I haven’t made play dough for about twelve years, not since the days when a friend and I attempted to run a baby and toddler group whilst the aforementioned babies and toddlers clung screaming to our legs. Still makes me shudder…! Anyway things have moved on in the play-dough world since then and I must admit I gleaned a lot of information from the very helpful website The Artful Parent http://www.artfulparent.com/2012/02/39-ideas-for-playing-with-playdough.html and the great recipe on there for home made play dough (I chose the cooked rather than non-cooked recipe). I was also inspired by this website to add ground cinnamon and glitter to the play dough to achieve a more ‘sensory’ final product (and a lot more mess…)
In preparation for Ellen and I making this together, I got all the ingredients out onto the worktop (including dodgy ancient packets of salt which are ideal for this kind of activity), prepared a list of things that we could make with the play dough afterwards and had a think about how I could meet my RDI objectives throughout the exercise i.e.
#commenting rather than asking questions
#’Stop the Action’ if Ellen stops paying attention
#gesturing rather than talking.
The main problem I have when doing activities like this is of thinking how to throw a challenge into the mix without asking a question. So it’s a good idea beforehand to try and think of a few things you can say instead of the question e.g.
What shall we make with the play dough? -> Here’s a list of things we could make – I’m going to make a monster.
Where’s the oil? -> Oh dear I can’t find the oil.
This helps me, but I still find it difficult not to either bombard Ellen with questions or stand comically still gulping like a fish while a try and think what to say! Still practice makes perfect so they say….
How did it go? Well, after a bit of chuntering on about her Fimbles video at the beginning, I ‘stopped the action’ (stopped turning the tap on and hence filling Ellen’s cup) and after that she was pretty engaged. Yes she poured in far too much (actually all) my food colouring, yes we had flour and glitter all over the floor but I was actually amazed that the play dough turned out as well as it did considering our measurements were not that accurate!
Ellen seemed to enjoy herself. I noticed that she didn’t like to actually touch or knead the play dough very much – something we can work on over the coming weeks now we have mountains of play dough! I gave her a lump of dough and she was pretty creative with it – we decided we were making monsters – well judge for yourselves!