Dough – or should that be Doh?

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Alistair When I arrived this morning there was a cup of tea waiting for me! Boy did I need it – these early mornings are a killer! Think I will have to say goodbye to wine of an evening – it certainly doesn't help.

Spent most of today in the kitchen cleaning out the cupboards and seeing what I've got.

Mike (site manager) has agreed to build me a step so the children can work at the counter. I want them to make/bake their snack every day using real ingredients. I have found someone who is going to dig up bits of their allotment and put it into plastic crates for me to take in so that the children can actually 'dig up' or 'pick' their fruit and veg to see what it looks like before it reaches the supermarket.

We will also do the usuals like bread and scotch pancakes.

As I am not using any formal structure for the role play I have decided to try it around the kitchen area to create a 'diner'. It has 2 hatches (although these are screwed shut at the moment) so the children who prepare can also do take away through the hatch.


I have gone for clear glass bowls and plates so that the children can actually see what their food looks like from all angles. We will also set the table with real knives, forks and spoons not the plastic IKEA ones.

Obviously it still needs a bit/lot of VA VA VOOM! but there is time for that.

Will keep you updated on Big Al's Diner!

The only other area that I managed to have a bit of go at was the 'Maluable Materials Area' (that's dough in old money). I want there to be a display area for models, shelving for utensils/enhancements and a 'Make Your Own Dough' station. Very early on the children will be making their own dough to play with.

I use a typical cold water recipe:

Salt Dough Recipe


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup salt
1 cup cold water

They just mix it and that is it. If you want colour and you don't want to risk food colouring then you mix powder paint with the water. The colour is paler but the process is great.


That should say 'this' not 'thie'! Because developing gross motor movement is the first step to pen/pencil manipulation I wanted the two areas to be next to each other. I know I will have lots of large gross motor palm gripping children so I want BIG space for them to work. This area is top of my list tomorrow so i should be able to show you a couple of pics.

My helpers actually did help today and have asked for a return visit tomorrow! Just incase you are wondering as a Consultant I have my own insurance cover so if they fall and break their arm I would have to sue myself! I promised I would blog them so here they are – they are not smoking -I bribed them with a lolly that I found in the kitchen cupbord.


8 Comments on “Dough – or should that be Doh?”

  1. Hi, have been following your blog and you have inspired me. I am a Reception teacher and would love to implement some of your planning and ideas. I have just made the cold water dough and it was so easy. Are you going to let the children have access to making the dough all of the time? I love the idea that they make their own but I imagine at first they will all go mad making it. I thought I would sit with pairs of children to work with them to follow the receipe at first but would you limit it at all?
    Currently I am using ‘topics’ but that are chosen by the children. At the beginning of each topic, the children come up with their own questions for us to explore during the topic. I plan for CP from my observations and their interests (not linked to the topic). I do mini interviews with the children quite regularly so I know who/where and what they enjoy doing. I know I should try and move even more away from any topics but I find that is more manageable to do this. I find that there is so much to fit in with phonics/maths/shared read/write daily plus guided reading/writing/ maths not to mention PE, circle time. I would love to see a weekly overview of a Reception class if that is possible. Thank you in advance.

  2. hi -glad there are others who are living in their classrooms at the moment!! just mentioning that our children love to make dough themselves (cleaners dont!!) but i have had no luck using powder paint to colour dough as it just ends up going sticky!!!Really sticky!!! which is a shame because you can get fantastic colours!

  3. Thanks, those recipes would be fab 🙂 You can send me them via the Foundation Stage Forum if that’s convenient for you – I’m Browneyedgirl. Thank you!
    I went into school for the first time today and almost totally overhauled my classroom (it still feels strange to call it *my* classroom…)! I spent about six hours moving furniture around, and I had to ask the caretaker to remove a table, some chairs and two shelving units and put them into storage because I had no use for them! I’m happy with how it’s turned out. I’ll be back in on Monday to start on the aesthetics (i.e. displays etc) so I’ll be sure to take some photos and send them to you via the forum.

  4. Rebecca – I know it is a good one! I have loads of dough methods including oat and ginger bread. If you would like them let me know and I will send them to you!
    Send me some photos and let me know how it goes. I will do the same!

  5. Another quick message to say that I’ve just tried out that cold water dough recipe. It’s great! I’ve never made my own dough before and I’d always assumed that it needed to be heated, but this would be a great recipe for the children to use themselves. It’s such a great idea – I can’t wait to get into my classroom tomorrow and mark out my own space for a ‘Make your own dough’ station! 🙂

  6. I love the idea of the ‘Make your own dough’ station – I might have to steal that for myself!
    I also think the large mark-making area will be great, and I can see it appealing to lots of children who might not typically want to sit down at a table and ‘write’.

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