Make Your Own Salt Dough Rainbow

 salt dough activity ideas 
Making your own Salt Dough Rainbow is a great way of creating a homemade toy for your child to play with. 
Shaping the salt dough into a rainbow and cooking it hardens the dough, which then can be painted and used as a toy.  The salt dough rainbow acts a bit like a puzzle where children are required to reconstruct and put the rainbow back together by looking at the shape and size of the coloured arches. 
Children will not only learn and develop through making their very own Salt Dough Rainbow but also through the joy of playing with a toy that they created.  As part of this activity you can read books and sing songs about rainbows.
What you will need?
Salt dough rainbow
To make your own Salt Dough Rainbow you will need to double the quantities in our salt dough recipe,  a baking tray, coloured paint (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple) and paint brushes.
  1. When all the ingredients are mixed together, we devided the salt dough into 6 balls, one for each colour of the rainbow and differing in size from larger to smaller.
  2. One at a time roll each of the balls into long sausages of a similar thickness and begin moulding them into arch shapes.  We started with the smallest ball first and used this as a guide for the rest of the rainbow arches.
How to make salt dough?  <RECIPE HERE> (we doubled the recipe for this activity)
salt dough activity ideas
  1. Rolling the salt dough balls and trying to get all the arches a similar thickness and the right length to form each arch of the rainbow can be a bit fiddly.  If you find your salt dough is breaking, try to make the width of the arch a little thicker and knead out any air bubbles in the dough before rolling.
  2. Place the salt dough rainbow onto baking paper and baking tray.  Be sure to leave a gap between each arch so they will not stick together in the oven as they cook.
  3. Place the salt dough rainbow into the oven for approximately 30 minutes (this may vary according to different ovens) at about 180c.  While the salt dough rainbow is cooking, be sure to check that it is not over cooking.  It will be ready when it has slightly browned and is hard.
  4. Once cooked leave the salt dough rainbow to cool on the tray and then paint!
homemade toy ideas
Learning Opportunities
  • Creativity
  • Fine Motor Development
  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
  • Concentration
  • Spatial awareness – experimenting with shape and space
  • Language development
  • Mathematics – measuring quantities and counting
  • Problem solving
Learning 4 kids

‘R’ is for Rain & Making a Rain Craft

R is for Rain - Alphabet Letter R Activity
Making our rain craft was so much fun and a great way to encourage language development! 
The idea started with Miss 2, who absolutely loves to sing a rain song at the moment, which I think is called “Rain is Falling Down….Pitter Patter”.  I wanted to encourage and support her learning and development by utilising her interests, so I thought we would create our very own rain to play and sing-a-long with.
The rain and cloud also turned out to be a wonderful piece of artwork now in our play room which I bring down once in a while for Miss 2 to sing and play with.
What you will need?
Rain is Falling Down 2
You will need blue paper, cotton wool balls, string, PVA craft glue, paint brushes (for applying glue), sticky tape and dark blue and light blue crepe paper.
I cut our blue sheet of paper into the shape of a cloud and glued it onto an empty cereal box to make it stronger and less flimsy.
To create the rain drop shapes, I folded the crepe paper over in layers and with a pen drew a small tear drop shape, then cut it out.  Folding the crepe paper over several times created a number of rain drops, saving time with cutting.
Making the Rain Craft:
Rain is Falling Down 3
Some of this activity was completed by Miss 2 independently with some guidance and other parts were completed with more support and guidance from me.  Every child is different and at various stages of development.  Either way I truly believe that sitting and being with your child to share creating something together is so important and beneficial, not the fact that they completed it all by themselves.  Children benefit so much from our guidance and presence; we are their first teacher and role model. 
We also broke the activity up into parts as it can be time consuming and little attention spans may lose interest.
  1. Apply the PVA glue to the cloud with a paint brush.
  2. Stick the cotton wool balls onto the glue by carefully and gently pulling the fibres apart to spread the cotton wool more thinly.  Allow the glue to dry.
  3. When the glue has dried, turn the cloud over and sticky tape the string on the back to dangle down at different lengths.
  4. Sticky tape the rain drops to the string.  Some assistance may be required with this part.
Winter Craft - Making Rain
Time to play with our Raining Cloud:  Miss 2 happily sang her favourite rain song as she dangled and swished the rain drops to and fro.
Learning Links:
  • Encourages and promotes imaginative play and creativity.
  • Develop and extend vocabulary.
  • Rhyme – understanding rhyme in our spoken language helps children learn to read.
  • Rhythm- helps children to remember words and develop auditory memory skills.
  • Phonemic awareness – hearing and understanding that words are made up of individual sounds and other word patterns.
Learning 4 kids

