50 Things To Do This Summer

I wasn’t going to do a bucket list as such this year but as social media keeps reminding me. We only have X amount of summers with our children. So I’ve jotted down 50 possible things for us to do this Summer focusing on these five areas.

  1. Outdoors
  2. Days out
  3. Treats
  4. Learning
  5. Games

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Outdoors activities include.

  • Camping
  • Beach Day
  • Rock pooling
  • Bike ride
  • Pokemon hunt
  • Sandcastle competition
  • Water gun fight
  • Treasure hunt
  • Paddling Pool
  • Picnic

The days out/ visits are mostly things local to us.

  • Flamingo Land
  • Ryedale Show
  • Crazy Golf
  • Panett Park
  • National Railway Museum
  • York Maize Maze
  • Thorpe Sports
  • Forbidden Corner
  • Library
  • Jorvik Centre

Treats I’m shamed to say mostly include food but spread over the six weeks shouldn’t be too bad.

  • Bake a cake
  • Popcorn with a movie
  • Make homemade pizza
  • Visit the sweet shop
  • Get a McDonald’s
  • See the fireworks
  • Fish and chips at the seaside
  • Visit the ice cream van on the beach
  • Make ice lollies
  • Help cook dinner

I’ve included some activities to keep their little brains active.

  • Summer reading challenge
  • Write and send a postcard
  • Keep a Summer diary
  • Paint rocks
  • Offer your help to Gran
  • Map reading and exploration
  • Science experiment
  • Wash the car
  • Write to a pen pal
  • Make a video

Games and activities we could do when I here the cry ‘I’m bored’ !

  • Lego day
  • Make an obstacle course
  • Face paints
  • Build a den
  • Family games night
  • Blow bubbles
  • Painting
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • play board games
  • play cricket

I think I’ve got every eventuality covered for an action packed summer!

If you wanted any holiday activity inspiration at all – I’ve made our list into a 50 things to do printable I’ve changed a few days out that were very local/specific things to us into more generic days outs.

to do

 

This printable to free to use for personal use.

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I’ve created a notice board area for our list and our Summer holiday plans. (Printable calendar courtesy of StudioDIY 

Have an amazing start to the Summer and I’ll be back to share more creative ideas soon.

Lezah x

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My thoughts on slime

This week the news has seen safety warnings over slime toys. If you are a parent or carer to a slime loving child I urge you to take a read. Click here.

Before the news broke on the Which? findings for several slime products on the market my thoughts were – It’s not something I’ve experimented with, perfected or had CE tested. Of course it would be cool but Dotty Dough is cooler!

These headlines on the news got me thinking about what is so great about Dotty Dough and on the whole all homemade playdough recipes. Made from all edible non-toxic ingredients – Side note here, your child really shouldn’t be eating playdough and consuming high levels of salt can be dangerous (this goes for pets too).

I’m fully open to sharing the ingredients in my recipe, they are printed on the label as per requirements!

Ingredients in Dotty Dough: Wheat flour, Water, Salt, Vegetable Oil, Cream of Tartar, Food colouring. Glittery dough contains non-toxic glitter.

Not only am I armed with the knowledge that these are safe non-toxic ingredients, I’m armed with a CE test [CE marking is a certification mark that indicates conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold within the European Economic Area]. A testing house tests for among other things heavy metals and chemicals such as boron in the product. Unbelievable that some of the slime products taken off sale contained four times the limit of this chemical. I think it could be a case of the manufacturers changing the recipe after testing if tested at all. For myself continuity is a huge part of making Dotty Dough for sale. 

Of course I am no expert on chemical testing in toys, I worked with trading standards to get my Dotty Dough on the market. It was a slow but positive experience. They helped me develop labeling and packaging that conformed to safety standards. Recording of batches and samples is also a big part of quality control.

My thoughts on slime now? If big companies can’t get it right then that is a big worry, parents be careful, do your research and stick to what you know. I’m always happy to answer your questions on any of the dough I make or tools I stock. want to know more about how to get the best out of your Dotty Dough? Read our information page.

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Thank you for reading such a wordy post.

Lezah x

World Emoji Day

World Emoji Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated on July 17. The day is deemed a “global celebration of emoji”

I celebrated World Emoji Day by taking to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and asking YOU to challenge me to make an emoji out of Dotty Dough.

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil monkeys were a popular choice – Challenge accepted!

