The children were very creative and imaginative at a recent Forest School session. They made a huge clay face on a tree. Clay is a warm, tactile material which sticks to the bark of the tree easily and makes a great base for adding extra materials found in the woods. The children pressed, squashed, rolled and squeezed the clay to create the tree face. The woodland floor provided a wealth of loose parts materials to add to the clay sculpture.
The children’s imagination combined with the natural materials created this wonderful outdoor art sculpture. These types of forest school activities promote self-confidence with challenging yet achievable tasks that children take pride in.
Children who may not be creative inside often feel motivated to be creative in the woods. What child could fail to be enchanted by making mud faces in the knots on the trees.
Easy play dough recipe
• Take a large bowl and add 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and 2 tablespoons cream of tartar*.
• add in any extras such as glitter, spices or fragrance.
• boil the kettle and pour 1 1/2 cups of the water into your mixture. Add in any food colouring at this stage so it mixes evenly through the dough.
• mix the ingredients together to form a dough and you are ready to play.
Play dough problems: solved
Play dough too crumbly? Add a little more oil.
Play dough too sticky? Add in a little more flour.
Want your play dough to last a long time? Wrap it up well in a plastic bag as soon as you’ve finished playing and your play dough could last for months.
* Not got all the ingredients? If you discover you have no cream of tartar, no problem – just leave it out. You can make a basic dough just by combining flour and water if that’s all you have. The dough won’t last but will give you a great day’s worth of play.