Tag: salt 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!

Christmas Salt Dough Ornaments

Christmas Salt Dough Ornaments

You may remember from last year that we made Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments. Its something we do every year and it always ties in nicely with teachers end of year gifts and homemade sentiments for family and friends.

This year I was inspired by Sugar and Paper Parties insanely gorgeous sugar cookies, I’m not one to attempt anything like the masterpieces that Liezl creates (well actually I did and they looked like a dogs breakfast), so we decided to make ornaments for the tree with our snow globe cookie cutter. (Because painting is alot easier then icing πŸ™‚ )

Apart from putting in the oven and taking it out again, this is literally one craft the kids can do by themselves from start to finish.

The Recipe has 3 ingredients and is SUPER easy:

4 cups flour

1 cup salt

1.5 cups water

  • Preheat your oven to 100 degrees Celsius.
  • Combine all of your ingredients and knead. If your dough is too dry add a little bit more water.
  • Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1.5 cm
  • Using a cookie cutter of your choice cut out your shapes, if you are making handprints, use a side plate to cut a circle first and then have your child place their hand on that circle.

  • Using a straw, make a hole in the top for where you want to hang your salt dough ornament.
  • Bake for about 2 hours. If your ornaments are still soft to touch, put back in for another hour. (It will depend on your thickness how long you need to bake for. The thinner ornaments will take less time but thicker may take more).
  • Once cooled, decorate as you wish. We used our favourite Dala paints, the acrylic works best and lots ofΒ  glitter, especially at Christmas time.
  • Finish with a varnish.

I normally do this over 2 or 3 days. The first day we roll and make bake our ornaments, on the second we paint and on the third day I spray it with a coast of clear varnish.

To end off our homemade gifts we made simple cards. Christmas Trees easily painted with plastic forks.

Remember to head on over to :

Justamamma for more easy christmas cards for kids

Ali from Earth to Ali Photography for her utterly gorgeous salt dough foot and handprintsΒ 

This.is.bentleys.world for her ridiculously cute toilet roll crafts

Minimatissediaries for dreamy pine cone painting

Michelle from Mayalief for her exquisitie homemade wrapping paper