I think they turned out quite well. I can’t wait to see what my little critics think of them when they get home from school. Here’s some more emojis I’ve made in the past.

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And a personal favourite of mine.

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Thanks for reading!

Best Teacher free printable

Create a fast, easy and cheap teacher thank you. I’m not saying mess free because ya know!

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Click to down load your free printable >Best teacher

(Set to A4 size) Print it off and get the paints out. Here’s a top tip if you don’t have paint or your little one doesn’t like painting their hands – simply draw around their hands with a felt tip or pencil.

Don’t forget to fill in the details at the bottom.

Please let me know how you got on and if your child’s teacher loved it.

New Product – Unicorn box

Unicorn boxes are a thing because we aren’t over the Unicorn craze just yet.

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I went ahead and created the ‘Unicorn Box’ which is a great play set and/or gift. Don’t worry no actual Unicorns are being kept in boxes just play dough ones!

A personal touch adding the child’s name really does complete this as a perfect gift. My thinking is the named box with it’s cute Unicorn eyes and horn will double as a cute keepsake box .

Thanks for reading, Lezah x

 

 

Teacher gift ideas

It’s that time of year again and teacher gifts are on my mind. In my search to find the perfect gift I’ve discovered an amazing selection that’s too good not to share.

  1. Something personal – Teacher Badge Card

A card and gift in one – Brilliant!

teacher card

Colour Me Fun 

2. Something beautiful – Embroidery Hoop

I’ve admired Pixiecraft’s work for a long time and this is simply beautiful with the right amount of sentiment.

embroidery

Pixiecraft

3. Something practical – Pop art teacher stamp

You are absolutely spoiled for choice here. I chose this awesome pop art stamp but there has got to be something for every teacher in this shop!

stamp

The Serious Stamp Company

4. Something for the whole school – Just add a cuppa

And by whole school I mean the teachers and staff (sorry kids!)

chocs

The Happy Mail

5. Something fun – pencil socks

These quirky pencil socks are perfect for any fun loving teacher.

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Lucky Dip Club

6. Something from the heart – Plant pot marker

I love this wooden plant pot marker as I feel you could pop it in any pot or flower posy which you can source to suit your budget or your teachers personal tastes.

plant pot marker

HerestousUK

7. Something intelligent – Grammar Pencils

I think these brilliant pencils will appeal teachers and their staff room humor.

pencils

Newton and the Apple

8. Something quirky – pencil earrings

The pencil theme runs strong as I am a self confessed stationery addict! These are also a throwback to the pencil shaving earrings my primary school teacher used to wear.

pencils earrings

Adventures and Tea Parties

9. Something from the whole class – Finger print tree

See number 10.

10. Something crafty – Finger print tree

Yes the last two are the same. It’s time to get your art on and make a gift from the whole class with this printable finger print tree. Feeling extra crafty? Draw your own tree.

 

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The Arty Apples

 

Thanks for reading, I hope you’re feeling inspired to go nail those teacher gifts.

All this good stuff and more can be found on my Pinterest board.

 

Lezah x

 

Make your own Kool Dough

It’s really fun and easy to make your own Kool-Aid play dough and here’s how…

Let me begin by explaining what Kool-Aid is if you don’t already know. Kool-Aid is a flavoured drink mix from the U.S.A. It has been around since 1927 – thank Wikipedia for the info! The brilliant thing about Kool-Aid is that it will colour  your dough without the need for messy food colouring and also give your dough a nice scent to add to your little ones’ sensory experience.

Making your own dough is a grown up lead activity but it is also good to involve your children too, who can learn so much from this process. It is an easy no cook recipe to which you will need to add oil and very hot water. So please do take care with the hot water.

Equipment you need-

  • Large bowl
  • kitchen scales
  • Mixing spoon (note a wooden spoon may get stained so use a metal one if that is going to be a problem)
  • Measuring spoon (tbsp)
  • Measuring jug (ml)

Ingredients you need-

  • 200g Plain flour
  • 200g salt
  • 1 package of Kool-aid
  • 1 table spoon of oil (any cooking oil)
  • 150ml of freshly boiled hot water
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Ingredients required (plus boiling water)

So lets roll our sleeves up and get stuck in!  First you need to empty the dry ingredients into the bowl. A great way to explore and learn about weighing and measuring with your little one.

