Our Favourite Play Dough Recipe
One of Maddison’s favourite things to do is play with play dough, she will sit for hours squishing and squashing the stuff.
As an adult the smell reminds me of my childhood and all the fun I had making little worlds and stories out of play dough.
Play dough is great for kids of all ages as it helps to develop fine motor skills, pre writing skills, social skills, imagination, developing hand-eye coordination and is great for a stress relief and calming activity.
Below is my favourite recipe that i use on the stove top and some ideas that we have used with our play dough to make it more interesting and educational.
- 2 cups plain flour
- 4 tbs Cream of Tartar
- 2 Tbs cooking oil
- 1 cup salt
- Food colouring
- 2 cups cold water
Cooking on Stove
Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan and stir continuously over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until the mixture congeals and is not sticky.
Cool slightly, remove from pan and knead until smooth.
Mix all ingredients well in a microwave-safe, large bowl.
Microwave for 2 minutes.
Carefully remove and stir well.
Microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds.
Carefully remove and stir well.
Microwave for 1 minute.
Carefully remove and stir well.
Microwave for 30 seconds.
Mixture should be congealed and not sticky.
Allow to cool slightly, then knead until smooth.
Ideas for Play
- Making snakes, snails and balls
- Letter stamping or sight word stamping activities
- Using googly eyes to make monsters
- Use toothpicks to make echidna’s
- Poke spaghetti into the play dough and use fruit loops to count
- Pop sticks, marbles and sequins
- Nature play items (leaves, sticks, rocks and nuts)
- Letter and number writing by rolling snakes and forming each number or letter
- Candles into play dough for birthday cake play
- Use beads and pipe cleaners
- Make leaf prints into play dough
- Cookie cutters
Find more recipes from our blog
2 Ingredient Oobleck
If you are a big Dr Suess fan then you would know Oobleck gets its name from the book Bartholomew and the Oobleck.
Oobleck is a wonderful STEM activity for all ages as it’s a substance that acts like a liquid, and can be poured, but also acts like a solid when you apply force to it by pushing it or squeezing it.
You will need:
- 2 cups cornflour
- 1 cup water
- food colouring (optional)
Mix all ingredients together in a tray or bowl then play.
We had lots fun experimenting with the solid and liquid state that Oobleck forms, Maddison loved the liquid dripping and forming into a solid.
Oobleck will store for a few days in a sealed container in the fridge.
To add to your STEM experience check out the Oobleck on speaker videos on YouTube to watch it dance to the sound vibrations.
For more activities go to our blog page.
Sensory Rice and Pasta
Maddison’s favourite thing to do is play in sensory rice and pasta as part of her therapy program. To make it more fun I like to colour the rice and pasta and make it all pretty.
I have included the recipe in a free printable download at the end.
Wondering what Sensory Play is?
Sensory Play includes any activity that stimulates your child’s senses :
Sensory Play is important in building nerve connections in the brain pathways to build the ability to complete complex tasks.
Sensory Play supports language development, cognitive ability, fine and gross motor skills, social interaction, developing memory and helps calm anxiety or frustration.
You will need:
- 2 bags of uncooked rice or pasta
- Vinegar (or substitute with water)
- Food colouring of choice
- 4 – 6 large sandwich bags
- Oven trays lined with baking paper for drying
- Divide uncooked pasta or rice into the sandwich bags.
- Add a splash of vinegar (or water) roughly ½ tsp into each bag.
- Add 15-20 drops of food colouring into each bag then close and gently shake. If not all covered add more colouring to the bag.
- Empty contents of bag onto baking tray for drying approx 1-3 hours
- Once dry add to play tray or tub and let kids explore.
We have used sensory play pasta and rice for:
- Fine motor skills
- Colour recognition
- Imaginative play
- Pouring activity with cups and funnel
- Finding objects like hide and seek
- Scented for an extra sensory experience
Bilya Koort Boodja
Wheatbelt Kids visited the Bilya Koort Boodja Centre for Nyoongar Culture and Environmental Knowledge located in Northam.
Providing an interactive educational experience about the Nyoongar Ballardong region.
Maddison enjoyed her visit and loved the interactive displays and recordings. We were able to listen to elders and their stories and find out about the Nyoongar language and how to pronounce the animals names. Something for all ages and a great cultural museum for the Wheatbelt.
BKB is located along the Avon River on Minson Ave, Northam WA
BKB is open 7 days a week 9am – 4pm
*closed Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.
Children (5-15 years)- $5
Family (2 adults and 2 children)- $25
For more information visit the website
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Our visit to Wolf!
We were lucky enough to be invited by the Northam Theatre Group to the first showing of Wolf! today. Maddison and I were very excited to see the show and to support local talent.
We entered the theatre, to an incredible set with doors, fireplace, table and couch.
The excitement and chatter of the audience in anticipation made the experience even more amazing.
