Tag: “cloud dough”

Dino Dig Sensory Play

Dino Dig Sensory Play

A “Dino Dig” is something I have been dying to try with my boys. Making our own dino fossils has been top of my “wish list” but I just havent had the time or energy to do it. Recently though I paid a visit to our favourite “Plastic Land” (I feel like that’s a bit of a swear word these days), and when I saw a pack of plaster of paris I quickly grabbed it for my fossils.

I had to write an actual blog for this activity because initially, It was an epic fail. It was my first attempt at using Plaster of Paris, and clearly I hadn’t put much thought into it. I just mixed and poured, and well, it did require some pre planning.

There are a few things you should know if you use this method:

  1. You CANNOT pour Plaster of Paris down the drain, it will break your pipes (thankfully I didn’t), and it sets almost immediately. Which means you have to work very quickly, it also means, use something disposable when mixing it so you can do an easy clean up. That was mistake number 1 for me, I mixed it up in a baking bowl with a wooden spoon; and I then had to try dissolve all of it with Bicarbonate of Soda (which actually worked very well).
  2. Use moulds that you can break or peel away. I had found some playdough moulds at Toyzone that I thought would make the perfect dino fossils, except they didn’t πŸ™‚ I couldn’t get the plaster of paris out of the mould and had to almost break my brand new playdough cutters.

So after I failed one night of trying with the plaster of paris, and getting utterly frustrated, I ended up making good old salt dough fossils the next day. They were super quick, easy, and the boys always love to play with salt dough so it certainly wasnt a waste of time. I just wasnt happy with how they looked in comparison to the “Pintrest” pretty fossils I had seen. I turned to good old You Tube and caught a video where they used plastic around the playdough which was then just cut off and thrown away.

Make your own dinosaur fossils (Plaster of Paris):

Ingredients:

Plaster of Paris

Water for Mixing

Playdough

Small Dinosaur Figurines

Paper Muffin Cups

Method:

Roll out your playdough and cut into shape with your muffin cup, placing your playdoughΒ at the bottom of each cup.

Insert and press down with the dino figurine to leave an imprint into your playdough (remove your figurine).

Mix up your Plaster of Paris (In a disposable cup), and pour into your cupcake/muffin cups on top of the playdough. You want it a bit thicker as if it’s too thin it will crack and break easily.

Once set, peel away your paper muffin cups/plastic, whatever you used. Peel away the playdough from underneath and Voila! Instant Dino Fossils! You will notice the playdough does get a little sticky when you peel it away, so I just took a slightly damp tooth-brush to brush away and clean up the playdough.

If you are really OCD and want a smoother fossil, you can sand down your fossils, but this mama does not have time for that!

Sensory Play

Once I had my fossils ready I pulled out some of my old moon sand/ cloud dough, which is just a combination of flour and oil, you can view my recipe here. If you have a sandpit even better! I “hid” the fossils under the sand and got some old paint brushes, a magnifying glass and some dino books for us to read. Once the boys had found the fossils, I whipped out the original figurines and we made a bit of a puzzle out of it, matching the figurine to the fossil, and then learning about that dinosaur! It was a great activity and really did keep them occupied for quite some time.

The best part is everything is saved and packed away for another day of play!

I would absolutely love to hear your feedback. Have you tried making your own fossils before? Let me know what you think of the two different methods and what you prefer. Happy playing!

Cloud Dough Sensory Tray

Cloud Dough Sensory Tray

Its been a while since I’ve posted a sensory craft and to be honest I’ve missed the time with my boys. They get so excited when mama pulls out the activity tray and want to help with everything.

At a recent Prima Toy Event on of my favourite toys that launched (stay tuned for a full list of my favourites), was the Treasure X box. A little box filled with adventure and you have to try and retrieve the β€œlost” bits and pieces by digging through the “soft brick” around it. It reminded me of the some of the sensory activities Id done with the boys around dino excavations and got me thinking it was time to do something new.

Cloud Dough is a perfect base for sensory trays. It’s bothΒ mouldable and crumbly at the same time. It has a silky soft consistency perfect for little hands. You can see my previous recipe here, but generally I take about 8 cups of flour to one cup oil (vegetable or baby), this time I added in a few drops of essential lavender oil to add in a calming scent. The mixture of flour and oil is mixed to the consistency of a wet beach sand. It’s the perfect exploratory material for toddlers to play with and is 100% taste safe! The boys are at a fun age where I can start making sensory trays a little more challenging. So with this one, inspired by Treasure X, I made it a pirate theme and hid bits of metallic treasure into the β€œsand”, they had to find the treasures with a magnetic wand. Add in a couple of scoops and forks and use little shells or containers to mould your shapes. To create a pirate theme i took “treasure” from around the house, glass pebbles and sparkly pom poms as “gems”, plastic beads, gold coins, old treasure chests and pirate figurines.

Most of the time was spent burying their own treasure chests in the sand, acting out with the pirates before creating sand castles and shapes with the easily mouldable cloud dough. After about 45 minutes of beach play we packed away our cloud dough into an airtight container to be played with another day. Cloud dough typically has quite a long shelf life if stored correctly.

 

Have fun with your little pirates and never be afraid to get a little messy xx

Fizz Dough Recipe

Fizz Dough Recipe

A soft, fizzy dough to make sandcastles with the magically turns into a playdough consistency, this recipe literally has it all for kids and may just have become my favourite !

We started off by combining equal amounts of cornflour (cornstarch) and bicarbonate of soda. I was running out of cornflour so I think my Continue reading “Fizz Dough Recipe”

Cloud dough/ Moon sand recipeΒ 

Cloud dough/ Moon sand recipeΒ 

It’s been a while since we did this one, in fact shockingly, I don’t think I’ve ever made it for my youngest ! (Hides behind hands).

Moon Sand or Cloud dough as its sometimes referred to in the USA promises at least 40 minutes to an hour of exploration for my little ones. With a consistency similar to beach sand (obviously alot softer), the possibilities are endless. You can make cakes, or castles, pies or if you’re a mum of boys like me, everything turns into a quarry and the sand will end up being transported in dump trucks!

Its easy to whip up when your kids need some stimulation in the day, and we often use it to create a sensory tray and hide treasures at the bottom, little ones can then dig through the sand to find the treasures.

It takes less then five minutes to create and is made with ingredients found in your cupboard.

8 cups flour to approximately 1 cup of oil. You can either use a vegetable oil or baby oil. I’ve used both and obviously vegetable oil is safer with smaller kids. Just mix it together in a big bowl until its the right consistency, akin to slightly damp beach sand.

Have fun πŸ™‚
Ps. Excuse the pyjamas I always like to do messy play in the mornings before we get dressed for the day πŸ™‚