Tag Archives: play dough

Make your own play dough!

Make your own play dough!

This week in nursery we introduced self-serve play dough. We filled tubs with flour, salt and coloured water. Then we added spoons of different sizes for each container.

The children took a bowl then moved along the side putting in one spoonful of each ingredient. They mixed it together and rolled it out. If it was too wet they added a little more flour or if it was too dry they added more water.


We had lots of fun with our dough, why not try making your own at home?


Autumn and Spiders

Autumn and Spiders

This week we have been having lots of fun learning about Autumn and Spiders. Have a look what we have been up to…

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We have been building our fine motor skills ready for writing by threading beads on sticks and pinching Autumn items to put on the sticky easel.

We have been doing lots of planting in our yard and learning about plants and how they grow.

We spun spider webs and learnt to follow instructions and work as a team.

We also made up lots of songs about Incy Wincy Spider…


How can you continue learning at home?

Carry on searching for Autumn items – conkers, leaves, acorns etc

Make an Autumn picture with what you have found

Make up your own Incy Wincy Song

Do some planting at home, in your garden or indoors

Weekly Workshop – Decorating Biscuits

Weekly Workshop – Decorating Biscuits

Each week we run  a weekly workshop with fun ideas to help support learning at home. We often make things that the children can take home with them to carry on learning at home.

Everybody is welcome whether it is your nursery session or not. If you are attending nursery that day just come through to nursery, alternatively if your child attends afternoons or the beginning of the week just come from the office. Thank you to all the parents who attended.

This week our workshop was decorating biscuits…


The week before we made play dough…


Next week we are very excited because we will be making moon sand!


The Home Learning Project

The Home Learning Project

In nursery last year we ran a very exciting project called The Home Learning Project. The aim of the project was to support parents with learning at home, in particular helping children with early maths skills. The project was funded through Early Years Pupil Premium. 

We will be running the project again this year. If you would like to be involved please speak to a member of nursery staff.We will also be running weekly workshops in school every Thursday morning.


Each week nursery staff would come and visit parents and children at home and bring a new maths backpack full of fun games, puppets, toys and stories. The nursery staff (Rachael and Lois) would then demonstrate how to use and play with the pack and introduce the games before leaving it for a week. The following week the bag would be swapped for a new pack for the next week. At the end of the 5 weeks families were invited to a celebration event at school where children would receive a medal and certificate.

The Home Learning Project - Overview (infographic)

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To continue learning at home we also ran weekly workshops in school. Children were invited to be part of the workshops where we made fun things to play with and take home like board games, slime, balance buns and play dough.

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The children loved having their parents come to work with them at school and having nursery staff come to see them at home. Everybody said they would like to be part of a similar project again and that they saw a difference in their children both in what they knew and their approach to learning.

The Home Learning Project - Parent Feedback

The Home Learning Project - Key SkillsWe will be continuing the home learning project this year. We will be speaking to parents about it in nursery but if you would like to be involved or find out more please chat to a member of nursery staff.

Our Favourite Recipes

Our Favourite Recipes

Recently some of our parents have been asking how we make our sensory activities in our classroom.

Here are a few of our favourite sticky, slimy and sensory activities for you to try at home!

1. Quick and Fun

Sometimes we will fill a tray, tub or bowl with one ingredient for the children to explore. We might hide objects in there for the children to find or count or give them sticks or tools to make marks; writing their letters and numbers.

Shaving Foam

Sand (wet or dry)




Water is an easy sensory activity – add bubbles, colours and glitter then drop in pants and socks to hang on the washing line, jugs and containers to fill and empty, things to sort and match or objects that float and sink.


2. Cloud Dough

Cloud dough is easy to make by mixing plain flour and baby oil, you can also make it with other kinds of oil but it doesn’t smell quite as nice! We like to add glitter and plastic toys and the children tell stories in the dough. It sticks together a little bit like wet sand so it’s good for moulding with spoons, bowls and buckets.


3 cups of plain flour to 1 cup of oil.

Raid your cupboard for extra spices to add!