Wolf! is based on two wonderful children’s stories ‘The Lamb Who Came to Dinner by Steve Smallman’ and ‘Pig’s Fairytale Adventure by Alain Brian’ both featuring the ever favourite Wolf.
The fairy tale cast includes a pig, a wolf, Red Riding Hood, Prince Charming, Sleeping Beauty, the witch and lots of lovable lambs.
The Wolf played by Les Lee and Hot Pot the Lamb played by Michelle Chan had us laughing at their interactions and uniquely funny script.
Maddison’s favourite character was Hot Pot who made the wolf realise he was lonely and needed a friend.
In the foyer during intermission, children participated in a craft activity to make their own pig or lamb puppet.
Maddison chose to make a lamb with her paper plate and had a great time working and socialising with the other children.
After intermission we were transported to the farmyard where Pig traveled to The Land of Fairy Tales and learnt a valuable lesson about appreciating his life.
Maddison sat on the edge of her seat watching as lots of her favorite fairy tales came to life on stage. She loved Red Riding Hood and the bleating lambs.
Wolf! is a wonderful play for children of all ages and the young at heart. The last two shows are tomorrow Sunday 20th October showing at 10.30am and 1.00pm tickets are available at the door for $10.
Northam Heritage Forum Visit
Wheatbelt Kids visited the Northam Heritage Forum Inc this week as part of Pink Up Northam.
We went on an adventure throughout the museum and learned so much about the history of the Old Railway.
The Old Railway was built in 1900 and was the major transport method for Northam. It is now a huge museum with over 1000 items and a locomotive with carriages.
Located at 425 Fitzgerald Street Northam WA 6401.
Adults – $5.00 Concession – $3.00 and Children – $2.00
Mon/Tue/Thur/Fri/Sun – 11am – 3pm
Wednesday – 1pm – 3pm
Saturday 12pm – 3pm
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WA Kids Have Gone Rock Crazy
It’s 2017 and we have seen the decline of colouring-in, Pokemon Go and Fidget Spinners, as of now WA kids are going crazy for rocks.
You may have seen it through Facebook, the news, your local newspaper or you may have stumbled over a beautiful rock at the park and wondered what it was all about.
Painting rocks is not a new concept, it has been around since the beginning of time and is an enjoyable past time for many indiviuals.
The hide and seek idea originally began in Washington in the USA.
It has since spread across the United States and New Zealand and finally landed in Australia with the first groups being Gungahin Rocks in the ACT and NOR Rocks in Western Australia created by Connie Sirmans.
The last few months have seen the rise in rock groups in Western Australia and nationally as more people become aware or stumble over beautifully decorated rocks.
A list of WA’s most popular rock groups are listed at the end of this article.
The rock craze is like a giant game of hide and seek with the purpose of giving everyone in the community a little bit of happiness.
The marvelous thing about rock painting is that everyone can enjoy it, there are members ranging from 0 – 100 years old in most groups, as daycares and nursing homes are participating in rock painting craft sessions.
The general idea is to paint your rocks with whatever designs you like, hide them in a park then post a message in your local rock group on Facebook so other members can then search for your rocks.
Sometimes people post a find or a rehide for members to see but is up to the individual.
I like to think that my rocks made whoever found them happy and are lovingly cherished.
Wheatbelt Kids loved the idea of finding and hiding our own rocks so I joined a few groups to see what the Perth groups were creating and I was blown away with the talent and excitement that these groups had.
I was more excited when local Northam girl Emma started the Wheatbelt Rocks group on Facebook.
It has taken awhile for locals to gain interest but with the school holidays, the group now has over 200 members and daily rock drops have started happening.
I love seeing the happy faces on those who have found little treasures in the Wheatbelt region.
Wheatbelt Kids Top 9 Tips For Rock Painting
- Gather unpolished rocks – we found rocks from Bunnings, Mitre 10 and Home hardware.
- Make sure your rocks are clean and dry.
- If your rocks are unpolished and white you don’t need to prime them, if they are darker or slightly polished you will need to prime your rocks to allow the paint to stick. We used White Knight Squirts Undercoat to cover our rocks before painting.
- Once dry, we painted with acrylic paint and sharpies onto our rocks. Most people use acrylic paint, permanent sharpies, paint pens, melted crayons, stickers with PVA glue or nail polish to decorate their rocks.
- On the back of your rock remember to write the Facebook logo and the group that you belong to. Some people also write their name, hashtag or postcode to make it easier to find their posts.
- Once your rock is completely dry you will need to seal your design with a sealer so it can survive in the elements. We used White Knight Squirts Gloss Clear.
- The trick we found was to do a very light spray over the top then once completely dry another layer from all angles.
- Some members have had good results sealing with a very light coat of PVA glue and once dry spraying the sealer.
- If using nail polish you don’t need to use a sealer but will need a few days drying, especially if your little one puts a lot of nail polish on their rocks.
