We read "Dora saves mermaid kingdom" this morning and so the play dough obsessed kids wanted to make mermaid kingdom.
It didn't take much really, and that's why I wanted to make a post about it, that and the fact that it's likely to appeal to any girls that might not be into dinosaur island or train tables. There was no ridiculous underlying structure like with dinosaur island, and no prerequisit of train tracks like with the train table we did.
The key components were the home made play dough and three items from the Dollar Store. Glass nuggets, a basket of sea shells and a packet containing two mermaid dolls. Total $3 and then whatever other random stuff I found around the house for them to stick in it. You could do this quite happily with just some blue play dough and make a small version in a baking tray. I was amazed at how many big sea shells were in the basket for one dollar!
We dug out a couple of "baby mermaids" that we got a long time ago back in the UK. One poor baby's arm was amputated! Not sure when that happened!
I made them a few pipe cleaner sea weed bits and then pulled out a couple of plastic bottles that I'd been saving to make fairy houses (we can still re-use them in the future).
I just cut out doors and windows with an Exacto knife and drew on them with Sharpies and the kids put some doll's house furniture in there. Plastic bottle tops made for a nice path to the houses. All of this stuff comes right out of the play dough easily and can be used again for other play stuff or to go in the recycling.Other bits we stuck on were some glittery craft pom pom things that were supposed to be sea urchins and some kiddie craft jewels we had handy to make mermaid kingdom full of treasure.
I love how involved the kids get with this sort of thing. My three year old went off to get her dress up mermaid tail to wear while we were making it.
If you've got Sponge Bob mad children then you could always have a go at recreating Bikini Bottom ;) If our printer had ink in it then I would have printed some of the smaller fish I drew a while back for the girls to colour and add into the mermaid kingdom taped to cocktail sticks.
As we've done in the past, we'll just keep it out for the rest of the day and pack it away in the evening. I'm intrigued to see how much mileage we will get out of this same batch of playdough. It's doing pretty well so far!