Category Archives: Playdough

Playdough Circuits and Outdoor Painting

We have had quite a busy day today.

After breakfast this morning Thomas and Jasmine were having their usual discussion about who is taller and who is older (Thomas is taller and Jasmine is 1 minute older!) when Thomas asked how old the universe was. I suggested he look in our “Children’s Atlas of the Universe”¬†because that was a fact I didn’t know off the top of my head! We actually didn’t find the answer, but they started looking at moons and planets and were happy to look at each planet in turn and found out out some interesting facts.

We learned that Uranus is likely to have been hit by a large object as it was forming, knocking it over on its side and causing its tilt. We learned that Venus and Mercury have no moons and we learned that Jupiter has 49 moons, although Wikipedia has since shown this to be incorrect so our book must be out of date! *Jupiter actually has 67 confirmed moons if you are interested.

After looking at the book for a while we moved on to our next activity; we made Playdough circuits.

I have wanted to do this since I saw it on another blog (An ordinary life) a while ago. All you need is an LED, a 9v PP3 battery, a connector and some playdough, and we finally went to Maplins yesterday to get the connectors!

All you do is connect the battery connector to the battery and then place the red (positive) wire in one lump of playdough and the black (negative) wire in another. Make sure the lumps of playdough are not touching each other. Then simply connect your LED to the 2 lumps of playdough to make the circuit. The positive end of the LED (the longer wire) goes in the playdough with the red wire and the negative end (the shorter wire) goes in the playdough with the black wire.

I drew diagrams for the kids to follow and they had fun making the LEDs light up, especially the flashing “party lights” one that Daddy had left them! Even Ben managed to do it with minimal help and it was great that this was an activity all 3 kids could take part in and enjoy.

When we had finished, as I was packing everything away, Jasmine asked me if she could make some Easter Egg pictures. I explained that as Easter had now passed maybe she could do some flower or spring pictures instead. Somewhere in my sentence I must have said the magic word “paint” and all of a sudden I had 3 children jumping around with excitement because they love painting!

It has been lovely and sunny here today so I thought we’d have our first outdoor painting session of the year! We have a long garage that goes down the side of our back garden. It is painted white, so is the perfect canvas for kids art! I vary whether I tape paper along the side for them to paint on or just let them paint on the garage itself. Today I put paper up so that if it does rain I can take it down and their picture won’t be instantly washed away!.

This afternoon we went to see our friends from Caterpillar Tales and spent a lovely couple of hours with them drawing and playing in their garden.

Today has been a busy day, but we’ve had lots of fun!

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Playdough Cakes

This morning we got the playdough out. I usually just dump all the cutters and bits in the middle and let the kids dig in but today I thought I would try something different.

I gave them muffin cases, happy birthday cake decorations, candles, number and letter cutters and some glitter stars and they made playdough cakes. We even lit the candles at one point and then blew them out!

After a while the kids asked for the plasticine as well and spent some time making models with this.

Notice no cakes were made with the plasticine though. The kids still find plasticine hard to work with so even though they ask for it, they don’t actually do much with it. Well, except Jasmine. Today she did quite a bit of modelling with both the playdough and the plasticine. Thomas managed to roll some plasticine flat (with a lot of encouragement) and used the cutters to make the word “no”, before moving back to the playdough.

The kids did enjoy making playdough cakes today, and it was nice to do something different, but it actually didn’t keep them as occupied as I expected. Next time I’ll probably start with a themed idea, but make sure I include all our usual stuff as well so they can mix and match as they choose.

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