Stomp Dinosaur Stomp

We have stomped dinosaur stomped our way through week four of our Summer of Fun!

Here’s a quick reminder of what we’ve been up to this week:
reminder of what we’ve been up to this week:

Making Mondays Trip out Tuesdays Wacky Wednesdays Thinking Thursdays Foodie

Fridays

Make your own dinosaur bones out of salt dough. Take a trip to a natural history museum Do you remember the bones you made on Monday?  Dig for them today in your own dinosaur excavation! Make some frozen dinosaur eggs.  How do we get the dinosaurs out? Make dinosaur footprint biscuits.

This week required a little bit of planning, as some of our activities were done over a couple of days.

 Making Monday,

We began the week making a basic salt dough recipe (equal volumes of plain flour and salt, mixed with approximately half the volume of cold water until they form a soft, but not sticky dough). Miss N was tasked with using her salt dough to make dinosaur bones. I then baked these at 100C (fan oven) for 3 hours.

I used up the leftover salt dough in the evening to make some footprint tiles. After baking and cooling, I painted the footprints and left them out with the matching dinosaurs for the children to explore.

Trip Out Tuesday

We are becoming dinosaur experts after our trip to the National History Museum in London – an amazing trip out Tuesday! Meemoo Pook and I took the opportunity on Tuesday to visit to refurbished Natural History Museum in Luxembourg. While small in comparison to London we still had a great time.

 Wacky Wednesday

I buried Miss N’s salt dough skeleton in the sandpit, and set out scraping tools and brushes for the children to excavate the skeleton. Add an explorer’s hat, and Miss N looked every bit the expert archaeologist!

Gemma had less space, but still was able to do this brilliantly on a smaller scale too.

Throw in a little dinosaur movement (flap like a pterodactyl, stomp like a stegosaurus or run like a velociraptor) and you have a truly Wacky Wednesday!

Thinking Thursday 

We had so much fun playing and exploring with our Dinosaur Swamp with frozen eggs.

 Foodie Friday

We put Mr Z’s excellent mark-making skills to good use by making a basic shortbread biscuit, and pressing the toy dinosaurs into the dough before baking. We added a little icing to the imprints when the biscuits were cool, to make them pop! Yummy! I think Foodie Friday is a perfect end to the week!

 

Please share your dinosaur adventures on Facebook, or follow us on Instagram.

Next week we are exploring fairy tales and imaginary worlds – where will you travel to? Come and join us for our summer of fun, just sign up in the pop box on the right to receive your exclusive and free play ideas for next week straight to your email inbox.

Dinosaur Bath Eggs

Dinosaur Bath Eggs

I’ve been cheeky this week!  We’ve had so much dinosaur-based fun, that I’ve written an extra blog post so I can give you detailed information so you can have a go yourselves.  Trust me, it’s worth it – these are fantastic!

 

To make one dinosaur bath egg, you will need:

½ cup bicarbonate of soda

10 drops liquid watercolour

2 tablespoons citric acid (in granular form)

3-4 teaspoons vegetable oil

A small, plastic dinosaur

Baking paper

 

In a dry bowl, drop the liquid watercolour into the bicarbonate of soda. Next rub it with your fingers until the colour is mixed through.  Add the citric acid and stir.  Add the oil and rub it all together.  You should have a powdery substance that will hold together in a lump if you squeeze it hard!

In a cupped hand, put some of the powder and press it down.  Put the dinosaur on top, then keep adding the powder in small amounts and pressing hard. You need to do this until you have totally covered the dinosaur.  You will  have an egg-like shape.  Place very carefully onto a tray lined with baking paper, and leave to harden overnight.

We made several eggs in different colours, mixing the leftovers together to make multi-coloured eggs (which I think were my favourite!).  Miss N was able to make these with supervision. There were lots of problem solving skills used to find out the best amount of oil and how to handle the egg without it falling apart!

Now the fun really begins! 

We turned our bath into a dinosaur swamp, by adding a few drops of green liquid watercolour and some cut grass.  Both children loved watching the eggs fizz as they went into the water, and the force of the fizz made the water rise a fair bit.  We scooped up all of the grass at the end of the bath and made a nest in the corner for our newly hatched dinosaurs.

