Play Dough Wild Things

When you first make or buy play dough it looks bright and appealing.  As children play with it the dough becomes progressively mixed up, often with lovely swirly, marbled patterns.  Eventually though it ends up a muddy, green-brown colour!

It might still be perfectly good for playing with, but it can sometimes lose its appeal -especially if youngsters are still developing their creative skills.  At Raising Sparks we make play dough ‘wild things’ with our yucky colored dough!  This is a lovely activity for children of all age groups, but is very well suited to younger children.  Two year olds are often still learning to roll dough flat or form it into sausages, but this activity really just requires ‘poking’ skills.

I think one of the things I have always loved about ‘The Wild Things’ is that they almost look like a nameable creature but not quite.  They are almost chickens or almost bulls but then sprout feathers, scales and horns in all the wrong places!

Young children are often more interested in processes than finished products.  That is great and should be encouraged, don’t try to force children into making something that is, let’s say, recognizably…something!  Hundred-eyed monsters are fine, as is a ball of dough that has just been fragmented into tiny atoms.

Materials You Will Need:

  • Yucky play dough
  • Brightly coloured craft feathers
  • Brightly coloured matchsticks
  • Colored straws – those with articulated bends are great for forming limbs.
  • Googly eyes
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Anything else you think your children can safely stick into a ball of dough!

We hope the following illustration is self-explanatory!

playdoughwildthing

Extend The Idea:

Here is an idea that exploits much the same principal, although children will end up with something more permanent to show for their efforts.  Take your children on a nature trail, either in the woods or on the beach.  Collect interesting stones, shells, little cones, nuts etc.  At the end of the day give each child a lump of air drying clay.  They stick a tea-light into the middle and then poke their nature trail finds into the clay.  When the clay is dry, maybe for dinner that night, you can light the candle for all members of the family to appreciate.  Remember! This should only be done under careful adult supervision.

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