O, Holy Night is one of my very favourite Christmas carols. I’ve been known to sing it at the top of my lungs without end for days! (Well…I might be exaggerating a little bit, but you get the idea).
When I caught myself singing it the other day to Onetime, my 3 year old son, I realized that I could use this as inspiration for the next playdough in our 12 Days of Christmas Playdough series. And so today’s idea was born (how appropriate!)
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Today’s playdough invitation includes the recipe for Holy Night inspired playdough, as well as ideas for play, and a recommendation for some reading to accompany play (because we like to learn as well as have fun here at One Time Through!)
Recipe and Supplies:
- 2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup salt
- 2 tsp. cream of tartar
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 cups water
- Yellow and blue food colouring (I like Wilton for the vibrant colours – we used Lemon Yellow and Royal Blue)
- Silver and gold glitter (optional)
- A variety of objects inspired by the nativity – including angel ornaments, little churches, stars, miniature plastic musical instruments, even a baby Jesus if you like! We gathered most of our objects at the dollar store.
- Angel and star cookie cutters
Mix all the dry ingredients well in a pot. Add the oil and water and mix well. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the dough is sticky but not wet.
Remove the dough to a cutting board and let it cool for a minute or two. Knead the dough until smooth, and split it into thirds. Add in silver glitter into one third, yellow food colouring and gold glitter (optional) into another third, and blue food colouring into the last third. Store in separate airtight plastic bags or containers.
Present this dough to your child with all the Holy Night nativity objects that you have gathered beside the dough and let them explore!
Onetime was immediately attracted to the sparkly white dough. He noticed right away how neat it looked when placed on top of the dark blue dough.
Much of Onetime’s exploration with this playdough centered around making imprints of the different objects. He really liked a large gold plastic star and I noticed he was comparing its imprint with stars that he cut out with the cookie cutters. Musical instrument imprints were also popular.
One of my favourite things to do with my son is to take a purely fun activity, and make it educational. That’s why I often recommend books to go along with activities that we do.
After playing with his Holy Night playdough, and talking to him about the objects I provided, I soon realized that Onetime didn’t really know what an angel was, and he had forgotten the importance of the Christmas star from last year. Can’t blame him – as he was only two the last time we read about Christmas!
So we decided to read our family copy of The Littlest Angel. This classic Christmas tale follows the story of a little angel who is homesick for Earth. After being given a box full of some mementos from his time as a boy on Earth, he cheers up.
On the very first Christmas Eve when baby Jesus is born, the littlest angel gives his cherished box to Jesus as a gift. God is so impressed with this gift that he turns it into the star of Bethlehem.
It’s such a beautiful story about the true meaning of Christmas and it acted as a catalyst for conversations about angels, the star of Bethlehem, Christmas, and Jesus.
When Onetime returned to playing with his Holy Night playdough again after reading the story, his play changed to reflect his new understanding of the symbols.
Suddenly the angels, who were pretty much ignored before, now had little voices and were little characters. The baby Jesus received gifts of playdough pies and was even swaddled in sparkly silver playdough!
This was such a fun, hands-on way to get my son thinking about more than just Santa this Christmas. I hope you like the idea too and give it a try with your kids.
This post is a part of the 12 Days of Christmas Playdough series. All of these ideas were created using the Christmas Sensory Mix and Match Activity Planner – click here to get yours for free!
Find more Christmas kids’ crafts and activities on my Pinterest board: Follow One Time Through’s board Christmas on Pinterest.
I love the idea of incorporating the nativity into the play dough creations! how fun!
Sue Lively says
Thanks Maggiemaysgifts – thanks for dropping by! Best, Sue
Sue Lively says
Thanks for dropping by Maggiemaysgifts! We can all use a little more of the “true meaning of Christmas” don’t you think? I found this was an easy way to get my son thinking about it. Best, Sue
Great idea! I bet my son would love this… I’m sure he would prefer it over me singing “oh Holy Night” at the top of my lungs. That’s my favorite Christmas song for sure! Pinned!
Sue Lively says
Thanks for dropping by Tricia! Have a great holiday! Sue