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Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Even Better Bubble Dough

So, a few months ago we made Bubble Dough. Its fabulous. But this version is even better.... read on! 
I was making some yesterday, and decided to add some cooking oil to it, to see what it did. Well it didnt seem to do a whole lot to start with, except make it sticky, but I kept kneading it in and it started to stop being sticky, and turned into a lovely dough, just like the bubble dough we made before, but the oil made it so soft and even stretchier than before. Here are some pictures so you can see how gorgeous and fun this sensory material is:
Super stretchy...
... and goes all swirly!
 You can see how soft it looks...
...and its not sticky and messy at all! 

Then we added purple glitter, because purple glitter makes everything better.
 You can see here how its very dough like... 
 and totally mouldable, like playdough... 

The ratios I've found works best is 1 cup of cornflour/cornstarch : half a cup of washing up liquid/dish soap : 2 tsp olive/cooking oil.  However, I also think it's best to add the ingredients slowly, knead well; and if it's too sticky, add more flour, if its too crumbly add more liquid.

If you have tried this and it doesnt work, try using handsoap or shower gel instead. People have reported issues using Dawn dish soap in particular. 

I hope you enjoy playing with Bubble Dough, and if you do please come and share your pictures on our facebook page.

You can sign up for the August session of our Connecting Family through Creative Play workshop - pay what you want, and enjoy a month of daily emails with prompts to play and creative connections, a community of like minded parents and guidance from Gina and I - find out more here

See more of our play recipes hereand stay connected with us here:

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Stories for Life

A couple of weeks ago I received this beautiful package in the post.

I was very excited to open it, who doesn't love getting stuff in the post?! On opening I was even more excited, because inside were 3 gorgeous hard back children's books from Penguin Random House!

I received these books as part of the BritMums and Penguin Random House Christmas Present Challenge, which means I get to give these books as presents this christmas! 

Without a doubt, I knew immediately that Jake (now SEVEN years old by the way, how did that happen?!) would just love Terry Pratchet's The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner. Its full of fourteen fantastically funny stories including pirates, wizards, elephants on wheels, food fights, and mysterious vacuum cleaners!

Next was Clover Moon by the wonderful Jacqueline Wilson. Jake's friend, Sara, who lives back in Jersey is a keen reader and is a curious and adventurous little girl, so Clover Moon sounded like a story she would love to read with her Mum! Clover Moon is about a girl who tries to escape a world full of grief with her imagination, and then a real possibility of escape to a place that really feels like home... 

The third book we received is Tom Fletcher's Christmasaurus - well this could easily be another favourite for Jake, so I think it will probably end up under our tree with his name on it this year, however I think that my 9 year old  nephew would also love this, along with most of Jake's friends! A great magical adventure set on Christmas Eve, with an elf, Santa Claus, a bad guy and an unusual dinosaur! As it is set on Christmas Eve it would be a lovely addition to a Christmas Eve Box, if you do this for your kids. 

Sharing stories at Christmas, well any time of the year, is always wonderful, especially with our children. Books, unlike the fast pace media that saturates our society nowadays, stay with us for life; many of the stories are timeless and wonderful. I have childhood favourites from toddlerhood, to early childhood and onwards; including The Very Hungry Caterpillar - by Eric Carle,  The Owl who Was Afraid of the Dark- by Jil Tomlinson, The Suitcase Kid - by Jacqueline Wilson, and of course, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, and The Hobbit by Tolkien.  

The first 3 books I have already shared with my children, but we have yet to read the Narnia books. Jake is now Harry Potter mad, but I am loathe to go past the first 3 books yet as I think he is too young, so it will be great to switch over the Narnia books, and we have just started The Hobbit, and so far he is really enjoying it. I can't wait for the school holidays so we can all snuggle up in front of the fire with hot chocolate and read some more! Yes that sounds cliche', but sometimes cliche is OK, especially at Christmas. 

Massive thanks to Penguin Random House Children's Books for sending these gorgeous books to us. I also have to give a coincidental shout out to my partner's dad, Mr Kevin Clark, who is an engineer for Penguin Random House! :D

Friday, 5 February 2016

Lego Stacking Hearts

Jake and Poppy both love lego, and they both love things like hearts, flowers, and stars. So when I sat building lego with them and decided to make a heart, they thought it was great and asked me to make lots of hearts, so I did! 

I made some, and Jake copied the pattern to make some more. 

Then Jake realised that you could slot the hearts together as the bottom fit of one heart fit right into the top of another... 

 I then just watched him play and stack them for the next hour or so...

He found many ways to fit the hearts together.  

And then he realised that they even fit together upside down and the right way round! What a great Maths and Science investigation for him! :) 

The patterns and towers are just endless, imagine if you had twice as many hearts! And they are so simple to make, it takes 2 minutes to make one heart.

Jake even realised that he could build upwards and outwards to make different shapes. He loved playing with the hearts and we make them a lot! Poppy always asks for the red and purple ones and displays them in her bedroom, while Jake builds, and re-builds, and is learning to make them without copying now! 

This is my first post back on Creative Playhouse for a while, and its nice to be back! I hope you liked this post; do feel free to share it, and comment below if you've done the same, or similar with lego - its such a good learning tool as well as being wonderful for free, creative play! 

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Sand Clay

So on Monday I posted about making Sand Foam, and promised to share the other recipes that we created with our sand experiments. This is Sand Clay, which is an awesome air or oven drying modelling clay that looks and feels like sand, and effectively preserves sand as ornaments for gorgeous beach-y, summery decorations or for small world play!
The recipe is very similar to our Homemade Modelling Clay. You will need: 
  • 2 cups of Sand
  • 1/2 - 1 cup of White Glue (add slowly until desired consistency is achieved)
  • 1/2 - 1 cup of Cornstarch
  • A mixing bowl, spoon and space to play (this is messy!)
  • Shells, cookie cutters, any other modelling tools you wish to use 

Mix the sand and cornstarch together, then add the glue slowly, and mix together, until it starts to combine. You may find it goes to a breadcrumb like mixture, if this happens its fine, you just need to knead it together into a dough. If it feels too dry, add a little more glue, or even a splash of water if your sand was very dry. If it feels too sloppy, add a little more cornstarch. You should end up with some kind of clay or dough like material. 
Once you have your clay, you can do whatever you want with it. Its a nice alternative sensory playdough for simply playing with, or you can make stuff with it. 
We experimented with cookie cutters, playdough moulds and shells with some really nice results. 

It was fun to do something with the extensive collection of teeny tiny shells that Jake insists on bringing home from the beach every weekend! 
When you have your finished creations you can either leave them in a dry airy place overnight, or pop in a warm oven (100˚c) for 2-3 hours, or until hard throughout. This will depend on how thick you have made your ornaments. 
 Take out of the oven and leave to cool, and then you will have perfectly preserved sand decorations, that look just like, well... sand!
And you can use them as a pretty beach decorations for summer embellishments in your home, gifts (think footprints!), or props for small world and imaginary play. Lovely, and lots of creative fun! 
 Come and share in the comments if you make this, Id love to know how it works for you and what you made! Follow on facebook and pinterest too!

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