Tag Archives: play dough

Strengthening Scissor Skills with Play Dough

Strengthening Scissor Skills with Play Dough | Mama Papa BubbaOne of the things I’ve always loved doing with students who’ve found using scissors challenging is pairing them with play dough instead of paper.  Let’s face it – learning to use scissors properly is tricky!  First there’s figuring out which fingers go where, plus there’s finding the hand strength and coordination to open and close them, and then there’s also guiding them in the direction you want them to go… Certainly no easy task!  The reason I love play dough is that although many kids come to Kindergarten not all that familiar with using ‘school tools’ like scissors, almost all kids come to school having played with play dough.  And not only are they familiar with it, but they love it.  And because it’s fun and non-intimidating, plus soft and easy to cut, it’s a perfect starting point, even for reluctant munchkins.  

IMG 0190I’ve done this activity with Gracen many times, and although she’s already very comfortable using scissors with paper and cutting on pre-determined lines, she still loves cutting play dough.  It’s an easy activity to put together and I’d rather smush together bits of play dough than pick up tiny shards of paper any day of the week. When I set it up, I usually create both play dough ‘pancakes’ and ‘worms’ and then let her go to town, but anything goes.  Today after quickly preparing the play dough shapes, she used them to create a daisy and a stem. ☺

IMG 0192Then it was time to cut!

IMG 0194Two things I like to reinforce during the cutting process are one, being mindful of where your ‘holding fingers’ are and two, positioning your scissors so they’re pointing away from your body.

IMG 0199During the process Grae almost always asks for a bowl to put her ‘food’ in, which makes the activity that much more fun and adds in an element of pretend play.

IMG 0206Today’s food was for kitties only. ☺


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Berry Jello Play Dough

Berry Jello Play DoughA couple of days ago, Miss G and I experimented with making a couple of changes to our scented Kool-Aid play dough.  I don’t know if Kool-Aid is just on the way out (surely it should be ☺), but our grocery store only stocks a few colours.  So as an alternative, we decided to give Jell-O crystals a shot.

IMG 5488We followed our original scented play dough recipe *almost* exactly, but added a packet of Jell-O mix instead of Kool-Aid mix.

IMG 5494We also added some fine glitter because…. Well, because Grae said so.  That’s why.

IMG 5493We mixed everything up and added our wet ingredients, going a little bit easier on the water this time.  While we absolutely loved our Kool-Aid play dough and it kept great when somewhere cool, we did notice that it got a bit mucky when stored in a cupboard near one of our heat vents, so hopefully the reduced amount of water will help fix this problem.

IMG 5505The result was a soft, smooth, yummy-smelling play dough that Miss G was just dying to get her hands on.

IMG 5499We made two batches, one raspberry, one strawberry, and added some cookie cutters, a mini rolling pin, and a mini baking pan for a fun creative table set-up.

IMG 5505

{No-Cook} Berry Jell-O Play Dough

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of  table salt
  • 1 packet of Jell-O (we used the sugar kind)
  • 1 tablespoon of cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon of glitter (if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of glycerine (optional and readily available in the first aid section of most grocery stores)
  • 3/4 of a cup of boiling water

Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Add wet ingredients, saving the boiling water for last.  Add the water and give the mixture a few quick mixes, banging off your whisk every once and a while.  Leave the semi-mixed dough on the counter to cool.  Once cooled for about 10 minutes, dump the mixture onto the counter and knead really well.  Knead for about 3 minutes, or until the dough smooth and well-blended.



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Valentine’s Day {2013}

IMG 5513With a Valentine’s party earlier this week, and our annual Valentine’s tea happening tomorrow, when Miss G asked to have a special day at home today instead of attending our Valentine’s celebration at Strong Start, I was more than happy to oblige.  It was a day of cooking together and doing special activities, topped off with a few hand-picked gifts for each of us at the end of the day.

Here is our day in photos…

IMG 5480Little breakfast helper.

IMG 5483A breakfast full of hearts.

IMG 5486A special drink.

IMG 5490Jello play dough experiment.

IMG 5500Play time.

IMG 5509A special project for Papa.

IMG 5511“Love soup”.

IMG 5523Proud.

IMG 5525Papa’s pizza topping.

IMG 5526Heart-shaped bacon warrants a regular rectangular pizza.

IMG 5527Regular roasted veggies means the pizza needs to be heart-shaped.

IMG 5531Finishing off the day with a few little gifts. A beautiful picture frame and some David’s Tea goodies for Papa, Fauberg macarons for Mama, and a handmade purse, a new book, and some scented stickers for Miss G.

Check out last year’s Valentine’s Day with my little lady here.


