Leaf Trouble

16 10 2011

I’m never quite sure when the start of autumn actually is. The recent warm weather and my continuing to wear flip flops makes me think it’s still summer. However, today I think I might need a jumper, to consider alternative footwear and put the heating on so it must be the end of summer.  All this weather changing means I can finally start introducing LBM to some of the ideas I’ve got for autumn. I’ve made play dough for him before using a really simple recipe. The recipe also involves no cooking so today was the first time that he stayed the whole way through the process. It also meant we covered so many areas of learning without him realising.


First off he “read” the recipe. I might turn this into a picture one so he can really understand the stages as this can be done will little adult involvement and only supervision. He measured 1 cup of flour having loads of fun smoothing the scoop off. Then he measured 1/2 cup salt which he amazingly managed to measure correctly. (luck rather than judgement I think!). Measuring 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar was a bit harder as he likes leveling it off but tends to keep going until only half the spoon is full. Don’t know what that would do to the recipe but it’s probably not that important to be accurate with play dough.

1 tablespoon of oil added and then it was my turn to pour 1 cup of boiling water in. (that’s the only real adult involvement required). It was then kneaded to make dough which felt hot at first and we then divided it into two making one section yellow and one section red. The reason for the title of Leaf Trouble is that it’s a book by Jonathan Emmett which introduces the idea of Autumn. The leaves are all changing colour and falling off the trees and this book tells the story of what happens to deciduous trees and the squirrels that live in the tree. I read it to LBM as an introduction to colour mixing and then used the play dough to show what happens when you mix red and yellow.

We now have lovely orange play dough (which smells of oranges after I added two packets of Kool Aid I bought from ebay) It will last for a couple of months and my plan is to go out on a walk to collect other autumnal nature items and incorporate them into activities with the play dough. We will also be able to make great pumpkins nearer to Halloween.  Not sure if oranges are really autumnal though – a bit more Christmassy perhaps but as that’s only about 10 weeks away maybe I can use it then too.





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