3. Slime

Slime is the children’s favourite at the moment! You will have seen all kinds of slime in our classroom; snow slime, green slime, sand slime, chocolate slime! We follow the same recipe of glue and a little laundry liquid then add glitter, food colouring, sand, hot chocolate powder, paint etc. to make the slime different each time. The liquid we used was Almat from Aldi (not every type will work for this recipe).


3 cups of glue to 1 cup of laundry liquid

Mix together then stretch and pull until it gets to the consistency you want, too stringy add more glue, too sticky add more laundry liquid.



4. Gloop

We have lots of fun with gloop. It is a mixture of cornflour and water that feels solid if you hit it but turns liquid if you touch it gently. We like hiding things in gloop, writing in gloop, adding colours and making patterns.


3 cups of cornflour to 1 cup of water

Add more water as it starts to dry out


5. Sand Cement/Kinetic Sand

Sand Cement is very easy to make by mixing sand and shaving foam. It turns the sand a little bit sticky which makes it really good for building. We added blocks to the sand cement and the children used it to build. It washes off really easily but you may need to keep adding a little more foam as it starts to dry out.


3 cups of sand to a can of shaving foam


We also make a kind of kinetic sand which is a little firmer and easier to mould.


2 cups of sand, 1 cup of cornflour, 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of washing up liquid. (this recipe isn’t quite perfected yet and the sand dries out very quickly, if you have a longer lasting recipe we’d love to hear it!)

6. Play Dough

We almost always have play dough out in the classroom. We have all kinds of play dough, changing the colour, scent or tools for different activities. We use letters, numbers, cutters, rolling pins and kitchen tools in the dough. We also add plastic characters, cars and small parts like googley eyes depending on what the children are interested in.


2 cups of plain flour, 1/3 of a cup of salt, 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar, 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 cup of boiling water.

You can mix the ingredients together or cook in a pan to bring your dough together.

Make sure you knead it well when it had cooled.


7. Salt Dough/White Clay

If we want to make something longer lasting like jewellery of decorations we can use salt dough or white clay.

Salt Dough Recipe:

2 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt and up to 1 cup of water.

Mix the flour and salt then add enough of your cup of water to make a dough.

When you have made your creation it can be dried out naturally for a few days or cooked on a low oven for an hour or two. You can add colour to the mix or paint when dried.

White Clay:

1 cup of cornflour and half a cup of white glue.

Mix together to form a dough. It will be mould-able and you can make delicate decorations but it can start to dry so you will need to work quite quickly!

8. Food!

Food makes a fun sensory activity. Sometime we explore food to learn the names of our fruits and vegetables. We cut them open and use tweezers to take out the pips. We look at raw and cooked food like pasta and spaghetti to see how the texture changes.

We hope you have fun trying these recipes out a home, we’d love to hear what you get up to!

It all started with a magic wand…


Sophie brought her magic wand to nursery last week and we were all very excited. Everybody shared their ideas for magical things we could learn about. We used our floor book to plan our ideas.


We were very interested in the changing weather. One minute it was sunny and the next it was rainy! We used paint chips to look at the colour of the clouds and predict what was going to happen next to the weather!

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We learnt about the different kinds of weather. We learnt to think about things that might happen and say why we thought that. We paid attention to changes in the world around us. We learnt to name colours like black, grey and white and talk about things being darker or lighter.

Then we made some rain pictures. The rain had stopped by then so we had to make our own rain! We crushed paint and drew with crayons and felt tips then poured on water to make it rain. We watched all the exciting things happen to the paint as we poured the water. We tested our ideas seeing what happened when we crushed the paint up smaller or added more paint or water.

“It’s making green!”

“It’s gone brown now!”

“Its gone, it’s magic!”



We learnt about colour names and colour mixing. We talked about the changes we could see and why we thought that might happen. We made predictions about what might happen when we added water and tested our ideas. We also made beautiful pictures!

We turned our role-play area into a potion kitchen. We mixed potions in our cauldron and cast spells with our wands. We made jumping spells and dancing potions and turned each other into frogs!



We learnt to play imaginatively making up spells, stories and potions. We counted out the ingredients we needed. We learnt lots of new magical words.