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Morning Play Dough

IMG 3984Gracen is absolutely loving hanging out with her cousins.  We woke up this morning, had some breakfast, and pulled out our play dough gingerbread people supplies for the kids to play with.  In addition to the original supplies, this time we added some miniature baking pans, tiny rolling pins, and more cookie cutters to the mix.

IMG 3991 2IMG 3986All of the kids really enjoyed creating their play dough masterpieces and the activity provided a great start to our day.

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Play Dough Gingerbread People

Play Dough Gingerbread PeopleAfter decorating gingerbread houses this morning, this afternoon I whipped up a batch of this delicious-smelling and amazingly soft gingerbread play dough for Miss G to play with.

IMG 3909In addition to the play dough, I set out several things create gingerbread people with, including a rolling pin, cookie cutters, buttons, straw pieces, jingle bells, ribbon bits, and toothpicks.

IMG 3915IMG 3917IMG 3910Gracen dove in as she usually does, and loved decorating each of the people in their own unique way.

IMG 3913The best part is that this dough smells so amazing that you sometimes forget that it’s just play dough and not actual gingerbread baking in the oven. ☺

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An Afternoon at LUSH

IMG 0758This afternoon, Gracen and I had the absolute pleasure of attending a launch event at the Robson Street location of Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics

When we first got the invite, I was really excited for two reasons.  First off, because I’ve been a longtime Lush fan and seeing, touching, and trying a brand new product before the general public is always fun, and second, because the event was munchkin-friendly and Gracen was more than welcome to come along! 

IMG 0732When we arrived, the Lush team was extremely helpful, sweet, and friendly.  They helped us find a spot to park our stroller,  offered us all kinds of delicious treats and beverages, and invited Gracen to play with the newest Lush innovation, ‘Fun’.   Of course she had already spotted the play table on the way in and was more than ready to sink her little hands into the mouldable material.

IMG 0735IMG 0745IMG 0744IMG 0737As she played, I learned all about Fun.  What it is basically, is a mouldable {delicious smelling} soap that can be used in four different ways.  First off (and most importantly ☺), it can be played with.  It has a texture between play dough and plastercine and can easily be cut, shaped, and rolled.  The best part is that since it’s a soap, clean up is a breeze – both when it comes to cleaning your table and cleaning your kid.  When used in the bathroom, it can be rubbed and used as a soap (we’ve already used it at the sink for washing hands and in the bathtub as a body bar), lathered and used as a shampoo, or placed under some running water as a bubble bath. So cool, right?  I’m pretty sure some pre-bath time “play dough” sessions are in our very near future…

IMG 0742IMG 0731After playing with Fun for a good, long time, Miss G decided it would be a good time to have her face painted.  Having seen {and immediately fallen in love with} a stack of pumpkin-shaped soap on the way by, a little jack-o-lantern on her cheek it was.

IMG 0750IMG 0757With a freshly-painted cheek, it was off to explore the rest of the store.  There were all kinds of goodies out and Gracen very happily chose a bag of popcorn to munch on while I helped myself to a little bag of goodies at the candy bar.  We explored the products, learning about them and trying them out along the way, which was a lot of fun.  These were two of our favourites.  I really loved the slightly shimmery Bubblebeard bubble wand because it made incredible bubbles with just small swishes in a bowlful of water, and Grae really loved the Calacas shower jelly, mostly because it was really fun to poke and squish.

IMG 0751IMG 0738We stopped to see a few other things, mingle with some other mamas and kiddos, and snack on our goodies, but more than anything, Grae wanted to get back to the Fun table to play.

IMG 0756IMG 0746IMG 0753IMG 0755Before heading home for dinner, bath, and bed time, we got to watch a fresh batch of Fun being made, and then play with it immediately afterwards.  When fresh made like this, Fun is still pretty soft and sticky compared to the finished product, but Gracen didn’t mind one bit.  It made for a great mess and lots of fun swishing it all of in a bowl of warm water afterwards.

IMG 0759To top off a fun-filled afternoon, Lush very generously sent us home with a bag full of goodies that Grae immediately called her ‘present’ and insisted on carrying on her own despite the fact that it was heavy and bulky.

IMG 0762When we got home and opened it, she was thrilled to find several rolls of Fun inside, but even more thrilled to see a Jacko bath fizzer.  We chopped him up to spread the excitement up over a few nights, and before long, our pumpkin pie scented little lady was tucked into bed.

Lush’s multipurpose, mouldable FUN soap is available nationwide on November 1st, 2012.  It comes in five colours and scents (yellow – marzipan, green – citrus burst, blue – lavender and chamomile, red – fruity orange and mandarin, and pink – ice cream), is 100% vegan, and will be available for for $6.95 each.  

