How to make play dough – the recipe.

Play dough is so much fun and so easy to make.  Today I will talk about play dough and give you an easy recipe.

Lots of people ask is play dough appropriate to play with is it a waste of food?   The answer is Yes play dough is play dough and that’s what it is made for allowing children to create and learn from it.   And no it is not a waste of food.   It is up to individuals to use play dough or not.  I myself do not find it culturally insensitive.

So let’s look at how to make an easy play dough recipe.

multi colours

(Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels)

Play dough recipe.


2 cups flour

1 cup of salt

2 tablespoons white vinegar

2 cups of cold water

2 tablespoons oil

extra flour

extras you can add separately:  rosemary leaves, lavender, lemon finely grated, vanilla essence, food colouring


In a bowl add water from the tap, oil and vinegar mix.

Add salt and mix thoroughly.

Gradually add flour and extras if needed.

Mix then turn onto a floured surface.

Knead for five minutes.  The dough is now ready to use.

I used to use the recipe with cream of tartar but it was not always available so I found that this recipe worked fine.  I always make a new dough when required.  I throw out the play dough at the end of the day.  This is because by the end of the day it is been well used and is dirty.  Play dough can be stored in the fridge after making it if you want to use the next day.

The learning outcomes of play dough.

  • develops fine motor skills
  • develops language skills
  • develops sharing and turn taking skills.
  • develops hand eye co ordination
  • develops social skills
  • develops colour recognition
  • develops imagination
  • develops maths skills
  • develops senses



Māori Bread – yummy!

Māori have made their own bread for a long time.  Takakau is the word usually used for bread made with flour and water only.  Today I will give you a Māori flat bread recipie that I have followed with success for many years.


6 cups of flour

6 teaspoons baking powder

500 ml milk

pinch salt


Turn oven on to 200 degrees celcius.

Sift flour and baking powder together.

Add salt.

Lightly mix in the milk.

Turn mixture onto a floured surface and knead lightly.

Flatten with hands or a rolling pin.

Place onto a greased oven tray.

Place in oven for twenty minutes

Once bread is cooked remove from oven and place into a damp teatowel.



This is an easy recipie and is great for children to help make.  Ensure they have clean hands before joining in.


Today I will look at pepeha.  Pepeha is how we introduce ourselves.




Ko …………………………………te waka


            Ko ……………………………….. te maunga

        Ko ……………………………………….te awa

  Ko …………………………………… te marae

       Ko …………………………..Ahau

This is a simple version.  You can add your iwi, hapu, grandparents, parents etc.  It is a usually within a mihi or speech that is said in more formal gatherings.  You can change the pictures or get children to draw their canoe, mountain,river. meeting house themselves.  If they are not Māori they can choose to say they came on a Plane to this country.  And maybe name the things in the area where they live now.

Any questions on pepeha you may like to ask your local Māori people too as some iwi have a different order in which they name things.

Have a lovely day.

Māori medicine plant -Kumarahou

What is a Māori medicine plant?

Māori have used plants, trees, ferns for medicines for a very long time. The forest was and is the chemist shop for us.   I will be working my way through different rongoa for you to learn about and you could teach the children about these too. Rongoa is Māori herbal medicines in this context.

Where do you find the plants?

The plants must be sources from the bush not just from the side of the road as those are contaminated from toxins from car fumes, rubbish etc.  You will have to find out where your native bush is and if it is on private land you will have to get permission to access it.  There are many places in New Zealand where you can access these plants from.

Identification of plants.

To help you with the identification of plants you will need to learn about them.  One of the handy books that I have and use is the book From Weta To Kauri: A Guide To The Nz Forest.  This book will help you to identify plants, ferns, trees and native insects and birds in New Zealand forests.  I highly recommend getting a hold of this resource for yourself and for your classroom.

Kumarahou,Papapa, Poverty weed, Golden Tainui, Gumdiggers’ soap

maori medicine

This beautiful shrub is blooming with flowers at this time of the year (Spring).  They are a fluffy yellow flower.

This plant can be found in the North Island forest edges.  It loves the rich red soils and grows well under other natives.

The leaves are steeped in water is well known for relieving chest complaints, asthma and colds.  Especially good for bronchitis.  The Māori people used it for Tuberculosis or TB too.

The plant is also used to cure skin diseases and kidney complaints.  It was used  in a steam bath to help those suffering.

It got the name ‘Gumdiggers soap’ as when the flowers are crushed they make a soapy lather in your hands.  And the gumdiggers must have used this.  A very versatile plant.  I like to make tea with this and drink it to relieve chest complaints.

Another handy book that will help you on your journey with Māori Rongoa is this book Te Rongoa Maori Medicine.   A must have for anyone learning about Māori medicines and their uses.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You must remember that some plants are poisonous to ingest so you must follow the directions on the label of all medicines.  Do not ingest if you are not sure.

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