We had lots of fun with our play dough. We added flowers and herbs to make potion dough. We used tools to press and cut the dough to make our potions.



We learnt to talk about the ways things felt and smelt. We used the tools to make our hands stronger for writing. We used knives and forks in the play dough to help our control and coordination. We used the potato ricer and the pestle and mortar to squeeze and crush and build our strength. 

We had lots of fun learning about magic. You could continue learning at home by;

  • giving children knives and forks to cut up their play dough or other safe tools from around the kitchen like wooden and metal spoons, bun tins or plastic cups
  •  making potions with a big bowl and spoon using things from around the house or kitchen or even leaves and grass from outside!
  • looking at the weather each morning and talking about what might happen and deciding what clothes we might need to wear
  • Creating your own rain painting with old broken paints, felt tips and crayons. Add a little water or even take them outside in the rain!

The Mixed-Up Chameleon


Our story this week is The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle.


We have lots of chameleon and animal activities to do in nursery.

Our play dough this week is Mixed-Up Chameleon dough.


We made yellow play dough following our usual recipe (see post Our Favourite Recipes) and added a bit of conditioner to make it extra soft with a lovely smell!


We added animal cutters along with feathers, buttons, googley eyes, straws and colourful matchsticks to create our own weird and wonderful animals.


On the maths table we have been playing the game ‘Feed me Flies’ (from http://buggyandbuddy.com/mixed-chameleon-eric-carle/ )


We stuck plastic chameleons to tubes of the same colour. Then we used black beads and pieces of art straws to create flies. The children roll the dice and use the pegs to count out that many flies. This builds children counting skills as well as their fine motor skills. We added number cards and number tracks to extend children’s learning and support number recognition.

We have also been doing lots of camouflage activities around the story. First we talked about what camouflage meant then tried to match the patterns to the animals to camouflage them.


The children matched the animal to their fur pattern using animal print texture cards.


In the water tray we filled the tub with different coloured sensory materials such as pebbles, corn, foam and glass beads. The children matched the animals to the background where it could be camouflaged.


The children built on their maths skills recalling their previous learning about patterns and thinking about sorting and matching. Children learnt about camouflage, they thought about the similarities and differences between animals and learnt new animal names.


In the outdoor area we went on a chameleon hunt. We cut chameleons out of coloured plastic and stuck them to objects of the same colour so they were camouflaged. The children then hunted for chameleons.


Fine Motor Skills


This week in nursery we have been trying hard with our fine motor skills. These are important to help us to get ready for writing.

In the sand tray we have been using our new tweezers to pick up small objects and count them into tubs. We have also been using chopsticks because we have been learning about Chinese New Year. The chopsticks were the trickiest!


In the water tray we have been using special squeezy pipettes to help make our fingers stronger. We have been been using jugs and beakers to fill and pour.


In the play dough we have had letters this week. We have used them to practise recognising our letters and stamping the letters in our name. We have also been using the rollers and tweezers to help make our hands stronger.


On the quiet table we have had cotton buds, water and chalk boards. We dipped our cotton bud in the water then used it to make a pattern. After a few seconds it disappeared!


All these activities help to get us ready for writing. At home you can help your children get ready for writing with activities like play dough, drawing, painting, threading, jigsaws and using small objects such as Lego.

Love Bugs


As part of our Valentine’s theme this week we have been making love bugs!

We had pink and scented play dough with googley eyes, pipe cleaners, feathers and heart cutters to make our love bugs.


We counted how many eyes/feathers etc we used and compared the sizes of our love bugs.

We talked about why our love bugs were special and the people who we love.

What do you want to learn about today?


In Nursery the children have a big say in what we learnt about. For the last few weeks we have loved all things snow and slime but this week the children chose some new activities.

This week the children chose Olaf dough for the play dough table. We made white dough then found twigs, buttons, googley eyes and orange straws and pegs.


When we asked the children what they wanted to build with the popular choice was food! So we have been building with sweets.


For the writing area a few children said they wanted to send cards and messages so we set up a Post Office.


In the sensory area we chose an activity we haven’t done for a little while and made sand cement with sand and shaving foam.