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
Holiday Activites at Northam PharmaSave
Tuesday 17th April – Snakes Alive Story Time and Craft with Laura and Sarabi the Stimpson Python
Maddison and I have been loving the free activities at the Northam PharmaSave chemist this school holidays.
On Tuesday we went to the Snakes Alive Story Time and Craft with Laura and her Stimpson Python named Sarabi.
Maddison enjoyed listening to the Snakes Alive book and learning about what snakes eat and how they move.
After the story Laura introduced us to Sarabi the Stimpson Python who is named after Simba’s mother from The Lion King.
Laura told Maddison that it was ok to touch Sarabi in the shop, but not to touch snakes outside as we need to remember to stay away and tell and adult.
In the craft session Maddison made a paper folded snake to take home and completed a snake colouring-in page.
To join in the free sessions visit the Northam PharmaSave next to Aldi at the Village Square on Wellington Street from 10am – 11.30am daily.
To see more activities visit our Instagram page www.instagram.com/wheatbeltkids
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.
Firework Craft to Celebrate the New Year
Today is New Years Eve and to celebrate Wheatbelt Kids decided to make our own fireworks rather than wait up until midnight tonight.
We had lots of fun even though it was a little windy. My daughter MJ and I love paint and all things glittered, but if you want less mess to clean up, aprons and a drop sheet are recommended as it gets a little messy with little ones.
You will need:
Paper (coloured paper or cardboard is better)
To set up the activity pour coloured paint onto seperate paper plates. Carefully cut small strips around the toilet rolls (only cut halfway up the roll).
The toilet roll is then used as a stamper onto the paper to achieve the firework effect.
MJ had a great time stamping the fireworks and mixing the colours. We used glitter to give an extra sparkle to our work which is optional if you don’t love glitter like we do.
Let us know if you like this activity by commenting below.
Christmas Craft Week
The first week of school holidays always means Christmas craft time in the Wheatbelt Kids house. My daughter MJ and I love to make and create different things to give to our loved ones and decorate the Christmas tree with.
This year we saw a few different projects in shops that we had to try and we hope you enjoy them as much as we did.
I found this Gingerbread Man cut out pack at Riot Art and Craft and really liked the convenience.
I then made a tray of collage items for MJ to choose from for her own Gingerbread Man.
She really enjoyed this activity and choosing items to use. You can create the same by drawing a man figure onto card and collaging with items you may have at home.
I found this Santa craft pack at Red Dot in Northam. The pack contains 6 Santa cut outs to make for $2.99 which I thought was a bargain.
While MJ needed some help with cutting parts for the Santas it was very easy for her to peel, stick and glue together.
The finished poduct was a very cute looking Santa.
I found this Stick Puppet Kit when at Riot Art and Craft in November. The kit was a great price and had everything included which makes crafting life with a three year old much easier.
MJ needed some help with this as it was a little fiddly, but the final product was great fun. Once dry we had hours of puppet shows.
Pom Pom Reindeer
I found this Pom Pom Reindeer craft pack at Red Dot and thought it would be a great fine motor activity for MJ for when Mummy needed some quiet time.
MJ loved the pom poms and colour matching. Mummy liked the 30 minutes to relax but ended up folding the mountain of washing.
The Moveable Santa craft pack was from Riot Art and Craft.
This one I let MJ paint and she had lots of fun and cheekily painted the table.
I liked this pack as it included the split pins for the Santas.
Magic Christmas Tree
I found this Magic Christmas Tree while shopping at the Australian Geographic Store in Midland Gate.
It was great fun to watch over the day to see how much it had grown. Our tree didn’t turn out exactly like the packet due to MJ accidently pouring half the special water over the table, but we loved watching our special tree anyway.
Making Clay Decorations
We made our own decorations and painted them this year. MJ had lots of fun rolling out the clay, choosing cutters to use and then painting them once dry.
Please note that the clay took a day to dry in the Northam heat, you could speed up the drying time in the oven like salt dough.
Thank you for taking the time to read our Christmas craft adventures this year.
We hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Stay safe on our Wheatbelt roads while driving these school holidays.
Jodie and MJ xx