Christmas Collage Placemat

Christmas Collage Placemat
Create a wonderful place to put Santa’s cup of milk and cookie on Christmas Eve with a fun, simple and colourful Christmas Collage Placemat. 
What you will need? 
You will need torn up Christmas wrapping paper, white sheet of paper or card, glue stick, scissors and clear contact or laminating sheets.
Before starting the activity we had torn up 3 different coloured Christmas wrapping paper into different shapes and sizes and place into a tray with a glue stick.    
Instead of applying the glue to every torn piece of wrapping paper, we applied it to the white sheet of paper and then placed the wrapping paper pieces on top.  We continued this pattern making sure to overlap each piece of wrapping paper until the entire sheet of paper was covered.
When the glue was dry, we cut along the edges to remove any overhang of Christmas paper on the collage.  Then we laminated it or alternatively you can contact the collage.
Tips & Ideas:
  •  Tearing the paper gives a more effective pattern to the collage than cutting.
  • The placemats can be decorated with any theme colour.
Learning 4 kids 

Dancing Santa Christmas Craft

christmas activities for kids 
Here is a fun and simple craft activity for the kids to try this Christmas.  Create a fun Dancing Santa using paper plates, spilt pins and cotton wool.
What You will need?
You will need a large paper plate, small paper plate, red and black paint, split pins, PVA craft glue, sticky tape, scissors, cotton wool balls and a black marker pen.  You will also need the 3 printable dancing Santa parts.  Click on the links to download and print.
How to make?
1. Paint the large paper plate, arms, legs and hat red, leaving the cotton wool areas white. Paint the boots with black paint.
2. While waiting for the paint to dry, draw Santa’s face on the small paper plate and glue on the beard.
3. Attach the small paper plate to large paper plate with sticky tape and draw on buttons and a belt.
4. Cut out hat, arms and legs and attach with split pins. Attach the Christmas hat with sticky tape.
5. To finish off, apply glue to remaining cotton wool areas and thinly apply the cotton wool.
Learning 4 kids

How to make a Cardboard Roll Spider?

How to make a Spider for Halloween?
Making these cute craft Cardboard Roll Spiders are super easy to make and a great activity for this Halloween.  They are also a great prop for imaginative play and role play for Incy Wincy Spider.    
What you will need?
Simple spider crafts for kids
You will need a toilet rolls or cardboard rolls painted black, wiggly eyes, glue and pipe cleaners.
Our spiders were inspired by One Hungry Spider by Jeannie Baker.  This book is a great introduction or motivator for this activity.
Let’s Make Them:
Before painting the toilet rolls I punched four holes on both sides ready for the pipe cleaners to thread later.
When the cardboard rolls are dry, push and pull the pipe cleaner legs through the holes and bend at the ends to create the shape of spider’s legs.
Halloween crafts ideas for kids
Use PVA craft glue to stick on the eye and set aside to dry. 
We used our Cardboard Roll Spiders as a prop to sing the nursery rhyme – Incey Wincey Spider.
You may also like (click on the images to see more):
colour activities for kids
           Pompom Hockey                                  Toilet Roll Alphabet                Sorting Colours with Cardboard Rolls
 Learning Links:
  • Language development through singing nursery rhymes
  • Creative thinking and imagination
  • Development of fine motor skills, eye – hand coordination
Learning 4 kids
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