If you have a kiddie birthday to plan, I have an idea for you! I did this DIY party activity for my daughter’s birthday party with a group of 4 – 10 years old (I saved a fortune!) and they loved it! I’ll also show you where to buy the materials in Singapore.
Free-Play Activity Station
Imagine the kids seeing a table full of colorful ingredients, playdough, cookie cutter, bowls, scoops – and no rules – it’s like a buffet wonderland for them! And right beside it, there’s a big playhouse with crayons and color pencils so they can draw on the walls!
This activity was so simple (far cheaper than hiring a clown!) and had the kids busy for HOURS. Us parents got to chat and eat without worry! Everything is natural, biodegradable, so I didn’t end up with a bunch of plastic to throw away, which feels really good!
Here’s what you need for your play-station:
- Homemade Playdough – make double batches of this recipe, in different colors. Make them the night before the party and store them in plastic baggies to stay soft.
- Various kitchen “ingredients” – Go to your local wet market and pick up different types of dried beans, flower petals like jasmine, cinnamon sticks, anise and any other dry food or nature ingredients in fun shapes, smells and colors. Pour them each into different cups and bowls.
- Kitchen Tools – from your home, collect non-breakable bowls, scoops, cookie cutters, silicon cupcake & muffin trays, silicon ice-cube trays, cups, funnels, measuring cups… You can also go to Daiso for inexpensive kitchen tools.
- White Cardboard playhouse – you can find it as Spotlight ($70)
- Crayons and color pencils – (I used these from The First Green Store)
Here’s what you do:
- Set up “buffet” table of the kitchen ingredients. Pour the ingredients in bowls and set up the kitchen tools like a workstation.
- Pre-make and set out big balls of homemade playdough for the kids to pull from.
- Set up the cardboard house with the crayons and pencils next to it, they’ll start scribbling away
That’s it! Give the kids a little encouragement to get started and then step back and let them do their own thing!
There are no rules:
This is free play and what you’ll see is that the kids will invent different games with the playhouse, the crayons and the various materials.
At one point – the playhouse was their home where they made dinner with the kitchen ingredients. Then the playhouse became their shop where they made and sold play-dough cookies!
Watching the kids use simple materials to invent their own games was so rewarding, and honestly much easier on us parents! Often we can over-stress parties and try to provide all the entertainment – it’s nice to remember to let kids jump in and create their own fun!
I’m alway trying to find ways to get kids excited about making. That’s why at my daughter’s last birthday I gave them all an empty plastic bottle which they turned into a fun game! Another great idea if you’re looking for more.
A big thanks to The First Green Store for sharing their coloured pencils and crayons – I use them at home and for the girls school – they’re creamy and great quality – made of beeswax and recycled materials! Do check out their online shop for more goodies!