I used to love winter. I loved watching the rain all snuggled up on the couch on the weekends. Staying up late listening to the storms outside. Then I had children…..

Replace ‘love watching the rain’ with ‘run around trying to find a shopping centre with undercover parking’ and change ‘staying up late listening to storms’ with ‘Freaking out with every thunder rumble that our ‘allergic to sleep’ 9 month old would wake up.

Trying to entertain a 2 1/2 year old in winter sucks. Especially when you have an even smaller child that also demands your time.

I’ve been on an adventure of discovery to find and share with you some of the easiest activities you can do to entertain small children in the cold months.

This week our focus is PLAYDOUGH

You may have over looked playdough in the past.

You might have thought ‘how long can one kid sit and cut out shapes?’.

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Playdough is awesome for three reasons..

1. It’s dirt cheap to make

2. You can store it/change the colour/make as much or as little as you want.

3. You can put pretty much anything with it.

 

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Cars are great with playdough. You can make tracks through it, you can load the playdough up on the back and transport it around like important cargo.

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Random craft items. Use paddle pop sticks or coloured match sticks to make birthday cakes, lollypops, all sorts of fun things.

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Get out your old plastic animals. Make footprints, build caves, completely cover an animal in playdough and pretend it’s hatching out of an egg.

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Grab some $2 googly eyes and make monsters. Or let your kids come up with their own creations.. like my chocolate obsessed child who turned his into a ‘big big choc cookie’.

 

Basically, playdough is whatever you want it to be. Keep a box of playdough supplies from around the home and when your kids seem to be getting bored, switch it up with something else. If you have smaller children like me, that will try and eat the playdough if it falls on the ground, maybe save this activity for nap time or pop your child up at the table or in a high chair.

I use the thermomix recipe which works great but here’s a microwave recipe:

 

Ingredients

  • food colouring
  • 500ml (2 cups) water
  • 60ml (1 tbsp) oil
  • 1 cup table salt
  • 1 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 2 cups plain flour

method

  1. Add the food colouring to the water before mixing.
  2. Mix all ingredients well in a large microwave-safe container that has a lid. The dough will cook in different microwaves to varying degrees, so you’ll have to check it regularly throughout the process to be sure you don’t overcook it and make it go crumbly.
  3. Start on 50 percent power for 3 minutes.
  4. Stir and continue for another 2 minutes.
  5. It should congeal in a fairly gluey lump.
  6. When it looks like it’s come together enough, turn it out onto a floured surface and wait for it to cool a bit.
  7. Knead it until it becomes smooth and silky and easy to work.

 

What would you use with playdough? Add your suggestions by commenting below.