Mixing playdough (uncooked) and adding fresh herbs, which the children cut from the garden (mint and chives). Children might stay at this activity for an hour, chopping, cutting, stirring, rolling and mixing. We might follow this up with a session of making ‘potions’ using coloured water, herbs, mixed spice and confetti. The children use mortar and pestle sets, scissors, spoons, pots, jugs and bottles. This encourages concentration and deep involvement, together with the opportunity to practise pouring and cutting skills.
IDEAS FOR HOME: Make playdough – see the recipe below which includes recipes for uncooked and cooked dough. Cooked playdough can last for weeks if kept in an airtight container. Use with whatever you have at home – knife, pastry cutters, shells, garlic press. Make potions or mud pies outside in the garden – use anything you have to hand, eg, old basin, wooden spoon, plastic jug. Add soil, water, mud, flower petals etc.
2 cups flour (SR or plain) 4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup salt 2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups water Food colour
Mix all the ingredients together in a saucepan. Cook over a low heat, stirring all the time. As soon as the dough begins to come away from the sides of the pan, it is ready. Wait until it is cool enough to use as it can be very hot in the middle.
SR flour will make stretchier dough. This will keep for some time in an airtight plastic container.
2 cups plain flour (SR can react in uncooked dough)
1 cup salt
Food colour or paint
Water to mix
Mix dry ingredients and colour/paint together. Add water until mixture reaches a suitable dough texture.
This will not keep – only good for a few days at most. Will probably need to use extra flour when rolling etc.
(Note: Untested recipe!)
1 cup salt 2 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar 1 tbsp cooking oil
1 cup water with food colouring added
Combine all ingredients. Microwave on defrost: 3 mins then rest, 3 mins then rest, 3 mins then rest. Knead well. Will keep well in an airtight container.
Mix cornflour and water together until you have a dropping consistency. Food colour can be added for extra interest. This has an amazing texture that has to be touched to be believed.