Let It Snow Play Dough & 4 Other Festive Activities | Parenting from the Heart

Let it Snow Play Dough & 4 Other Festive Activities

Posted on Posted in Budget-Friendly Ideas, Play-Based Learning Activities
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To say I’m praying for a white Christmas each year is an understatement. Unfortunately, I reside in the wrong part of Canada to expect one. Though in 2008, it did happen. If ever it snows, it’s often not enough or for long enough for any outdoor fun to happen. So this year, I got creative.

Let It Snow Play Dough Recipe and 4 other activities perfect for the holidays with toddlers and preschoolers #sensoryplay #learningthroughplay

 

Let it Snow Play Dough

What we Used for the Play Dough
  • 2 cups of boiling hot water
  • 1/4 cup cream of tartar
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 cups of white flour or corn starch (you’ll likely want more for kneading) NB cornstarch is whiter but doesn’t give as nice of a consistency as flour does. If using flour added 1 tbs of white paint and let dr, then knead with extra flour.
  • 2 tsp. Mint Extract (optional)
  • A good amount of sparkles
What we did

Combined all ingredients on the stove top on medium heat except the paint and sparkles. Mixed until the consistency nearest that of play dough. Then, we dusted the countertop with corn starch or flour. Once the dough had cooled a bit, I kneaded it, adding flour if play dough if play dough was still sticky. Then sparkles. If using flour, adding a tbs of white paint can make it look whiter. Allow paint to dry and hen knead adding clout of needed to reach desired consistency.

What we used for our Winter Wonderland

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  • A cake pan
  • Shredded coconut
  • Large snowflake sparkles (dollar store)
  • Twigs
  • Pine tree branches
  • Ribbon from a few Christmases ago
  • Googlie eyes (dollar store)
  • Baby carrot, cut in 1/2
  • Black construction paper, cut in mouth shapes

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What we did

We had gone for a walk earlier that day to collect twigs and pine branches (I brought kitchen scissors along with me). Once the play dough was made, I stretched it to cover the pan. We put the pine branches in the snow. We dusted the snow with coconut and flour to make it “snow”. We built Olafs, I mean, snowmen and decorated the pine branches with the ribbon.

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Dripping Icicles

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What we used
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 tsp Borax
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 cup Elmer’s glue or similar
  • 1 tbsp blue paint
  • A healthy dose of sparkles
  • A colander or similar
What we did

Mixed borax with hot water and set aside. Combined remaining ingredients until mixed well. Then added the borax water. Once I could no longer mix it, we kneaded with with our hands and removed from water. I let it sit for a few minutes, and then we began to play. Eventually, I hung a colander from our chandelier by using thread to fasten it. We sat the icicle flubber in the colander and waited for gravity to run its course. NB this product should not be used on carpet or left on clothes. If it comes in contact with either, remove immediately, scrape off remnants, and then scrub/ wash.

Recycled Reindeer and Wreath Ornaments

What we used (I only used items found from around the house)
  • Old puzzle pieces that were otherwise ruined
  • Non-toxic paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Googlie eyes
  • Red sparkly glue
  • Glue gun/ Elmer’s glue
  • Gem-like stickers, painted spare buttons work well too
  • String for hanging on the Christmas tree or magnets to stick to the fridge or fireplace
  • Varnish, optional

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What we did

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We painted the puzzle pieces brown and green. Once dried, I glue gunned them in the shape of the desired decoration. Then, the kids did the Rudolf noses, place the stickers, and helped me with the eyes. Whenever my kids have gotten magnets that need to be punched out of a cutout, I’ve saved the exterior for crafts. In the case of our puzzle ornaments, I cut out about an inch sized piece and glue-gunned it to the back of some. For the remaining decorations, I glue-gunned a loop of string to their backs so they could be hung on a Christmas tree.

Christmas Inspired Sensory Rice

What we Used
  • 3 cups of white rice (bulk section, least expensive)
  • Red and green food colouring
  • 1/2 tsp of vinegar per 1 cup of rice – thank you to Happy Holligans for suggesting this method to dye rice instead of using rubbing alcohol
  • Mint extract
  • Tin foil/ wax/ parchment paper
  • A larger container for the rice to be played with in
What we did

Preheated oven to 300 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with tin foil We divided the rice in three parts. In a Tupperware container or ziplock bag, combine 1 cup rice, 1/2 tsp vinegar, a couple of drops of mint extract, and the colour. NB 1 cup we left white and therefore didn’t need vinegar for. Shake each colour of rice in its container. Once fully coloured, I spread each colour out on a baking pan, and put it in the oven for roughly 10 mins. I let it cool and then set the kids up to play. Typically, I give them rice to play with in an aluminum pan (dollar store) in the bathtub. Therefore, if the rice comes out of the tray, my sweep-up is contained to a small space.

Wishing you and yours the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of Holidays!

What are some fun activities or crafts you’ve done this Holiday Season?

xo Alana

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12 thoughts on “Let it Snow Play Dough & 4 Other Festive Activities

  1. That was all absolutely adorable and so creative! Love it! I always pray for a white Christmas too… Its hit or miss. This year was rainy and like 60 degrees haha. Good for you creating your own wintery wonderland ☺

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