I’d like to share a recent activity that my kids and I did together, which is making homemade play dough. The inspiration for the ingredients in our play dough actually was planted one year ago...
We live in a neighborhood with a lot of undeveloped desert land. When it rains even the smallest amount everything springs to new life! Last year my husband noticed that the entire desert had turned into a sea of yellow chamomile flowers, which look like tiny balls and smell amazing! Not to mention the heavenly fragrance of orange blossoms and jasmine that occasionally wafts through the air adding to the magic of spring. He harvested a bunch of the flowers and we let them dry out without a clear intention on how we’d use them. Fast forward to today. We put these dried flowers along with lavender and lavender essential oil and beet juice in one of our play dough batches. The other batch was colored with turmeric and scented with cinnamon with dried rosemary for texture. We doubled the batch because this play dough was for my daughter’s preschool classroom. They had so much fun they didn’t want to donate it to the class! Look how busy and focused they are! They were calm and happy during this rich sensory experience. It kept them busy for over an hour.
The recipe I used is from Tinkergarten. They call it “Forest Putty” and it was left for us by the “Forest Fairies.” We have taken Tinkergarten classes these last few years and we love them! It is a nature-based learning program for kids ages 1-5 that uses outdoors as the classroom. There is a curriculum and kids learn empathy, practice building persistence and grit and they get to use their creative and unique skills and much more! It has been such an amazing experience that I’ve applied to become a leader. If you want to try out some forest putty I am offering a demo activity on Thursday, April 26 at 11 am at Andulka park. You can join me and if you have any questions email me at Angela (at) spaceandtimeyoga.com. This will be filmed but only viewed by the Tinkergarten team. If accepted I’ll be offering full seasons of classes here in Riverside as soon as winter of next year!
Without further ado here is a link for the recipe:
When you make your forest putty try taking it outside! Wear old clothes and go out and play! Kids can add leaves, sticks, dirt, grass, flowers —you name it —to the putty. They will make new creations, throw it around, smash it into things and will explore what happens. Try to guide the kids without directing their play. Sometimes with play dough we worry about mixing colors or making a mess. Try to let those notions go and observe how you feel. Listen to what your kids are saying, observe their play and help guide them without directing their play. Enjoy every moment!
Have you ever made homemade play dough? How do you feel when things get messy? Observe your own feelings and thoughts during the whole process.
What does your family do to celebrate Earth day?
I realized that for my family, everyday is an opportunity to connect with nature through play and exploration!