Welcome To A World Of New Adventures!

There comes a time in every parents life when our children discover how to make a mess...and when they discover how fun it can be there is no stopping them. Sticky smears across our windows that we religiously clean every week knowing full well within minutes to hours they will be covered again...our lovely clean outfits we have just put on covered within minutes of picking up our child be it with snot, dribble or some kind of smear that resembles food you didn't even know they had in their hand! So it goes on and on. The word 'mess' is often given negative meanings...untidy, confusing, cluttered, disorganised. Unfortunately this can lead to calling an important aspect of play 'messy' leaving it therefore undervalued!

We hope through our weekly blog to not only demonstrate the importance of messy play for young children's learning and development, but to engage you in a new fun world with your child where they can explore, imagine, play and create in a completely new way.

We have a lot of mums ask us at our weekly sessions what exactly is in our sensory and messy play activities. We love it when we are asked this because it shows that the parents are engaged in what their child is doing. This week at Crafty Little Tinkers was our first festive is theme 'Its Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas' and one of our activities was a huge hit with the children, it is also something we are asked how to create time and time again...Cloud Doh or also known as Moon Doh.

Cloud Doh is a baby and toddler taste safe sensory material which is made from just 2 ingredients. Plain flour and vegetable oil. To create this at home simply use a large bowl, tray, or plastic tub. Empty one bag of 1.5kg plain flour into the tub and add half a bottle of vegetable oil. It doesn't need to be a specific brand, just your cheap supermarket own label is fine. Mix using a spoon to begin with then it's time for you to get a little messy by using your hands to mix. Use your fingers to rub the oil into the flour. You are looking for a consistency that is mouldable...if it feels too dry add a bit more oil, if it's too wet add more flour.

The great thing about cloud doh is you can store it after use in a Tupperware tub and it can be played with again and again. If it starts to dry out just add more oil. This creates standard cloud doh, however you can jazz it up if you wish. Sometimes we add glitter, sometimes we add colour using powder paint however this is more suitable for children old enough to understand not to put any in their mouths once mixed with the powder paint. A really popular version we find is to add coco! It smells amazing and is always a big hit at our baby sessions as shown below.

Whenever we have cloud doh as an activity we add some sand toys, so spades, buckets etc. but you can also use really simple things like flower pots or digger toys. We have also used it as a base in some past themes such as our Space Week where cloud doh was used as the moons surface in our space small world.

A really simple recipe in exchange for lots of imaginative play. Do be warned though that if your children are slightly older it may be wise to do this activity in the garden. From personal experience a 3 year old and 1 year old in the kitchen with a tub of cloud doh can result in both ending up covered, rubbing it in each others hair before proceeding to run around the house with myself shouting 'nooooo' as I watched the white footprints emerge in each and every room. All very entertaining when I think about it now!

We would love to see photos of any cloud doh fun you decide to try at home or ideas for new combinations!

We will be back next week sharing more session activity ideas, thank you for reading xxx

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