day 12 – play dough beetles

An earlier blog includes an easy recipe for play dough. This is a great standby and will keep in the fridge for months. You’ll enjoy this activity as much as the kids, even while you are cooking, especially if kids can sit on a stool at the kitchen bench. That $34 stool I bought at an antique shop years ago has proved itself the best purchase ever.

Pressing patterns into the dough is easy for the youngest children, and the most basic items produce interesting patterns. Try different parts of the items – back, front, tip, handle, etc. – at different angles. Encourage kids to place the prints as evenly as possible to produce the most satisfying design, and look for negative spaces like the chevron design in the photo above.

Beetles, frogs, turtles, even monsters, emerge when you press a ball of dough into the bowl of a spoon. It’s a simple matter then of rolling coils and balls to add eyes, legs, heads and whatever else monsters have. A skewer or toothpick is handy for poking eyes and separating toes. Watch out! An army of creatures will soon be headed for the Greek salad.

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