I haven’t met a kid in a while that doesn’t like Frozen, and the Monkey is no exception. Of course this snowman became Olaf in 5 seconds flat even though it was never intended to be a Frozen themed activity! Play dough and a few bowls of bits are all you need for this fun sensory play session.
The snow play dough is the essential bit, then you can add a handful of other bits and bobs depending on what you have lying around. Mix 250g of flour with 150g salt and 2 tablespoons cream of tartar. Then add 2 tbsp vegetable oil and stir. Add hot water, mixing, until the dough comes together (150-200ml). Turn out the dough and knead briefly (you’ll be doing more kneading in a minute!).
Next add the glitter. Lots of glitter. To make this dough I used half a tube each of gold, silver and blue glitter, and it wouldn’t have hurt to use even more. Flatten dough out so that you have a thick pancake. Add piles of glitter or sprinkle it on and then fold the dough up. Knead until the glitter is incorporated, stopping to mop up any glitter that escapes as you knead.
Now you can set up your invitation to play. This can be anything that could be used as a snowman’s accoutrements. We had a jar of buttons, some googly eyes, some carrot ends (if left touching the dough the carrot juice will make it runny and horrible so don’t leave them together too long), and a handful of raisins. I also put out a pile of sticks that we’d collected from the garden that morning.
I set this up while the boy was asleep and he did not wake in a good mood. I couldn’t do anything to cheer him, no cuddles, no cartoons, no stories would do the trick (not even watching Frozen for the 30th time made him feel better). That is, until he saw the snow dough. Miraculous! He jumped right in. I helped him to make the shape of the snowman and he practised shaping the dough into balls.
He had a whale of a time giving the snowman arms, too many in fact, so that it resembled a hedgehog. Then he chose what he was going to use to give the snowman a face. The raisins were selected and then eaten as a snack. So he used the googly eyes instead. A piece of carrot went the same way as the raisins but thankfully there was enough left for the nose.
Next it was time for the snowman to get dressed. Monkey pushed buttons onto his body and then used the extra dough to make hats and scarves and gloves.
This was a brilliant activity that the boy responded so well to (sometimes those post-nap funks can last for hours!). We got to make some lovely new dough, did some sensory play with the different objects and practised fine motor skills too. Oh, and we sang a lot of songs from Frozen as well.