The older your children, the more detail you can go into about the chemical reaction taking place between the alkaline bicarbonate of soda, and the acidic citric acid.  It would be interesting to think about why adding the oil as a liquid when making the eggs doesn’t trigger a chemical reaction, but adding water does!

A note of caution: the oil does make the children and the bath a little slippery!  If you want a little less mess, then the children would have just as much fun putting the eggs into a deep bowl of water and watching them fizz away in there.

 

Playdough Jungle

Here is our first guest blog from Sarah, who has been mad enough to help me plan this Summer of Fun. It sounds like they had a fab time making their Playdough Jungle.

Playdough Jungle

We have been enjoying the animals theme this week, and what better way to combine this with our love of playdough than to make a playdough jungle?!

 

You will need

Playdough ingredients

2 cups plain flour

½ cup salt

2 tablespoons cream of tartar

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Glycerine (optional)

1½ cups boiling water

Green food colouring

Plus…

Small plastic jungle animals

Brocolli

A selection of small natural materials (we used stones, slate, bark and a mix of different leaves and branches)

Playdough tools, such as rolling pins (optional)

 

I made the playdough by mixing together the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil.  I added the food colouring to the water, then gradually added this into the mix.  You may not need all the water, so go steadily with it.  Stir with a spoon until it clumps together.  When it’s cool enough for you to be able to touch, add a few drops of glycerine and knead until it becomes smooth and soft.  If it’s too dry, add a touch more water; if it’s too wet, add a bit more flour.

 

Once the playdough was completely cool, I set up an invitation to play for Miss N to create her own jungle.

 

She chose tools she wanted from our playdough box, and used lots of problem solving skills to get the trees and branches to stay upright in her jungle.  Her preferred solution was to use the broccoli as a base for the thinner twigs and stems to be stuck into.  I’m always particularly impressed when she comes up with solutions that I would never have thought of!

 

For Mr Z, I made a small playdough jungle for him to explore initially.

 

I then added extra animals and loose materials to his tray to further his play and exploration.  He enjoyed making marks in the playdough with the lion’s feet and the bark, and squishing lumps of playdough with his fingers.  It was a good opportunity to explore cause and effect, as well as give those little finger muscles some extra exercise.

 

If you want to keep your playdough for another time, it keeps for several months in an airtight container.  Let us know how you get on!

Ice Cream Messy Play

Ice cream messy play is great fun and it merrily whiled away an afternoon or two for Meemoo and Pook.

I have made a new discovery playing with frozen gloop is a lot like playing with actual ice cream. We often play with ice cream play dough so when I stumbled upon this I could not wait to have a go. For those of you who are not aware gloop is a mixture of cornflour and water which is fascinating for young children to play with as it is solid and then liquid all at the same time.

How to make Gloop Ice Cream

To begin you need to make a basic cornflour and water mix. Ours  looked too liquid to become ice cream consistency so I poured in a good amount of plain flour. The girls had a fab time mixing and it was good work out for their little arm muscles.

 

Mixing anything is a great way to develop children’s shoulder pivot. This is an important developmental step for a child  enhance their fine motor control. I know this is something I go on about a lot but it is so vital to children’s early learning!

Next add food colouring to make your flavours of Ice Cream. Meemoo and Pook choose vanilla, strawberry and mint flavours. I then portioned them out into a mini muffin tray and froze for 24 hours.

Next step I set it up as an invitation to create with the Ice Cream Messy Play. I put out  our plastic ice cream cones, some beads and sequins to use as to use as sprinkles.

Pook and her friend had a fab time playing with the Ice Cream Messy Play. Our little blobs of ice cream sat perfectly on top of our play ice cream cones.  It is in fact so realistic to play with that my friend on being presented with an ice cream for her almost began to eat it! As the frozen gloop began to melt you could get the sequins to stick on the side. As it melted in the bowl it became a beautiful thick gunky mess to play with.

So there you go frozen gloop does work and it actually looks incredibly realistic. Be careful not to eat it!