There are a lot of play dough recipes out there so use whichever one suits you best. We suggest you make the edible play dough just in case your toddler decides he or she is hungry! Make play dough in advance in many different colors and leave each one in an airtight container to keep it soft and fresh.
Set out a play space for your child and let his or her imagination run wild. While you laze on a couch with a good book, your child can make dinosaurs, ladybirds, spiders, birds, fish, or an entire meal. You may want to suggest they play quietly and then ‘wake you up’ with a meal. You could be surprised with a purple tray filled with oranges, apples, cookies or a hamburger. It’s pretty cool letting your child’s imagination run free and with play dough they can create and have fun, making anything they want. Remember, there is no right way or wrong way, and playing with the dough, no matter what they make, is always fabulous!
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tbsp vegetable salt.
- 1 tbsp cream of tartar
- Food colouring
1 Combine the water, oil, salt, cream of tartar & food coloring in a pan and warm it up. Don’t boil.
2 Remove from heat and add flour.
3 Stir and then knead until smooth.
4 Store in airtight containers or Ziploc bags.
Give a kid a chalkboard, a whole lot of different colored chalks and an apron and let them go wild. Make sure they also have an erasure so they can start over and over, as often as they want. Drawing is something that keeps kids busy for hours on end and is something that all kids should be encouraged to do. It allows them to create things and to dream and imagine! There is never a right or a wrong way of drawing so love everything that they create. Tell your child to do whatever they want and if they do it all on their own you’ll help them put their fabulous signature on their masterpiece at the very end.
Puzzles can be super demoralizing if they’re too hard for a child so make sure you buy a puzzle that is age appropriate. Set up a workspace on a table for your kid and let them do the puzzle on their own. Kids feel empowered when they complete tasks without help from parents, which is also why the age-appropriate thing is so important. You can get wooden puzzles for smaller children and these are fabulous as kids do the puzzles but can play with the pieces too. Teens will get into really hard puzzles, especially if they have a fun theme. You may have to help a child with the outline of a puzzle, usually the hardest bit, and you might find you just want to carry on doing the puzzle with them!
WORD SEARCHES AND CROSSWORDS
Leave your kid with a games book that includes spot the difference, word searches and crossword puzzles. You can lie on a couch with your book and they can lie on the couch with their book. Kids love emulating adults so if you are doing a crossword too, even better. Don’t get a book that is too difficult or too easy, so perhaps choose it with your child as they always know what they like. Children also love dot-to-dot, Sudoku, mazes and colouring in. The best books are those that have many different kinds of puzzles in them. For older kids, get Brain Teasers.
Lego is a universal language, the language of building and creating. Legos are plastic bricks in all colors and sizes, shapes too, that can be used to build pretty much anything. You can follow a pattern to build R2D2 from Star Wars or you can just use the bricks and build anything you want. Don’t ever leave small children unsupervised with Lego as they may be tempted to eat a couple of pieces, but older children can certainly get on with making something on their own. Lego is brilliant for improving hand-eye coordination as well as for fantasy and imagination. Lego is not cheap so treasure your lego pieces carefully and teach your children to treasure them too. One thing we have learned is to never give your Lego away. Kids will play with Lego at the age of 2 (Duplo) and at the age of 22 too!