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Combine the dry ingredients

Add the 150ml of very hot water to the dry mixture and as if by magic – you make pink! (or whatever colour your kool-aid package is) Now before you mix and this is VERY important add the table spoon of oil into the pool of water. If the oil touches the flour first you could get lumps and we don’t like lumpy play dough do we? < top tip

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Add the liquid

Next you need to mix until combined, it will look like the pic.

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Mix well

Once combined you will need to get your hand in and start kneading (providing it isn’t too hot to touch) until its nice and smooth.

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Let the kneading commence

 

Congratulations you have made your own dough! You need to allow the dough to cool before it’s played with or before its stored in the tub.

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Your finished kool dough

So which scent will you make?

Halloween sensory play

– In the tuff tray with play dough

Recently I was invited to Sleights Toddler Group to hold a pop up shop and set up an invitation to play. I put together a Halloween themed sensory explosion perfect for ages 3+ and younger ones with adult supervision.

The key ingredients were Black and Orange Dotty Dough and dried beans/pulses. I used dried black beans (available in Sainsbury’s – everybody asked) and orange lentils.

Rolling pins, Halloween themed cutters and more dough tools extend playtime.

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The lentils were great for making a warty pumpkin, the black beans made excellent spider eyes and we combined them both to make pumpkin faces.

 

The littlest tots enjoyed exploring all the textures.

I’ve got to tell you I was surprised and impressed at how well the beans and lentils stayed in the tray (well done toddlers!) At home you may be OK with a tea tray – don’t quote me on that!

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Next time I get the opportunity for some Halloween play I’ll be combining lime green Dotty Dough with green lentils and making some warty witches. Popping corn and rice would also make great additions.

Just a note – adding beans, seeds, lentils etc may decrease the lifespan of your dough.

Thank you for ready and HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Lezah x

Make Learning Languages fun

I’m all about making learning fun and when it comes to using playdough as part of the learning process Maths is often the subject (see Play Dough Maths) This time it’s all about learning languages and I have a free printable for you too!

My little one (5) got busy rolling his dough and learning his colours in French.

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Great for ages 5-7

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Click to download and print your own French rainbow mat. Download once and print as many times as you like. For personal use only.  ©The Dotty Dough Factory

French rainbowFrench rainbow

 

You might also be interested in my recently listing fruit stall mats in French, German, Spanish and Italian.

 

The Best Alternative Easter Gifts

You may be shuddering at the thought of how much Chocolate your little ones, your grandchildren, your god children or your friends children are going to be gifted this Easter. So I looked around the web to bring you some of the best non chocolate Easter gifts.

Lollipop Note Card

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  • This note card by Little Tweet Stationery is a fabulous token gift which can be personalised with any wording you like. Aside from it being cute and personalised, I love this as it’s a non chocolate treat perfect for little peeps who are dairy intolerant.

Paint Your Own Easter Eggs

painted eggs

  • I think this paint your own Easter decorations kit by The Contemporary Home is fantastic. Children can design them, paint them, hide them, find them and then display them or even gift them. I like busy kids, can you tell?!

 

Personalised Vinyled Egg Cups

egg cups

  • I’ve picked these fully functional egg cups from Molliebobbins as these super funky designs can be pesonalised with any name, something you didn’t get when I was a kid and the name Lezah was never an option. Also you could pop a chucky egg in and send the Kinder egg to me!

Bunny Ears

bunnyears

  • I can imagine these very cute bunny ears from Little Lapins becoming a popular choice in the dressing up box all year round.

Easter Bunny Garlandbunny garland

  • Probably not the first thing you think of to give as a gift but I’m a sucker for a pom pom garland. I’m sure decorating with this garland by Oh Sew Evie would add to the excitement of Easter and would look amazing in your child’s room throughout  Spring.

Easter Egg Hunt Bag

bunny bag

  • If you are planning an egg hunt around the garden you might need to kit out your little people with a basket or bag, I thought these personalised bunny bags from Claire Close Studio were ideal and may stop squabbles over who’s whose. Or not!

Easter Colouring Set

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  • This Easter colouring set from Colour Me Fun is sure to keep the little ones busy and the cute little bag could also be used on an Easter egg hunt (gosh I’m talking about chocolate already!) Just a little heads up this amazing set and our Dotty Dough Easter set is up for grabs over on our Facebook page. << Get over there!

 

Thank you for reading I hope this post was just a little bit helpful and inspiring.

Have a cracking Easter!

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