We started off the morning with a fairly low-key painting activity. We set up an underwater theme painting table with a massive sheet of paper, toy sharks and a few fish themed sketches to act as prompts. The kids drew with water-soluble oil pastels, experimenting with different kinds of mark making, then painted back over their drawings with water-based tempera paints. This dissolved the drawings into paint, which mixed with the tempera paint. The kids then drew back over their paints with the oil-pastels, feeling the different in how the pastels moved on the slippery surface. Then we hung the painting out to dry and moved onto the cloud dough tubs.
Yay for fizzy cloud dough! This activity was pretty simple, very messy and heaps of fun. We made two batches of cloud dough. One was a basic cloud dough, coloured with finely grated blue chalk. The second was a fizzy cloud dough, which we made by adding bicarb of soda to the basic mix.
The blue cloud dough was set up as an invitation to play with flowers, leaves, shells, wooden spoons and measuring cups. The white fizzy cloud dough was decorated with coloured pasta and toy dinosaurs.
The kids had free play with both boxes of cloud dough. Some made a tiny town with roads, houses, bushland and playgrounds, while others imagined they making cupcakes and ice-cream. The little ones enjoyed raking their fingers through the dough and smashing down the ‘sandcastles’ the older ones built for them.
When the kids started to get distracted, we bought out the spray bottles filled with diluted vinegar (coloured with food dye). The older kids squirted the vinegar solution into the blue cloud dough, aiming at a dinosaur toy. They had a lot of fun just ‘washing’ the dinosaur and watching their coloured vinegar making patterns on the surface of the dough. Then we switched to the fizzy cloud dough. It foamed up immediately, and the kids were super excited! After a bit of squirting, we took the lids off and tipped the remaining solution into the tub, and gave the older kids kitchen spoons, spatulas and pastry brushes to mix the foaming colours together. It was brilliant fun, even though it ended up as a big gloopy grey mess. Although the clean up was tougher than usual, it was totally worth it. The kids have been talking about it for weeks!