Monday, 28 January 2013

Inventive Playdough

Harry's not great on messy or creative play. We're working on, and currently attending a course at the local Children's Centre to give me some new ideas. However, I can persuade him to spend some time playing with playdough on occasion. The trick, of course, as with anything toddler-related, is to be inventive and relate it to their interests.

I used to simply use the playdough and model it into cars. We also rolled and cut out shapes, but this never really grasped Harry's interest as much as real '3D' cars.

More recently we have started using his construction vehicles (and woe betide you if you call the 'backhoe loader' a 'digger') to build scenes. I coloured the playdough we made last week in appropriate colours (including black for the tarmac) and he loved making the road and filling in the potholes (hmm, wish there was someone like Harry locally to do this for real!) The only problem was that he lamented the lack of a 'grader' in his construction vehicle set to level his road!!

Today we went for something different. Thanks to the 'Harry and his Bucket full of Dinosaurs' books (Harry's new favourites), he has developed a new interest in dinosaurs (I seriously have to gen up on my knowledge of names and also on which are carnivores, omnivores and herbivores!) so we go out the dinosaurs with the playdough. He particularly like feeding Tyrannosaurus and making footprints. We discussed the difference between the herbivore and carnivore footprints and in their teeth. It's nice to find something new to grab his interest as otherwise our days are mostly spent racing and performing elaborate dramas with his car collection!

The recipe I use for playdough is from the Wonderplay book, which has loads of awesome ideas in it. 1 cup flour, 1 tbsp oil, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup salt, 2 tsps cream of tartar, food colouring.

Mix dry ingredients in saucepan; add wet and mix together; cook over low/med heat; stir constantly (about 5 minutes); knead until smooth; add colouring as desired.

I recommend gel food colouring, as sometimes the liquid stuff makes it too wet if you put enough in to create a vibrant colour.


  1. Fab idea! My son is into dinosaurs too so think I might pinch this idea!

    1. After I did it, I realised it was a bit of a no-brainer lol. We have tried dinosaur footprints in paint too, but it didn't work as well! Thanks for your comment x