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.

Published by Dr Toni Risson

Dr Toni Risson is a storyteller and a cultural historian who has penned everything from children’s picture books to a PhD on the Magic of Lollies. An expert on the Greek cafe phenomenon, Toni curated Meet Me at the Paragon for the State Library of Queensland, and her latest book, Brisbane’s Greek Cafes: A Million Malted Milks, was a finalist in the 2019 Queensland Literary Awards. Having encountered the elegant Paragon Cafe in Katoomba as a child, Toni developed a fascination with silky oak panelling, bevelled mirrors and Art Deco wall lights long before she understood the stories behind Australia's iconic Greek cafe. She continues to document our lost café culture.

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