Often we look for ways to bring the outside in, so we can keep a connection with nature in our play. On those rare English days when the sun is shining and summer is positively blooming it’s time to do a swap and take some of our indoor play things outside. Here’s how we combined the garden’s ingredients with some sensory and imaginary play this week: garden flower play dough.
Garden flower play dough recipe
We started off by picking some flowers and leaves from the garden. We have nasturtiums overflowing everywhere right now. The children have grow them from seed and they are weaving their way out of baskets, over borders and peeping out from nooks and crannies all over the garden. (Followers of our Facebook page will have seem them for sale in the wheelbarrow at our School Gardening Club stall at the summer fair.)
Nasturtiums are great plants for kids: easy to grow, beautifully coloured flowers and interesting leaves, a favourite place for butterflies to lay their eggs, and edible – both leaves and flowers – so a very pretty addition to a plate of salad.
The leaves have a wonderful spicy scent making them a good sensory addition, chopped up and added to a batch of green play dough made using our favourite no cook play dough recipe.
Of course once we moved out into the garden the children wanted to add more flowers in the mix: calendulas, chives, cornflowers and wallflowers
Here’s B’s flower world, where she’s used the play dough to create caves for the fairies to live in. All the time she’s using her imagination and telling the tale of her play, she’s also getting the sensory benefit from the texture and smell of the dough and flowers ~ a lovely way to spend some after school time.
L made cakes. ‘If you were are fairy Mummy, this is what you would have for tea.’
Remembering the play dough mandalas we made last week using lentils we also made some flower petal versions.
When the sun shines you need to seize that day and delight in the scent, colour and textures of the garden.
More creative ways to use nature to inspire learning
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