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Kids Crafts- Make your own Playdough

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Play dough provides tactile learning experiences which can stimulate a child’s imagination.It gives them a chance to discover how a soft, stretchy material can behave.It can be a soothing and relaxing activity with many hidden learning opportunities.

While poking, rolling, and squishing playdough, children develop the small muscles in their fingers and hands, gaining strength and improving dexterity in their hands and fingers, critical areas of physical development for writing,and drawing.Having a wide range of additional extras to use while playing extends the investigation and play possibilities endlessly. Poking in sticks provides a challenge and a new physical skill.Squeezing through a garlic press uses gross movement and  leads to wonder and amazement at seeing it transform into wriggly worms,sticking in spaghetti requires a delicate hand leading on to threading and stacking pasta shapes or beads to decorate with skill and instant results.

Providing boxes and containers with various shaped compartments can lead to cooking play, sorting, matching, ordering and counting, all naturally and without pressure to learn.

Collecting things you find from nature children can have multi-sensory experiences and engage with the world around them in a whole new way.A jar of candles and cupcakes cases leads naturally to birthday party role-play, counting out candles and singing!Glass pebbles and shells can lead to sea-side imaginative small world play with story telling about sea creatures and mermaids pirates and lost islands and treasure.

Little children can struggle to express their emotions and using dough while talking and singing can really help that process. all that squeezing and pummelling are great for stress relief and can feel extremely therapeutic.It’s perfect to set out after nap time or after a long day at school or preschool and really helps kids to unwind.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • half a cup of salt
  • food colouring (optional)

Method Place all the ingredients in a saucepan at a low heat. Stir continuously until the mixture thickens to a firm dough texture

Adding scents colours and little sensory items can stimulate a childs imagination. I am sure you will have many ideas but here are a few to help to to begin with…Cocoa powder,ginger,cinnamon,food colouring, food flavouring, essential oils, herbs, rice.

Store the dough in an airtight container such as a plastic bag or box, and keep it in the fridge. Like this the dough should keep for up to 2 weeks.

Store the dough in an airtight container such as a plastic bag or box, and keep it in the fridge. Like this the dough should keep for up to 2 weeks.




I'm a slightly deranged middle aged widow, living in the Cotswolds with two fabulously funny little dogs. A mother, grandmother, sister and friend. Determined to survive by writing to remember, to forget and to cope with grief. the memory of my husband supporting me, guiding me and probably laughing at me if there is a ‘somewhere’

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Books

A new Harry Potter theme park will open in Tokyo

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It’s called Toshimaen the amusement park that has closed this summer to make place for a new Harry Potter theme park that will open in 2023. The Toshimaen park had been opened since 1924 and this is a major change in its long history.

From what we can gather it will be probably similar to the Warner Bros one in London. According to the press release you will be able to explore the iconic movie sets that were actually designed and built by the creators of the Harry Potter series. You will see the original costumes and props and you will be able to immerse yourself in many scenes of the films. It is not expected to be a traditional theme park with rides, but more like an Harry Potter experience.

Not everyone will want to travel all the way to Japan to see this new theme park, although many serious and committed Potterheads might. 

 

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Children

A very British pantomime?

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 Pantomime, that quintessentially British oddity that we all seem to love or loathe. We have all been to a pantomime at some point in our lives ,be it in a huge grand theatre with dazzling props and big name celebrities taking a leading role or a village hall affair where the local am dram group regale with a bizarre mix of fairy tale, dance, jokes and songs, But how did it become part of our Christmas tradition? 

The story of pantomime has its roots in ancient Greece, travels through Italy and France, before settling itself into Britain The word derives from the Greek word pantomimos which consists of panto, which means ‘all’ and mimos which means ‘actor’ – meaning a performer who acts all the roles in a story.

Photoç @mrdue40 via Twenty20

It  is perhaps best recognised from the Italian street theatre of the Commedia dell’arte during the 16th Century, with comedic timing, stock characters and great physicality.

These improvised performances took place outside in Italian streets and marketplaces. And were hugely popular

Distinctive masks meant characters were easily recognisable and allowed actors to make topical and risqué jokes without fear of being recognised.

Travelling from place to place to earn their living, these actors began to take commedia across Europe and into England  giving inspiration to playwrights  such as Shakespeare and Moliere.

Commedia plots would tell tales of overthrowing masters. Their lives are a constant struggle to find food and money. They tell a story about survival against the odds. Survival in the face of cruelty and corruption.From these stories pantomime developed filled with heroes and villains featuring men dressed as women, and women masquerading as young men. Pantomime is a tale of good and evil, where hope triumphs over all adversity and wrongs are righted. 

John Rich  was known as the ‘father of pantomime’ because he was the first to realise the potential of the Commedia characters. Although rough and uneducated he was a talented dancer, acrobat and mime artist and during the 1720s he created a new type of play  involving a storyline from Ovid’s Metamorphoses and a harlequinade. This took the form of an energetic chase, featuring the adventures of Harlequin and Columbine.

These stories were hugely popular and thousands of people from aristocrats to apprentices, were drawn to see them. Theatre was the place where everyone came to be entertained.

In 1837 Lucy Eliza Vestris played a ‘breeches’ role in Planché’s production of Puss in Boots at the Olympic Theatre, at a time when women covered their legs being seen in shorts and tights was considered highly risqué. By the late 19th-century the female principal boy was an accepted convention of pantomime.

By the late 19th century extravagant productions in London theatres could last up to five hours and featured astonishing stage tricks, swonderful  costumes and huge casts. It became customary for pantomimes to open on Boxing Day, forever linking this entertainment with Christmas and family entertainment. 

Its unique and bawdy elements are now a very British tradition and 

 Christmas, for many of us, would not be Christmas without pantomime; and pantomime is possibly where many of us we first discovered the magic of theatre.



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Children

Pollock’s Toy Museum in London, for people who love toys

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A real dive into the past, a museum that does not call itself as a museum but not even a shop. It is located in an old house and in the rooms there are hundreds and hundreds of toys, dolls, dollhouses, rocking horses, trains, teddy bears and many toys from other eras.

It is obviously fascinating but also slightly creepy. The current Pollock’s Toy Museum was opened in the 1950s by Marguerite Fawdry. It was originally located near Covent Garden above Pollock’s Toy Theatres store. In fact, Benjamin Pollock was a designer and creator of children’s theatres of the 1800s. 

Now since the 1970s, the museum is located near the Goodge Street subway station and  normally you can visit from Monday to Saturday included from 10am to 5pm. But during the coronavirus pandemic you will have to book an appointment here to be able to visit. 

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