After posting my shape play dough mats, I thought you might like a recipe for some homemade play dough! The boys’ preschool teachers gave me this recipe, and it worked out really well. For those of you with really little ones, you don’t have to worry so much if they happen to eat some of it!
- 4 cups of flour
- 1 cup of salt
- 4 cups of water
- 4 tablespoons of oil
- 1/2 cup of cream of tartar
- Food coloring
- Mix all ingredients in a saucepan, including color.
- When it is well mixed cook over low heat.
- Mix continuously until it is the consistency of play dough. You won’t be able to stir it any longer.
- It will still need to be mixed a little, so put it on a cookie sheet and let cool for a while. Then mix with your hands until it is all mixed
There are lots of ways to change up the recipe:
- Try adding spices. For example, in the fall or at Christmas: 4-8 tablespoons of cinnamon and a bit of allspice, cloves, and/or nutmeg.
- Add some extract for scent. For example: 4 teaspoon almond extract, 4 teaspoon ginger.
- Or add scent with some essential oils. You can add the essential oils to the oil in the recipe before adding it to the other ingredients. Different scents can also have a therapeutic effect. For example: frankincense for focus, peppermint for energy, lemon for clarity, citrus for creativity, lavender for comfort.
- Be forewarned! If you add color, your hands will also take on some color. Try some rubber gloves!
- You can buy Cream of Tartar at Amazon or a warehouse store. It keeps for quite some time.
- This recipe makes quite a lot! You could divide it up, using different colors and scents.
- Store in an airtight container or zip top bag. But don’t close it up until the dough is completely cool!
- Try to get your little ones to help. They can measure, pour, and mix ingredients. And they can knead the dough after it cools.
Next time we make some play dough, I’ll take some pictures of the steps!
Froggy is really into dominoes these days. So I gave him the challenge of creating domino runs in different shapes.
He decided to take it a step further and connect the shapes.
Do you see them? Quadrat, Oval, und Dreieck!
I saw a few different play dough mats for creating shapes on Pinterest. But of course, they were all in English. So I decided to create some in German.
Print them out and laminate them. Then break out the play dough and create some shapes! Just fit them into the shape on the mat.
Download the PDF file here: Formen Play dough Mats GitA
Hippo had fun with the mats after lunch today!
Hippo loves building train tracks with AP3. So that’s where they started with their shape-themed activities. It was a simple activity, but sometimes those are best! How many shapes could they make?
- der Kreis
- das Quadrat
- das Siebeneck (I think they were going for 6 or 8 sides but they ended up with 7)
- das Oval
For our shape unit, we’ll be using some materials I bought a few years ago on TeachersPayTeachers.com. It was created by Open Wide the World, who has a number of German-language units. In fact, the weather unit I used last month was also created by them.
The unit costs only $3.50, and you can purchase it here. And here’s what you get:
a single page display featuring all 10 shapes
10 individual posters, one shape & shape name per page
“Bang!” game cards & directions
3 sets of flashcards for games & drill work: 1 set with shapes and shape names, 1 set with shape images only, 1 set with shape names only
2 mini books
1/4-page sized mini book: trace the shape name and draw the shape
1/2-page sized mini book: fill in the blank with the shape name, color the image, and read aloud with a partner (level = emergent reading, repetitive sentence structure)
includes answer key
I’m excited to start using all these colorful materials!
Our next language unit is going to be all about shapes! Froggy chose the topic. I don’t know how many times we’ve done shape themes in the past 4 years, but it’s still a favorite!
I started doing language themes when Froggy was 3 and Hippo was just a baby. Every morning, while Hippo napped, Froggy and I would do a project. Having this structure in his day really helped. And we both had so much fun! We did art projects, science projects, themed baths, books, songs – you name it, if it went with our theme, we tried it! That’s when I started collecting ideas on Pinterest boards, too! (Click on my Pinterest button on the right to check out all my daily activity boards!)
Now we are using these themes to help our German. I was off to a good start with Froggy’s weather lessons. And now I really want to get Hippo more involved. So I’ve asked AP3 to help out and try to come up with activities to do with him, while I focus more on Froggy’s lessons.
Since we are still in Valentine mode, our first activity was a baking one. We simply made a cake heart! I saw the idea on Pinterest, of course. It was super simple! Froggy helped me make the batter. Then after the cakes cooled, we put them together to make our heart and covered it with pink frosting. I wanted a little chocolate, and I knew Froggy would choose yellow cake with white (or pink) icing, so I added some chocolate chips to one of the cakes.
You bake one 8-inch square cake and one 8-inch round cake (or use 9-inch pans for both). After they cool, place the square cake at an angle, like a diamond. Then cut your round cake in half, and place each semi-circle at the top of the diamond shape. Voila! You now have a heart-shaped cake! I had to cut off the tops of the cakes to get them to be the same height. And I needed a pretty big plate to put it on. Since I didn’t have a plate big enough, I used a cutting board. The boys loved it!
Recently, two different friends sent me a picture of the same idea: decorating the kids’ doors with Valentine hearts. You hang one up every day for 14 days starting on the first of February. But to make them even more special, you write something you love about your child on each heart. Love that!
Of course, I have to turn this into an opportunity to put a little German in front of the boys! So every night I’ve been putting up a heart with a German sentence about the boys. I write in all caps for Hippo, since he’s still learning letters and not reading yet. Froggy gets regular letters, which show off the capitalized German nouns better! So far, I’ve written the same messages on both doors. They can be a bit competitive! At some point, I might write more specific messages.
Here are some of the messages:
- Wir haben dich lieb!
- Ich mag es, wenn du lachst!
- Du kannst gut tanzen!
- Du bist ein guter Bruder!
- Es hat Spaß gemacht, das Spiel mit dir anzuschauen!
- Du bist sehr lustig!
Update: I just added a picture of the finished door. It’s so colorful! I think we’ll leave the hearts up for a while!
It’s not too late to start! Even if you just do a few, it’s a great idea!
I think I tracked down the blog where my friends found the original picture: it’s called Skip to My Lou.
Have fun with your hearts! Let me know what messages you leave!