It has been raining a lot lately, which means less outdoor play and I am looking for creative ways to entertain the kids! I thought Play Dough could be an answer to ease the cabin fever.
Play Dough is popular with children of any age especially the little ones who really love the creativity. Making play dough at home is super easy and quick and only requires simple ingredients that you probably have in the pantry already.
The recipe I used recently was one that added jelly crystals to the mix. I find using jelly in the play dough recipes gives it a wonderful smell and colour and more elasticity.
It only took me about 15 minutes to make this play dough – which means it is not too long for the children to wait before they can play with it.
There are many benefits of playing with play dough. Just holding it and squishing it in their hands will give your child a tactile experience as the dough responds to their touch. Rolling, cutting and flattening the dough assists in hand-eye coordination and develops fine motor skills. Plus when kids use their stamps and shapes to imprint on the play dough they are also learning cause and effect, and the impact their pressure has on the shape of the dough. As play dough can be made into any shape, it is a great way to stimulate children’s imagination and creativity.
Using play dough is a calming activity. My kids spent almost an hour playing with their play dough. They rolled and squished, used their stamps, made shapes (Olaf and bunny), and pretended they were making cookies for each other. When they were finished with it, we put the playdough in a zip-lock bag and stored it in the fridge to reuse another day.
Mix jelly crystals, flour, salt and cream of tartar in a saucepan
Add warm water and oil
Mix with whisk until no more lumps visible
Place saucepan in medium heat and continuously stir until the mixture forms a very thick lump (a blob)
Take dough out of the saucepan onto clean surface and wait until cool enough to touch
Knead and add small amount of flour if too sticky
Play dough is ready!
I used a raspberry jelly which resulted in pink play dough. I thought it would be fun to have play dough in a few different colours, so I split the mix into three and added some food colouring. I added blue to one piece and yellow to another, and in the end we had a pink, purple and orange play dough (extra point – learning about mixing colours! My toddler is impressed. Magic! she said. LOL) I also found some leftover craft glitter so I added it to the dough, because who doesn’t need extra sparkle!
Hope you’re having a wonderful week!
Autumn is well and truly here. Summer was so hot and gorgeous and the warmth at the start of summer always excites me for the long hot days that are coming, the after-school/work beach swim and dinner eaten in the backyard. Bliss. However I adore autumn. Cooler weather, mellow afternoons, autumn leaves and snuggles whilst watching TV (anyone else sit 2 metres apart from each other during hot summer nights? LOL).
Another reason why I love autumn is soups! I love soups. They are easy to make, cook in one pot (less washing up!) and suit the whole family, including bubba.
Pumpkin soup is my fave, however I find we get hungry not long after we have finished eating it. These days I bulk up my pumpkin soup with potato and sweet potato to make it more filling.
When my babies were tiny I didn’t put the salt and pepper in until I put aside their portion.
Heat a heavy based large pan.
Add oil and sauté leek, onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes until leek and onion become transparent.
Put pumpkin, sweet potato, potato, carrot into the pan.
Pour in chicken stock to cover the vegetables.
Cook until vegetables are soft, add more stock/water if required.
Use hand blender to puree (careful for splashes - it is hot!)
Pour in milk, add mixed herbs, stir (simmer/low heat) until desired consistency
(if you have younger children, you may want to put theirs aside before you add salt and pepper)
Serve with grated Parmesan Cheese (I add sprinkles of dried chilli to mine!)
So easy to make and stores easily in the fridge or freezer for later on in the week. Enjoy!
See our baby food storage selection here if you like! (Click Here)
I make my own chicken stock because when my babies were little I found the ready-made one to have quite a high sodium content. I find them easy to make so I have continued to make it myself. I pretty much buy chicken bones (carcass) from the chicken shop, put them in a saucepan, cover in cold water, bring to boil and once boiled, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1-2 hours. I have left them simmering for 2-3 hours until the bones are soft therefore the stock tastier, but generally after 1 hour it is ok to use.