Simple Activities to do at Home

Playdough Stickman



Go for a walk and collect some natural resources to create a stickman! Talk about what you need to create a stickman such as a head, arms, legs, eyes or a nose. What could you find? Can you make a stickman family? Have a look for some Y sticks for legs.

First make some playdough, there’s lots of playdough recipes out there but here’s what I use…

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 tsp cream of tarter
  • 2 tbsp veg oil
  • Food colouring if required

Mix it all together in a pan and cook on a medium heat, mixing occasionally until it forms a dough. Then wait for it to cool down.

Or for a quicker recipe if you’re not worried about keeping your creations; is simply flour and water and mix until you make a dough!

It’s great to provide our children with lots of fun activities to keep them entertained but so much learning can be involved too without you even realising it! Lots of activities can be extended to support their learning and development and you as their parent or carer are the key element!

Here’s how this activity could link into the Early Years Foundation Stage…

Communication and Language – Talk about the natural resources, use descriptive language such as rough, smooth, knobbly when finding sticks. If you have a young toddler, use repetitive language so your child has an opportunity to hear words often. For example, ‘big, big, big man!’

Physical Development – Develop their little hands by kneading the dough. When out for a walk ask your child to tiptoe, walk, run and skip. Encourage your child to use their fingers to pick tiny objects up and push them into the playdough. All these big and little movements all link to writing skills!

Personal, Social and Emotional Development – Encourage your child to keep trying, if their model isn’t going how they wish, support them with completing it to build resilience. Invite a friend to go on the walk to develop friendships and collect the objects together to share.

Literacy – Extend the activity by reading ‘Stickman’ by Julia Donaldson, ‘Stanley’s Stick’ by John Hegley or ‘Not a Stick’ by Antoinette Portis.

Mathematics – Use mathematical language such as big, small, long, tall. Sort the objects into size or shape. Use a measuring tape to measure the sticks. Create a stickman family of small, middle and large.

Understanding the World – Talk about where the objects came from. Listen to the birds as you walk through the woods. See if you can spot animal tracks or a flower.

Expressive Arts and Design – Use the playdough to create a stickman. Get creative and maybe make playdough monsters too!

Forest Friends is based at Squirrel Wood, Doncaster, DN6 9FE and offers a completely outdoor playgroup, weekly classes and story trails with a variety of activities including mud kitchen, bug hunting, rope swings, den building, hammock, crafts and much more! Click below to view what’s coming up…

What’s coming up at Forest Friends…