving from parents’ to in-laws’ house).

chocolate mud playdough invitation to play

chocolate mud playdough family playtime

chocolate mud playdough bulldozing

chocolate mud playdough

chocolate mud playdough bulldozing

We’ve just got back from an afternoon an evening out, and as Baby has fallen asleep in the wrap I can’t drive back to the inlaws’ house yet so the playdough came out again while we had a cup of tea :o) Happy days!

Seaside Playdough

June 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

I have to be honest here, yesterday’s seaside playdough was not the greatest of successes. For many reasons. The playdough wasn’t one of them, it worked pretty well really, but everything surrounding it was just … well … fraught. Too much to do, and not enough playtime. Baby wanted more cuddles than usual, Grandparents were pretty busy, so Boy was kinda expected to play by himself. I didn’t have my usual store of props to raid either, and imagination levels were low!

Still. I’d made some seaside playdough from the no-cook dough from the other day. Added some builders’ sand to a third of it, along with yellow and red colouring to make it look a bit more appealing (we don’t have any play sand here), and I added blue colouring to a third. The rest I left white.

Here’s how it looked…

seaside playdough

We made flags by colouring in printer labels, and while Boy was squidging and squashing and making sandcastles using eggcups (and flour to stop it sticking!) I cut them up and stuck them to cocktail sticks.

seaside playdough

He had a lot of fun just squashing circles into the dough.

seaside playdough

seaside playdough

seaside playdough

Eventually we got round to making some sandcastles and Boy stuck the flags in before carrying on making circles!!

seaside playdough

When he’d had enough, and Baby wasn’t grouching any more, I started to clean up.

But not before having a play of my own :)

seaside playdough

I’ve bagged the dough up and will be taking it home to play with there, with my store of shells and pebbles and cotton wool!

In the meantime, here’s some good ideas for ocean and sandy playdough play!

Natural no-cook playdough

June 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

Today’s Invitation to Play looked a little like this……
natural no-cook playdough invitation to play
All this week (well, as much as we can!) we’re taking part in the Playdough Pledge, along with Sun Hats and Wellie Boots, The Nurture Store, and The Imagination Tree. They have had some STONKING ideas for  playdough play – playdough will never be the same after this week! I’ve already had Messy Boy singing “we love playdough, we love playdough” as he trundled his tractor through Monday’s chocolate mudfest dough!
Boy brought the chocolate mud playdough into the kitchen almost as soon as we got back from our grocery shopping this morning, along with his tractor and tree. I’d not yet had chance to make our next batch of dough and he wanted to play already!
chocolate mud playdough
Grandad couldn’t resist joining in and there were squeals and shrieks of delight and laughter as they played.
chocolate mud playdough
chocolate mud playdough
I made a batch of natural no-cook playdough while he was playing.
Natural no-cook playdough recipe:
2 cups plain flour
1 cup salt
Juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons oil
1.5 – 2 cups boiling water
Mix the flour and salt, and add the lemon juice, oil, and water. Mix until it clumps together then (carefully, it’s hot!) knead into a smooth dough. It crusts over very quickly so once it’s cooled down a bit knead it again and store in an airtight container until you’re ready to use. Sun Hats and Wellie Boots has some great suggestions for natural colourings and aromas to try adding to the dough!
natural no-cook playdough
Feels very much like salt dough, I wonder if it would harden well… Even Grandma couldn’t resist this dough, having helped me make it by holding Baby, and squished a face into the warm dough! It was warm and lemony-delicious scented, very theraputic to squish! Boy joined me on a trawl of the garden to see what we could find to put on our play tray with the new dough. We looked at flowers, seed heads, leaves; watched the bees, tried to spot spiders darting away into the shadows. After selecting a few pieces he went inside and degated the task of collecting to me!!
After lunch I set up the new playdough station for him.
natural no-cook playdough concentrating
He could hardly wait. Again he didn’t do what I expected, and hardly touched the leaves and flowers, instead slicing pieces of dough off with a wooden knife, and asking me to shape them into balls.
natural no-cook playdough play developing 2
We made a lot of tiny loaves of bread, or scones, depending at what point you asked, for his shop. He made lollipops by sticking bits of twig into little balls of dough.
This is how the playdough station looked moments before he announced he was done!
natural no-cook playdough play developing
Another brilliant playdough date – and EVERYBODY joined in, even Messy Baby who I had to remove from play as even with the massive ratio of salt to flour he still thought it may be edible….
When Messy Boy finished and was off playing with his cars, I picked most of the bits out, split the dough into three and added builders sand and orange food colouring to one third, blue food colouring to another, and left the rest white. Tomorrow we’re bringing the beach to grandma and grandad’s house!

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the the playdough pledge category at the messy mama.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.