Autumn · Child-led Play · Sensory Play

Fireworks Play Dough

We have been playing and creating with a fireworks theme for the last few days. I ran an event at work last Tuesday and a lot of the crafts ended up being fireworks-related in some way, including this invitation to play that I want to share:

For this I used some sparkly black play dough (see below), sparkly pom poms, sparkly pipe cleaners, some sequins, some glow-in-the-dark stars, a starry mould, and some starry cutters. I then invited the children to play/create however they wanted. I completely forgot to take a photograph before the event started so I only have this “part-way-through, slightly-played-with look”, but you can still see all of the components!

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To make this play dough I used our usual recipe and added three bottles (yes, three entire bottles) of black food colouring (four-minute play dough this was not). The ridiculous amount of food colouring made it very sticky so I added flour until the consistency became just right once again. Once I was happy with the colour, I then added vast quantities of glitter (in different colours and consistencies). The result was a lovely, almost-black, sparkly play dough!

Food colouring is my go-to colouring agent, but one of these days I may experiment with paint; apparently you need a lot less to get a decent colour! However, for this event, I did not have time to experiment and practice, so I just used my tried and tested method. In the end, the colour wasn’t bad and, considering it was going to be played with in a fairly dimly-lit part of the church, I decided it would be fine!

I then put this out on a table with the other loose parts and let the children create and play. The loose parts that I used allowed the opportunity for fireworks-themed play, starry-night-themed play, or something else entirely…

This was a very popular activity at the event. My children, in particular, significantly enjoyed it, and as the play dough still had such a perfect consistency after over 50 children had had their hands on it, I was able to take it home and reuse it! Once home I created a similar invitation in the tuff spot for A and E!

My children love play dough, and can remain engrossed in it for hours. They instantly recognised it as the same activity that they had enjoyed earlier, and got stuck in straight away, continuing where they had left off! At home I decided not to add sequins (mainly because they were quite messy, but also because I wanted to limit what I gave them in order to encourage them to use their imaginations more).

They created for a long time!

They pushed play dough into the moulds to create some starry shapes. They also used the star cutter.

They added glow in the dark stars, some of which they left in (which looked really effective once the lights were turned off), and some of which they removed, leaving a starry imprint in the play dough. They also added pom poms to these. We talked about the sky, stars, space, and other planets.

A made a planet by adding pom poms to a lump of play dough.

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E then decided to make some fireworks by pushing pipe cleaners into the starry play dough shapes that he had made.

A tried to thread play dough stars onto a pipe cleaner (with some success).

We talked about different colours of fireworks, and how they light up the night sky, and about the different shapes that they make in the sky.

They then tried to create some swirly patterns out of the pipe cleaners.

After a while they reached for their pumpkin buckets and pretended to make each other some food. I do love how all of our play descends into this, but I am glad they remained engaged in the actual activity for such a long time first!

Two Tiny Hands

9 thoughts on “Fireworks Play Dough

  1. Wow this is really creative! Sounds like the kids had a great time. I have your play dough recipe bookmarked from a few weeks ago but still haven’t tried it. Perhaps I’ll make some this weekend! You deserve lots of Mum-points for doing something so fun for your kids 🙂 Thanks for sharing #FamilyFun

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  2. More fab activities. My children love play dough too but I have never made it myself. Perhaps I should. These look fab and a great activity for the kids I love all the colours against the black dough they look fab. Thanks for sharing at #familyfun

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  3. Brilliant idea. I’ve not made play doh yet mainly because I have some play doh pots and Robert isn’t quite into play doh yet. I keep trying it with him though as it’s the only way he’ll learn and he quite likes trying to roll it with a rolling pin. We will get there! Thanks for linking up to #FamilyFun.

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  4. Wow, this is so creative and looks like loads of fun. I’ve never made my own play doh but will have to try it out, I love the idea of adding glitter!xx #family fun

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