Christmas Play Dough Activity Tray: decorate play dough Christmas cookies with beads, buttons and fabric scraps…
Last week’s “Build a Snowman” activity tray was such a big hit here with the hooligans. I filled a sectioned tray with loose items that the kids could use to build and re-build fabric “snowmen” with. That activity went over so well, I decided to do something similar this week. Today, I set up a Christmas Playdough Activity Tray filled with items that the children could use to make and decorate play dough “Christmas Cookies”.
Well, it was an even bigger hit than our snowman tray. I had 3 girls here this morning, and they played with it for close to 2 hours. It was so much fun. And I have to admit that I was right in there with them. I’m a sucker for decorating cakes and cookies, and I loved this activity as much as the girls did.
I’ll start by telling you how we made our play dough, and then I’ll list all of the items that went into the activity tray.
Making our play dough:
We used The Imagination Tree’s 4 minute no-cook play dough recipe. It really is the best play dough recipe I’ve ever used. It’s soft and supple, and stored in an air tight container, it will stay soft for months. If you find the dough to be too wet at first, just keep kneading it. It takes a few minutes to work all the water in, and get it to the right consistency.
When we’d mixed our play dough, before colouring any of it, I split the batch into three balls. I left one ball white, and I lightly tinted the other two with Wilton Icing Gels. I kneaded a bit of pink into one ball, and a touch of blue into the other. I wanted the colours to be soft and delicate – perfect for making dainty delicacies. To make it sparkle and shine, I added a generous sprinkle of super-fine glitter. Yep, that’s right! I, self-admitted glitter-phobe have used glitter not once, but twice recently! Check out the gorgeous painted and glittered CD ornaments we made last week! I think the ticket for me is to use the super-fine stuff. It really isn’t the nightmare that regular glitter is. In play dough, any kind of glitter is a dream though – it stays contained, and adds such a great shimmer to your dough.
While our play dough cooled, and the girls had their snack, I filled a sectioned tray with lots of goodies from the craft room:
What I put in our Christmas Playdough Activity Tray:
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- dried black beans
- dried white beans
- bits of metallic ribbon and rick-rack
- colourful buttons
- pony beads
- pipe cleanerschopped into small pieces
- Christmas cookie cutters
- small rolling pins
Then I set it all out on a vinyl table cloth on the coffee table in our living room. Actually, truth be told, it wasn’t a table cloth, it was the protective table-pad for my dining room table. It’s huge, but I folded it in half and tucked the excess under the coffee table. It was perfect.
And then we got down to business making and decorating our play dough Christmas cookies!
Playdough is such a great form of sensory play, and all that rolling, pinching, squeezing and squishing is wonderful for developing little hand muscles.
The girls were in heaven with this activity. They rolled, patted and shaped their cookies. We had cookies of all shapes and sizes going on: reindeer, and Christmas trees, candy canes and stars, and lots of hand shaped button cookies.
And they had a lovely time adding bows and buttons and all the other colourful odds and ends from the tray.
It was so much fun that the girls came right back to the table after nap-time, and played decorated a new batch of play dough until it was time for them to go home.
I’m pretty we’ll be spending quite a bit of time playing with our Christmas play dough throughout the next few weeks leading up to the holidays.
And why not? Wouldn’t you want to play with this too?
We’re all about easy and inexpensive Christmas crafts and activities for kids this month. To see all of our ideas, please visit my Hooligans Xmas pinboard. You’ll find loads of simple but fun ways to keep your little ones creating, learning and having fun in the days leading up to Christmas.
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