Easy Playdough Recipe

Playdough is one of the most requested activities in our setting so we make it a lot.We have tried a few different recipes of playdough but found this one to be the easiest so I thought I’ll share it with everyone.

Three reasons I love homemade playdough: is made of edible ingredients so no danger if any of the children decide to have a taste(which you know they will no matter how many times you tell them not to). It’s easy to make because it’s a no cook recipe and you can get the children involved in the process which means you’re offering them more learning opportunities.



  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 cup of boiled water
  • food colouring

How to make it

First, put the dry ingredients and the oil in a bowl. Next, you have to add the water and the food colouring. I find it easier to put the food colouring in the water so it spreads evenly. Start mixing everything together with a spoon, then use your hands to knead the dough. Add flour if it’s sticky. Be careful, it will be very warm to hot because of the boiled water.

And that is it!


I make one batch per colour and the playdough lasts a few months if properly stored in a zip lock bag. After a while, it starts to smell funny so a few drops of essential oils should solve the problem.

Let the fun begin.

Trip to the Zoo- Handa’s Surprise

Handa’s Surprise is one of the children’s favourite story. Building on their interests and likes, we decided to focus our activities on the story for a month. We did book clubs, arts and crafts, role play and ended with a trip to the zoo to enhance their learning and understanding of the animals that Handa had encountered on her way through the savannah while taking a basket full of fruits to her friend Akeyo.

You can read about our other activities here.

For the zoo trip, we made a checklist with the animals from the story and the children carried the list around the zoo, ticking off the boxes as they found them.

The children engaged fully in searching for the animals on the list and felt a sense of accomplishment everytime they were able to tick one off. And the story of Handa was always in their chats as they tried to remember what fruit each animal took, which was exactly our aim.

But the trip turned out to be much more as the children took the lead. They stopped when they saw a map and asked for our help to find the way. When the map wasn’t helping, under our guidance, they asked a zoo worker for directions to find the elephants.

The highlights of the trip were the chimpanzee encounter and the elephant feed.

For the chimpanzee encounter, we were able to watch the chimpanzees while they had lunch. It was truly an experience watching them swing on the ropes as they raced to get to their food. The children commented on their bodies and ability to move so fast.

The elephant feed was an amazing opportunity to come close and observe the elephant, even feel the touch of his trunk on the hands as it took the food and moved it to its mouth. The children weren’t afraid, surprisingly and talked about the experience a lot after it happened.

The zoo we visited is so big and kind of impossible to complete in one day, especially with young children needing many toilet stops, a long lunch and an interest for anything that looks fun.


I’ll leave you with a challenge.


Chinese New Year- Dee’s Childcare Style

At Dee’s Childcare we go big on Chinese New Year.

For two weeks (end of January- beginning of February) we focused our activities on the Chinese New Year and included the school children who come in the afternoon alongside the younger children who are here the whole day.

Here are some of the most enjoyed activities:

Trip to the farm

2017 is the Year of the Rooster. And to start off, we visited the farm to see some roosters and introduce the Chinese New Year story to the children.


Book Club

First, we read the Chinese New Year story and then we did an arts & crafts activity and painted a rooster. We’ve simplified the story for the younger children and used puppets, also the globe to locate China to give the children an idea of its location and size.

The painting was great as a sensory experience as we encouraged finger painting but also a mark making opportunity for the younger children.

The pre-schoolers showed control in painting inside the lines and technique when changing colours, using the water pots appropriately and not soaking their sheets with the water.

Shopping at the Chinese Supermarket

We took the after-schoolers to the local Chinese Supermarket in preparation for our Chinese New Year celebrations.One of the store staff gave a talk to the children about the traditional foods and customs, showed us around the store and presented us with a gift of a Chinese calendar for the setting.

Rice play

This was a messy one. Be prepared for the mess because we were not. However, it was worth it, having seen the children so invested in the activity: filling and emptying cups and bowls, imaginative play, using mathematical language when talking about quantities, comparing and making predictions of who has more/less.20170130_100432

Lunch at the Chinese restaurant

To further enhance the children’s understanding of the differences and similarities between cultures, traditions, foods, we took them to the Chinese restaurant for lunch. One of the children said “Oooh spaghetti” when the food came and it was the best time to talk to them about how noodles are similar to spaghetti but at the same time a bit different in shape and taste. Having tried the chopsticks and the fork, most of them finished their food using…fingers. And the prawn crackers were by far the most enjoyed.

Chinese New Year Party

To finish the two weeks of learning about Chinese New Year, we organised a party. The school children prepared a little performance, dressing up in Chinese clothes and dancing to Chinese music. I would say that was the highlight of the party but the children might think different when presented to an array of Chinese foods and sweets. When they left, they received a fortune cookie and a selection of Chinese sweets in a money envelope which I’m sure they appreciated more than they would have if they were to get money.

We did lots more but these were the most enjoyed activities. Hope this post inspires you and gives you some ideas to build on for next year’s Chinese New Year Celebrations.