Nature Playdough

We love playing in nature and playing with nature. Our children are always collecting pinecones, sticks, conkers etc… We currently have a boot full of some rather large sticks!

We recently experimented with creating different coloured play dough with natural colours. A friend mentioned that beetroot powder creates a fantastic colour, I managed to get some from Amazon for a decent price.

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We made a brown (cinnamon powder – it smells great), a bright reddy pink (beetroot powder), orange (paprika) and yellow (turmeric)

We used a basic play dough recipe (see below) and added the following amounts for the different colours.

Yellow – 2tbs turmeric
Orange – 2tsp paprika
Reddy pink – 2tbs beetroot powder
Brown – 3tbs cinnamon

Basic Playdough Recipe
2 cups of plain flour
1/2 cup of salt
2tbs cream of tartar
1tsp glycerin (this makes playdoh more elasticy – can be omitted)
2tbs oil (we used olive oil – baby oil or vegetable oil will work too)
1 1/2 cups boiling water

Method
Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar and desired colour in a large bowl. Add oil, glycerin and boiling water, mix with a wooden spoon. Wait for dough to cool a little and then kneed. Your dough is ready for play 😀

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To carry on the nature and sensory themes we included pinecones, different coloured beans and fresh rosemary on the table. We had fun using our imagination and creating!

What’s your favourite play dough? I’m thinking coco, I need to try coco next!

Wild Art

When I was at school studying art I became really interested in the land art by Andy Goldsworthy. He creates really fantastic artwork in nature with nature. Do check out the link. In June we were involved in the #30DaysWild challenge (doing something wild every day for 30 days) and decided to have our own go at some land art.

We love collecting bits and bobs from nature, pine cones, sticks, stones, shells, feathers, conkers etc… So from our box of many things I started to create this heart made. It wasn’t long before the little munchkins became interested and joined in.

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Since the #30DaysWild challenge we have spent some time in the local river building a dam but also attempting some rock balancing (well…more like stone balancing!)

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have you you created any art in nature? I’d love to see it 😀 Or would you love to give it a go?

Sail boat craft

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We made these sail boats as part of the #30DaysWild challenge. They were fun to make and even more fun to watch them sail down the river!

I didn’t think that we would be able to retrieve our boats after we’d put them in the water so I thought it was important to make them out of natural materials. We used some sticks, a biodegradable twine and a leaf for the sail. To make the base of the boat we made an overlapping square with the sticks and tied them together with twine. We then tied on more sticks across the base and another stick pointing upwards for the sail. When we arrived at the river we found a large leaf and tied it to the stick.

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Penguin had great fun watching the boats sail down the river and also enjoyed videoing the experience, I’m just glad his camera is waterproof!!

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Have you had fun playing in the river? Any ideas for fun river play?

Junk Modelling

I can be such a horder and it can get a little ridiculous!! I mean everything can be useful, right? And we don’t want to just chuck everything on to landfill…surely we are running out of space!

One of the things I horde is JUNK. For precisely this reason. About 4 times a year we get the JUNK out and make stuff! My junk box is a great place to stash those great bits of packaging, smallish boxes, random bits of wood, crazy bits of plastic and old pen lids.

This is Little Missys creation. She has told me it is a princess, an owl and something that catches monsters!

Whatever it is, it was her design. I think it’s fantastic to let little people create for creating sake.

Usually I let Penguin and Little Missy use sellotape to make their junk creations. They absolutely love sellotape. Today we went for a different and more controlled approach. The Glue Gun. I let the little munchkins decide what they wanted where and I did the gluing. The ease and speed of using the glue gun meant their designs were more elaborate than usual. They seemed happy with the results.

Penguin was very pleased with the Super Crasher Trap he designed!

Do your little ones create stuff out of junk? I’d love to hear about their crazy inventions 😀

Buttons and Glitter

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After creating some fun buttony glittery birthday cards (click link). Little Missy decided she hadn’t had her fill of glittery fun for the day.

I found an old canvas and pasted some PVA glue on it and let Little Missy sprinkle lots and lots of glitter over it.

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With some help from Granny she continued her masterpiece with buttons, buttons and more glitter. All stuck on with PVA glue. It was lovely to see Little Missy exercising her freedom and creativity, knowing exactly which button she wanted next and exactly how much glitter she wanted.

I love giving my little munchkins a canvas to work on, it feels much more permanent than a flimsy bit of paper and often the end result is a lot more pleasing too.

Little Missy’s art work is now up on the wall in our living room, she is very proud!

Here are a couple more examples of Little Missy’s glittery art work.

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What art materials do you/your children love working with?

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Monkey and Mouse