There is something special about toys that you can make yourself, and Montessori play approach encourages that even with the little ones. Playing with natural elements that you can find around the house, imaginative play, toys that are simple and that leave space for children’s creativity: that’s what Montessori play is all about. So without knowing it, you might have been encouraging it with your children already!
[bctt tweet=”There is something special about a toy that a child can make on their own. “]
Of course sometimes (ok, I won’t lie, most of the time) my kids play with the store-bought plastic toys, but I try to help them imagine and create simpler and in the end more educative activities, just like this one here. And if you have younger and older kids, they could both participate, just let the younger one mix the salty dough while the older one can sculpt the figurines, and then they can each paint their own!
Making little figurines from scratch, painting them and then giving them all names, was something that my three and a half year old adored. It’s been more than a month now since we’ve made them, and she still plays with them!
You could keep them simply white, or like us you can let your kid paint them ( in which case they’ll end up looking quite funky ). Either way, I’m sure you’ll have fun!
Simple salt dough :
1 cup flour
1 cup salt
2 spoons warm water
Let your kid mix the salt dough ingredients together. If your dough is too runny, just add more flour, if it doesn’t want to hold well together, add more warm water. Oh, and there is no need to bake them, they’ll dry within 24 hours! So you can get painting almost right away:).
To make a cat you just need to make one cylinder shape, that you make thinner on one side, and a ball with ears for the head.
Now let your kid get creative with painting them. If your figurines are still drying try using paint that is thick.
Lili started by painting eyes..
and then she decided that they need much more colour..
And then she gave them all really funny names that she made up, and then she made them dance and cuddle together ( while I was happily checking my Facebook )..
I think that she really loves her cat family!
Oh, and here are the faces that I painted ( on the other side) with a sharpie; her faces got slightly over painted at some point ;).
So next time when you don’t know what to do on a rainy day, try making a cat family like we did, I’m sure your kids will love it :).