Once your rocks are dry you are ready to get out into nature and hide them.
Don’t forget to post your hide to your chosen Facebook rock group.
Some things to remember are:
- Don’t hide rocks in National Parks or private property.
- Don’t hide rocks in the grass at the park as they fly when the mowers go over them.
- Appreciate other people’s artwork.
- Most importantly have fun and be positive, you will not always find a rock when hunting but when you do it becomes more special.
Wheatbelt Kids loves this new trend and Miss 4 has been painting and hiding lots of rocks this week while on school holidays.
While the statewide rock group is good we are loving the local Wheatbelt Rocks group as it has that small community feel much like a country town.
It has been great to find new parks and make new friends both within our own town and neighbouring towns.
Miss 4 with her rock find today in Northam, she is in love with the cat rock.
These rocks were created by local girl Jasmine.
Links to popular rock groups around Western Australia:
Wheatbelt Rocks – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1698138883821487/
NOR Rocks – https://www.facebook.com/groups/NORRocks/
SOR Rocks – https://www.facebook.com/groups/811997792286797/
Ellenbrook Rocks – https://www.facebook.com/groups/EllenbrookRocks/
Pinjarra Rocks – https://www.facebook.com/pinjarrarocks/
South West Rocks (SW Rocks) – https://www.facebook.com/groups/southwestrockswa/
Geraldton Rocks – https://www.facebook.com/groups/232163663968389/
KB Rocks (Kalgoorlie-Boulder Locations) – https://www.facebook.com/groups/350599715357519/
Broome Rocks – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1857939647860572/
Busselton Rocks – https://www.facebook.com/groups/251003222047135/
Headland WA Rocks – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1771058603146014/
Karratha and Surrounds WA Rocks – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1887841861491521/
A Week Of Easter Craft
Happy Easter Everyone.
This week was the first week of April school holidays and was quite busy for Wheatbelt Kids.
Over this week we achieved a few small Easter activities. Miss 3 loved making the Easter hat and painting the ceramic bunny.
The craft packs we chose were from Red Dot, Woolworths and RIOT Art and Craft.
Prices are budget friendly for families, ranging from $2.00 to $30.00 for the large craft box of activities.
Chicken Gluing Craft Pack
Paper Plate Foam Craft Packs
Foam Easter Hat
Foam Mask and Cutouts
We hope you liked our post about our Easter craft activities.
Wheatbelt Kids would like to wish you a Happy Easter and would love you to take care on our Wheatbelt roads over the holiday period.
Easy Fork Chicken Craft
This week is Easter and Miss 3 is very excited to go on an egg hunt in the backyard on Sunday.
We have had lots of fun doing craft activities this week in preperation for Sunday, and the one she loved the most was the easy fork chicken.
I found a similar activity on Pinterest two years ago which I used for a craft session in the classroom and it worked very well. I changed the original activity this time to a chicken for easter and free hand cut out the pieces for the legs and beak.
I decided that it would be a quick and easy craft to share with my followers on the Wheatbelt Kids page and I hope you enjoy making one too.
For this activity you will need:
- A4 paper
- Yellow paint
- Googly eyes
- Orange paper
When preparing the activity I chose to cut out the beak and legs for the chicken as Miss 3 is still at the scissor hacking stage, if your child is able to cut they can choose to cut their own with parental supervison.
To begin pour a generous amount of yellow paint into the centre of the paper. Then use the back of the fork to drag the paint from the centre outwards, to form a chicken body. This part can get messy and extra fork scratches can give a great texture for the chicken.
When you are happy with the chicken body, stick the legs, beak and googly eyes onto the paper then leave to dry. We used the wet paint as glue, but you could use PVA glue to stick on the parts after your chicken body has dried.
Once dry we used scissors to cut out the chicken.
To extend on this activity you could also add feathers or glitter to the body.
A bonus idea would be to add a popstick to the back and use in the garden on easter morning.
My daughters favourite thing at the moment is the movie Trolls. Fortunately for her I had some left over tulle after making a tutu today and decided to make a Pinterest inspired Trolls headband for her imaginative play.
After school we ventured to Red Dot to find some cheap flower decorations and a thick headband that would be suitable. The whole project took about 15 minutes to create and was quite easy. To make a unique Troll headband you could use different coloured tulle and add different decorations to suit your personality.
You will need:
- Tulle of any colour (1/2 Metre)
- Hot glue gun
- Headband (thick)
- Flowers or decorations
Start by cutting strips of tulle, I cut mine into 60cm strips and about 5cm wide.
Fold in half and loop around the headband, then pull tight.
Continue putting loops of tulle onto the headband until you have roughly 12.
I used a spare piece of tulle to tie the top part of the Troll hair together forming a ponytail style.
MJ then decided on what coloured flowers she wanted on her Troll hair and we used the hot glue gun to secure them into place.
Once the glue had dried, MJ was very happy to dance around the house with her new Troll hair.