In addition, a portion of the sales of FUN will go into the newly created FunD, which will help bring fun back to children living in Fukushima, Japan, an area severely affected by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster.
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Play Dough Frozen Yogurt Shop

Play Dough Frozen Yogurt ShopI’ve had this little idea in mind ever since Gracen received her ice cream sand toys back at the beginning of summer, and today was a perfect day to make it happen… With it being cool and dreary here in Vancouver, spending the afternoon on a wet beach making sand cones didn’t sound overly appealing…  Making yummy-smelling play dough ones in the warmth of our house, however, certainly did.  Not to mention the fact that Grae fell in love with playing ‘the ice cream game’ at our community centre’s playground recently, so opening an ice cream shop (which Grae quickly decided should be a frozen yogurt shop instead) it was.

IMG 9845With our best ever no cook scented play dough made and a few things collected from around the house, our shop was ready for business.

IMG 9848Our play dough went into some empty yogurt containers we had on hand…

IMG 9849We made candy sprinkles by chopping up some colourful plastic straws we had leftover from Miss G’s birthday party… 

IMG 9850Colourful buttons became Smarties…

IMG 9852And some silicone baking cups and the plastic cones from Grae’s Melissa & Doug set became our cups and cones.

IMG 9853We also collected  some scoops and spoons for eating and serving our frozen treats, some coins and a money jar, and fabric bunting {also from the birthday party} to spruce up the shop. ☺

IMG 9855Together, we wrote made a quick sign for our shop.  I asked Grae how much one of her frozen yogurt treats cost, and without skipping a beat, she said “Two!”  So two dollars it was…

Cone MakingIMG 9860IMG 9862With her shop set up and ready to go, it was down to business welcoming her customers (me!), making delicious-looking play dough treats, and collecting money in exchange.

IMG 9878Not a fan of cones?  Not a problem – a bowl for you!

IMG 9883Cheers to rainy days and frozen treats!

Ice Cream MakingIMG 9896The frozen yogurt fun went on all afternoon…

IMG 9913And after what felt my 53rd order, Papa eventually came home and relieved me of my customer duties (thank goodness – I don’t know if my belly could have handled another candy-covered cone).  

Here’s a little video of our frozen yogurt shop owner in action…
 We finally closed the shop tonight just before bedtime (despite pleas from the very reluctant shop keeper) and you can bet I’ll have a play dough cone in hand long before I have a chance to make a proper breakfast tomorrow morning…  
And I’m okay with that.
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The BEST Scented No Cook Play Dough

The BEST Scented No Cook Play DoughGracen and I may have just stumbled upon the best. play dough. recipe. ever. today….  Now I know I said similar things about this recipe, but this new one involves no cooking (win!) and smells delish (double win!) We did have to make a trip to the grocery store beforehand, as several of the ingredients are not things we regularly keep on hand, but it was well worth the trip.  This is by far the softest, squishiest, smoothest, nicest feeling {and smelling} play dough I’ve ever come across.  

BEST Scented No Cook Play Dough Instructions

 The BEST Scented No Cook Play Dough

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of  table salt
  • 1 packet of Kool Aid (the kind you have to add sugar to)
  • 1 tablespoon of cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of glycerine (readily available in the first aid section of most grocery stores)
  • 3 drops of gel food colouring (in a colour that coordinates with your Kool Aid colour)
  • 1 cup of boiling water

Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Add wet ingredients, saving the boiling water for last.  Add the water and give the mixture a quick mix, banging off your whisk every once and a while.  At this point, the mixture will seem way too wet and sticky to make good play dough… Do not fret!  Leave the semi-mixed dough on the counter to cool.  Once cooled for about 10 minutes, dump the mixture onto the counter and knead really well.  At this point the dough will still seem a little too soft and sticky, but resist the urge to add flour {unless it is so sticky it is gooping up your hands}.  Knead for about 3 minutes, or until the dough reaches the perfect consistency.


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Mama, Shoe!

IMG 4695This morning I was tidying the house while Gracen happily played with her chocolate play dough. My cleaning frenzy was interrupted by a very pleased voice announcing, “Mama, shoe! Shoe!”  I turned to see this.  Oh, my little monkey.  How I love her and her crazy little ideas.

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iPhoneography // Afternoon Snapshots

Afternoon SnapshotsToday was a work day for this mama…  And although I really do like the the teaching part, I sure do miss my little lady while I’m away.  Luckily, a classroom of 25 to 30 students keeps me more than busy for most of the day, but some days I just wish I could snap my fingers, avoid the {sometimes slow / stressful} commute, and arrive at home to soak up more moments like these…

mini cleanaholic // rolling machine

making cookies // chocolate play dough chocolates

bath time mohawk // bedtime stories with baby

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