Child-led Play · Sensory Play · Winter

Winter Play Dough

We have been stuck indoors a lot recently, for one reason or another, and so have spent a lot of time playing and crafting over the last few weeks. Naturally, we have played with play dough many times as it is a big favourite around here.

As it is winter and we have had some (albeit pathetic) snow, I decided to make some “winter” play dough. By this I mean I made “white” play dough using our favourite recipe, but left all colouring out. At the end I then added some glitter to make it sparkle like real snow. I added silver glitter on this occasion, but I wish I had added white glitter now as I think it would have given a better effect – this is definitely something that I would change if I made this again!

Once the play dough was ready I scoured the house for some bits and pieces to help A and E make wintry creations. Obviously I had snowmen in mind, especially as we have not been able to make real ones this year (or ever, in fact), but I love giving options and letting their imaginations run wild, so I added a few other things as well! To start with I set up the following invitation to create, using some twigs that we collected on a walk, some beads, confetti, googly eyes, buttons and pom poms:


Keen as always, A and E both got stuck in straight away, and as I expected, started by making some snowmen. I always have vague ideas in mind when I collect objects for activities like this, but I love seeing the different ways that each child works and the different products that each comes up with. Some of the first creations that they made can be seen below – I loved the button ears and the spaghetti arms in particular!

After a while A noticed the twigs, and decided to try making a tree. I was very impressed by her perseverance; although I had to help her to get it to balance precisely, she worked out exactly how to make it and made a great initial first attempt:

A then asked for some material to be added to the play, so I added a couple of strips of felt; these rapidly became scarves and headbands for the snowmen. They also made hats, using buttons and pom poms, and eventually they started using the twigs as arms for the snowmen! By the end of this, it was really interesting to see them both trying to roll the play dough into balls in their hands, rather than just adding everything to the lump of play dough as it came!

Once they had had enough of snowmen, E made an owl with, what looked like, a mortar board:


And A decided she just had to make a lion (by adding some twisty pasta). We have a bit of a Narnia obsession going on in this house at the moment, so of course, this was Aslan. I am sure C.S. Lewis would be very proud!


We had great fun with our winter play dough! I wonder what else we could make with it?

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