You know how kids tend to break things? You know how they like to stick their fingers in the dirtiest thing on their plate? You know how they need food and water occasionally? Well this activity will help with the first two but not the last… sorry, you’re on your own with the whole sustenance thing.
These ‘rocks’ need to be made a day in advance just so they can dry out, but I made these one morning when I had a free 10 minutes and they sat around in a tupperware until I needed to preoccupy the kids for 15 minutes.
Gather some things around your house that won’t melt. I used money and marbles. The marbles have sort of come back to haunt me since Oliver’s obsessed and they end up rolling all over the house.
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup coffee (instant or ground)
about a cup of water… just enough to make it into a dough
Make your coffee-sand-dough and form it into balls around whatever non-meltable objects you’re going with.
Place on tin foil in an oven set to 250º. (Finding the degree symbol on a keyboard is no small task, incidentally.) Cook for 15-20 minutes and let sit overnight to dry out completely. Flip your rocks occasionally so the underside doesn’t get soggy.
I handed out the ‘rocks’ to all three of the big kids before dinner one night. Eleanor whipped through hers in no time, Oliver was a little more diligent about his and Martha spent the most time. In other words, this activity seemed to be best for the 2-3 year-old set. BUT… had there been a pink fairy figurine in hers, Eleanor probably would have sat picking through her rock for a month.
The dough is firm enough to be a good little challenge for tiny preschool fingers. Martha didn’t care so much about the objects inside, but she loved breaking apart each rock and playing with the crumbs.
Ways to tweek this for older kids? You could write letters on the marbles and come up with any number of activities for alphabet awareness and early literacy. You could use a few different colored marbles and have your child sort the colors. For primary school kids, placing a few coins in each rock is an easy introduction to counting money.
See more #Wednesdayplayday activities here!
Any fun kids activities you’ve discovered lately? I’d love to know so drop me a comment and share your fun ideas!
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