Riots in London and Making Playdough with Children

It’s been a while since I last posted here at Olives Childcare and a lot has happened since!  We’ve moved house and then been surrounded by some of the worst rioting the UK has ever seen.

Our overseas partner agencies have been wonderful with some of their words of support which we are extremely grateful for.  In return, we’ve been in constant contact with all of our nannies, au pairs, maternity nurses and mother’s helpers that we supply to make sure that they’re safe and secure along with the children they look after.  Fortunately, no one has experienced anything first hand and we hope it stays that way.

It is such a shame what is happening, especially with the Olympics around the corner (which incidentally we’re very excited about here at Olives Childcare).

Anyway, I won’t linger on the shameful behaviour of a small minority of young people.  We have more important things to cover.

How to Make Playdough

Making playdough is not only great fun, but you can also play with it afterwards!  What’s not to like?

As any playdough connoisseur will know, there are two main varieties of playdough:  Cooked and uncooked.  Why?  I hear you ask.  What is the difference?  As with most things, it is a personal preference.  I, as a more mature playdough user prefer cooked, however for some of the younger children we may look after both the danger of cooking and attention span needed may prove too much, so we shall begin with uncooked playdough.

Uncooked Playdough
Ingredients:
1/2 a cup of salt
1/2 a cup of water
1 cup of flower
Food dye (the more garish the better!)

1 – First, find a good space to work on, preferably the floor.  Cover the area with newspaper to save a huge cleanup operation.  Also, get a medium to large sized bowl to mix the playdough in.  It can be fun for the older kids to be each tasked with finding the items themselves.
2 – Ask the little ones to measure out for you a cup of flower and add it to the bowl.  Next, ask them to measure out half a cup of salt and put it into the bowl followed by (lastly) half a cup of water.
3 – Give the child/children a spoon and ask them to mix the ingredients until it’s no longer too watery or floury.  We’re going for a nice and even mushy mix!
4 – Next is my personal favourite – adding the food dye.  I usually pick luminous lime greens, pinks and oranges, but then I have terrible taste and love bright colours.  Just add a few drops (don’t over do it or things will get messy when it comes to play time!) then have the children knead the dough until it has a uniform colour.

That’s it!  You’ve now got some playdough and here’s where the fun starts.  Your creations are only limited by your imagination!

I’ll do a future blog on the connoisseur’s playdough – the cooked variety.  Slightly more tricky, more ingredients, however more elastic.

One last thing – Keep the playdough away from pets!  It smells like food but has a high salt content.  Children usually notice after the first taste, but I hear that pets can ignore it to ill effect.

Have fun!