In my mind there are loads of fun and educational activities I would love to be doing with HackneyChild - baking cakes, creating family trees, bark rubbing, reading long books, making indoor gardens, having pretend camps and parties and discos - but the presence of rather demanding HackneyBaby makes this difficult if not impossible. This makes me sad, although I'm hoping in a few months HackneyBaby will be able to watch happily from a high chair or Bumbo without getting tetchy.
In the meantime, I did manage the other morning, while HackneyBaby and Hackney_bloke slept, to make play dough with HackneyChild. I remember my mum making shedloads of this as she ran a playschool, and I remember the salty taste so I must have been eating it, ugh. I had picked up a recipe from the local children's centre, and we duly mixed all the ingredients together. But it wasn't doughy, it was practically liquid. After adding more flour to no avail, I decided the children's centre had brilliantly missed out the instruction "and then cook over a slow heat". It's not the most brilliant play dough in the world but we made cakes in paper cases decorated with, er, lentils and pasta, as all the best cakes are. Next time I hope to use a proper recipe like this one which sounds lovely from Nurturestore.
From play dough the thing to Play Doh the brand - the people at Play Doh kindly sent us a Fun Factory, like the one I had when I was little, so even if all my attempts at making it fail we still have the factory version. The good thing about it is HackneyChild can play with it by himself, although he's not very adept at turning the wheel to get the different shapes - he is six months younger than you are supposed to be though. He likes to make noodles and press the dough (or doh, I suppose) onto the patterns.
One of his first actions was to mix together the colours to create a kind of purple, and I had to bite my tongue and let him - it's his Play Doh after all. I'd hoped my attempt at play dough would be useable in the toy but I don't think it will be, it's too gooey.
So, the home made and the branded in fierce competition - I'm not sure which he likes best, but I'm sure there's room for both, just as with the home made puree versus jars.
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