There is nothing better than finding an activity which keeps kids busy for a long time on a rainy day. Even better when it’s something which keeps them sitting still in one place so they can’t demolish the house and it doesn’t require too much tidying up afterwards.
Plasticine is ideal. I have made all sorts of different recipes when it comes to dough and slime but now Arlo is older he wants to get really creative and build models which require a material with a bit more substance.
Plasticine is a pretty tough resource to handle which is a good thing. It requires you to play with and manipulate the dough to warm it up before crafting and then once you’re ready the possibilities are endless.
We received several different kits to really explore the plasticine range for our review. The set which caught Arlo’s eye was the little toolbox. This is available on Amazon for around £6.99 and includes six sticks of brightly coloured plasticine with a rolling pin, tool and several cutters.
As a basic kit this is all you need to get started with modelling. The only thing I added in for Arlo was a little party platter tray to place all his cutters and tools. The first thing he wanted to do was use the rolling pin and so we sat at the table and I suggested he should make some Easter items.
Vivid plasticine colours
Arlo pulled chunks off the coloured sticks and started to fashion some shapes of his own accord. I have to admit I sat beside him and joined in too. I also have to admit that we are colour mixers in this family! I love that the leaflet which comes in the box includes a colour mixing guide which I think is a fabulous resource and an opportunity for extra learning during play which is always a bonus.
Showing how the primary colours can combine to make the secondary colours is a great place to start and then rolling two colours together to create a marbled effect and rolling it out is a great way to explore creativity. There’s so many different ways to play with plasticine that you can leave it open ended and let imaginations run wild.
Plasticine box contents vary
As we started to use the cutters on our rolled out and warmed up dough Arlo’s eyes were drawn to the biggest box on the table. This kit with twelve tubs of plasticine also included a mat, rolling pin and lots more cutters so we delved in to this one too.
Straight away the play mat inspired more makes. Arlo set about wanting to make some three dimensional animals and opted for a very festive Easter Kangaroo. He was able to fashion a body, legs and a head using his hands to shape the dough and then he enjoyed adding in details with the tools. At the same time he was busy project managing me as I started to make a pig – and then we swapped and he merged the two animals together.
Adding details with plasticine tools
This attention to detail with the tools is only achievable with plasticine, other popular doughs on the market are a bit too squishy and so can lose their shape when little ones grasp tightly whilst concentrating. I’d suggest that plasticine is a natural progression so suitable for kids from about five and up.
We eventually managed to create an Easter chick (amongst other things) and we can keep our models on display because plasticine never dries out. It doesn’t shrink or harden so our models will be kept out on display and can be added to during every rainy day this Easter holidays.
There are many different kits available and all very reasonably priced from £3-15. From the Basix set with six small sticks to get started to the Fluro set with glow in the dark colours and the large 24 max set with all the colours you could possibly need for a huge project. There are no limits when it comes to creativity. This is the ideal material to use for dabbling with stop motion animation and of course there’s even a plasticine kit for this too.