I’m always looking for new ideas for arts and crafts time, to keep my fickle toddler interested and busy, whilst expanding on educating him through play. Whilst I love play dough, my son hasn’t always shared my passion. He is not keen on the texture or scent of some conventional play dough, which leads me to making my own, time permitting. On returning from a day out, I popped into Boots and happened to notice the Plasticine packs, which are incredibly good value for money at only 99p a packet. I decided to buy a couple of packs to spark his interest in a new kind of modelling compound.
A Rainbow of Colours
The card envelope pack contains 8 sticks of different colours which can be combined to make more colours. The Plasticine is wrapped in a cellophane pack to keep it fresh. The pack provides a leaflet which gives examples of the colours that can be created using 2 different colours. This allows for a wide variety of shades to produce many different creations. The vibrant colours include white, purple, red, green, blue, yellow, orange and black. The leaflet provided demonstrates basic shapes, and how to add fine detail to models.
It is advisable to cover the area and wear old clothes, in case the colours should stain or mark clothes or surfaces. I must admit to not covering my table, as it is subject to my child’s messy eating and playing, and I don’t worry about it getting marked. Whilst at home my son wears play clothes, so that he can get messy without any worry. With no preparation needed, we were ready to explore and create models with the Plasticine. The coloured strips are stuck together side by side, and are easy to separate ready for play. Each coloured strip features ridges to make it easy to divide the product, this is handy if you wish to mix colours, or if you only want to use a small amount of one colour.
A model play session
The Plasticine itself is soft and pliable, making it easy for little hands to manipulate. It doesn’t really have much of a scent to it, which is an advantage for us. Both my son and I were eager to explore the coloured sticks of Plasticine as we excitedly pulled them apart, each selecting our preferred colour. I was apprehensive as to whether my son would be interested, and if he would like the texture as he has never been a fan of other shop bought play dough. I was pleased that he was curious, and enjoyed playing and manipulating the product. It is firmer consistency to that of play dough, which makes it a good transitional progression for toddlers to move onto, or to enjoy alongside. It is incredibly addictive, as it is therapeutic and relaxing.
It kept my son and I entertained for a good amount of time, we enjoyed manipulating it, and sculpting different shapes from it. We also enjoyed creating new colours to add to the range that was on offer. This made it possible to add more colours to our creations. We had fun making models, and my son enjoyed sticking the finer details to the models I created, and he was fascinated that they stuck. It is easy to add detail to models using a pencil tip, and this makes it more fun. As the product is firmer than play dough, it needs to worked more to create shapes. It enhances fine motor skills, as it is quite fiddly to make models and shapes. My son had great fun, and it kept his attention for a considerable amount of time. It is a good activity that encourages concentration, and focus.
We have had hours of fun creating with our Plasticine, and I now always have a couple of packs in the art and craft box. It is a fun activity that gets enjoyed most days, as it is great for stimulating creativity. It requires little to no preparation, and makes very little mess, making cleanup quick and easy. It wipes off of surfaces with ease, and rinses off hands easily, too. This is a low cost activity, that is versatile, fun, educational, and adults enjoy it just as much as children. It isn’t essential to buy tools to make models, as it sculpts easily with hands, and it can be manipulated with ease to any shape desired. A pencil tip is sufficient for adding in details if required. This makes this activity affordable and great value for money.
Sculpting the Mind
Playing with Plasticine is a fun open ended activity that has many educational benefits. It allows children to explore their creativity, and use their imagination. It promotes sensory development, and improves hand-eye coordination, as well as strengthening hand muscles which helps prepare a child for learning to write. It increases dexterity and fine motor skills, as a child manipulates the product. Playing with Plasticine teaches children about colours and how they can be combined and mixed to create a new colour. Children learn about textures, and how to create shapes. It stimulates a child’s imagination whilst promoting creativity.
A Model for the Future
Plasticine has been around forever, and is a favourite with adults and children alike. It is an open ended activity that allows for creative play. This versatile modelling compound provides a great activity that can be enjoyed time and time again. After each play session the _Plasticine_ can be store in a food bag or container to keep it in good condition for future play. It doesn’t dry out or go hard, and the vibrant colours last without fading. During any of the play sessions that we have had it has caused no staining to any surfaces, and has cleaned up easily after each play session.
Recommended age 3 to 8 years.
Eight bright colours of plasticine in a handy pack.Not suitable for children under 36 months due to small parts. Age range: From 3 years.