Today I cooked up some lovely blue glittery play dough to entertain A (nearly 3) and H (5). They were highly impressed when they saw it together with the collection of nuts, bolts, brackets etc. that I had “borrowed” from Dad’s toolbox. Oh – and A’s very own toy toolbox, of course!
A immediately set to work hammering, sawing and drilling his play dough whereas H adopted a more moulding, kneading “baking” technique with hers.
I couldn’t help but join in myself. Last night we read a great story about fitting in called “Something Else” by Kathryn Cave so I made myself a little blue body and added some metal pieces for eyes, mouth, arms, legs etc.
“Hello!” he said, “What’s your name?” Irresistible to a toddler…
“A…!” came the prompt reply. “Who are you?”
“I’m Something Else. I’m a robot and I’m lonely. Can you make me a friend?”
Something Else didn’t need to ask twice. “He’s got two mouths on each side,” announced A, as he made marks in the dough with a red dough tool. He then decided that the tool itself needed to be added to his robot. “Do you want batteries in it?… So that he can move?” he asked and pushed some small metal cylinders into its back.
A new, improved mouth was made using the plastic saw… rather brutally, I may add. He then decided to saw the entire robot in half and announced that it “had died”.
After the early death of his robot, he decided to make a spaceship.
H, meanwhile, had asked for some straws and raided the craft cupboard, emerging with googly eyes and jewels. She spent a long time cutting the straws into various lengths and inserting them into her dough. The final result was a whole family of rather intricately made aliens (it took me ages to pull all the bits out when they had finished playing!) A also made an all-seeing alien in response to H’s play.
At this point, 1 hour 20 mins later, they decided that they wanted to keep their creations to show Daddy, jumped down from the table and entered into an ellaborate role-play game where they were both aliens escaping from a scary “crushing, squeezing monster”. This role, of course, had to be filled by yours truly and lasted until N woke from his nap, at which point we stopped for lunch.
A full morning’s play, all thanks to a mound of blue glittery play dough!