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Winter wonderland

Brrrrr! Its been so cold outside this week, we even had enough snow to make snowmen so it seemed like a good time to focus on winter weather. The art explorers really concentrated on sticking down tape to make paint resist snowflakes. They then used fantastic fine motor skills to tear tissue paper and foil to make a snow man collage. Glittery icicles where a hit and snowy themed playdough with blocks of ice (sugar cubes) were great fun.

I've had some requests for the playdough recipe I use so here it is. I've tried lots and this is my favourite its from the book The Artful Parent by Jean Van't Hul. It is a cooked playdough so for an adult to make (if you want to make the playdough as an activity with your child choose a non cook version instead).

  • 5 cups water

  • 2 1/2 cups salt

  • 2 Tablespoons cream of tartar

  • 8 Tablespoons vegetable/ sunflower or olive oil

  • Food colouring

  • 5 cups flour


1. In a really large saucepan mix the water, salt, cream of tartar, and food colouring and gently heat the mixture until it is hot.

2. Add the oil and mix.

3. Stir in the flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing between each addition with a wooden spoon.

4. Continue to mix until the playdough pulls away from the pan and is no longer sticky.

5. Place the dough on the counter, let it cool a bit, and then knead well - this is important to get a nice texture

6. Store the dough in an airtight bag or other container at room temperature. It will keep for months.

If you are looking for an extra icy activity to try at home try this.. painting on ice. This is great for allowing children to experience applying paint onto a different texture. You simply need to fill a tray of some sort (it could be a foil baking tray) with water (and glitter if you have some) and freeze. Once frozen give the frozen canvas to your child with a set of watercolour paints and brush and allow them to paint on the ice. My children enjoyed watching the colours merge together and the ice melt when it was time to clear away and melt the art work in the sink!

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