I’ve got four little grandchildren (grandies) but as a grandparent I’m not really your Ms Average. I’ve got a toddler car seat but no car. I’ve got eyes that are not much more than just a facial feature these days. I’ve got legs that are shaky with anxiety. If you’ve had falls resulting in a few broken bones, you’ll understand that one. I’ve got hands that can’t catch a ball even when thrown at close range. A walk to the park requires one of the grandies to hold my hand so I don’t get lost, leap off steps or walk onto the road. But I couldn’t be happier. To top it off, my grandies love hanging out at my place.
Four ingredients – endless possibilities
One of the things the grandies love doing is getting into ingredients. Flour, rice, pasta and rolled oats are amongst their favourites. They enjoy the unique textures and the smells. If you put half a cup of flour in a tray, they’ll play for ages; sifting it through their fingers – aka snow, drawing in it with a fingertip and driving toy cars through it are just some of the possibilities. They enjoy sorting the different colours and shapes of pasta and the sound rice makes when put into a jar and used as a shaker. That sound reminds four-year-old Kieran of rain on the roof. They’ll even eat pasta and rice under pressure when it’s cooked. Not bad for finicky eaters.
Rolled oats – a class of their own
A couple of packets of rolled oats tipped into a tub with the addition of some kitchen measuring cups will keep the little ones amused for ages. They don’t even mind eating oats for breakfast when it’s made into porridge. But most of all they enjoy making it into something useful. Like playdough for instance.
Rolled oats playdough (uncooked)
- 2 cups uncooked rolled oats
- 1 cup of plain four
- 1 cup of water
Combine oats, flour and water.Stir to work into a dough consistency. Knead for a few minutes. Voila!
It will keep in the fridge for about ten days. Obviously turf it out before that if it gets smelly.
And the amazing jelly playdough
This is the best playdough of all. The bright colours are only limited by the flavours (colours) of jelly available on the supermarket shelves. Thankfully jelly supplies have been fully replenished. During the lockdowns in Melbourne, when fools were panic buying, even jelly was hard to get. Come to think of it, so was everything else.
Here’s what you need:
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup salt
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
- 1 packet of jelly crystals
Mix all the ingredients together in a saucepan and cook over low heat for about five minutes. Stir continuously. It will start to go clumpy. When it forms into a single big ball, take it off the stove.
After it cools for a minute, knead it on a cutting board. That’s all you do!
It will keep for weeks in the fridge in plastic containers.
I discovered this great playdough at https://teachingmama.org/how-to-make-jello-playdough/
What kinds of activities do you do with your grandchildren? Visually challenged or not, I’d love to hear from you.