Let’s make play dough monsters (with a built-in counting game, too) and get to know our Activity Room Member of the Month, Cari!
Texas mom, Cari was pregnant, expecting her daughter, and wanted a way to keep her active little boy engaged… without screens.
“It started when I got pregnant with my daughter, I was trying to find ways to do things with my son that didn’t involve so much physical exertion,” Cari explains. “It started out on Pinterest with busy bags and somehow I found one of Jamie’s 5-day challenges.”
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Cari was overwhelmed.
She was pregnant (and later with a newborn), plus a busy toddler and her own business as a CPA.
Meanwhile, she was still trying to find and organize all those Pinterest activities!
“I was getting overwhelmed, I had so many options. I felt aimless, in a way.”
The best thing about The Activity Room® for Cari was feeling like she had a concrete plan for her kids every day.
“I thought that ROOM would be a great way to get interesting ideas, something I wouldn’t have thought of myself, and also have it planned out for me,” she shares. “That was the best thing.”
Finding a Community for Parents Around Kids Activities
“I really like the Facebook group and everyone can interact together,” she says. “I never had anyone interested in what I was doing with my child.”
Plus, Cari keeps finding new inspiration and fun activity twists in the ROOM online member community.
“When I would struggle, I would see how other people had changed it around to work for their child and get ideas.”
She’s also learned a few ways to make The Activity Room work for her. And a neat trick to help other parents get started!
“You don’t have to buy every supply…” explains Cari.
“People in the group are good about posting other things they’ve used to do the activity. There’s always an alternate solution when you don’t have a supply.”
Cari also gets to share her own twists and challenges, making her feel totally creative!
“I feel so much more creative since I’ve joined The Activity Room. I’m capable of so much more now!”
You’ll definitely want to try her creative activity that adds learning to count by making play dough monsters! Keep reading!
Building Memories with Her Kids: One Play Dough Monster (or Activity) at a Time
Finding a supportive community and having an activity plan is great, but for Cari building memories with her kids is the biggest motivation to stay in the ROOM.
“I like to do activities with my kids because it keeps them off the TV, but also I feel like I’m making these amazing memories,” she shares. “Just for them to know that I’m present with them and engaged with them.”
Cari has seen changes in her family since joining The Activity Room.
“I definitely do a lot more activities! I was doing activities before, so I wouldn’t say it changed me as a mom so much,” says Cari. “It’s really changed my son more than anything.”
The benefits Cari’s seen are worth every penny spent on her ROOM subscription.
“For me, the cost investment isn’t that much when you consider how much you’re getting back creating that connection with your child.”
Let’s Meet Cari
How many kids do you have and how old are they?
2 kids, 4 and 1
Why do you love doing activities with your kids?
It keeps them from watching TV, but mainly because of the memories we are making together.
How long have you been in The Activity Room?
Just over a year
What is your favorite activity you’ve done in The Activity Room?
The yarn monsters were a hit in our house! My son loves the monsters he made – they still live in his bedroom. (Be sure to check out the play dough monsters activity shared below.)
What’s your favorite thing to do with your kids when you get a few moments?
Arts and crafts!
What’s your best tip for doing activities with your kids?
If the activity seems like it’s failing, add a favorite element to the activity.
In our case, that’s construction trucks!
For example, a letter matching activity might be a dud, but if I incorporated trucks, or dinosaurs, or monsters he would immediately be more engaged.
If you were to tell a friend about The Activity Room, what would you say to them?
The Activity Room is inspiring to me. I love seeing how other people make their activities work for them.
It also helps pull me out of my activity ruts!
I’ve become much more creative since joining the Activity Room!
Share your favorite quote
Everybody is someone else’s weirdo.
Roll, Count & Decorate Play Dough Monsters
I love any time that I can add a little learning twist into our hands-on activity.
We recently set up this play dough monster and counting activity that my kids really loved.
To set up your own roll, count, and decorate play dough monsters, you’ll need:
- 1-2 dice or counting cube(s)
- play dough
- craft items: pom poms, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, etc.
First, grab your dice or counting cube.
We used a dry erase cube from the dollar store and I wrote the numbers 4-9 on mine.
Learn how to DIY your own play dough with a simple hands-on recipe!
Grab a few colors of play dough, plus all your craft supplies.
You can literally use anything from your crafting supply closet: googly eyes, cut up pipe cleaners, beads, pom poms, or buttons.
Once everything is set up, start rolling and decorating your play dough monsters.
First, place a big blob of play dough in front of your child.
Then, have your child to roll the dice or counting cube.
Play Dough Counting Activity for Kids to Create
Decorate the “monster” with corresponding number of objects. This turns into a counting activity right here.
Pick one type of object and count out the number shown on the dice.
Six buttons, 5 pom poms, etc.
Keep going until your monsters are all decorated, you run out of objects, or your child loses interest.
My son will play until he’s rolled every number.
For older children, you can roll two dice and add up the total.
We love all sorts of creative counting activities for kids!
You could also make a key to tell which objects belong to which number. This adds an extra element of chance to the game!
A Play Dough Monster for Every Season
We first did this around Halloween, hence the monster theme. But really anything goes!
Try these fun and seasonal twists:
- Holiday: a gingerbread theme with candy to decorate
- Construction: rocks and diggers
- Flowers/Spring: with flower petals
- Fairy Tale: unicorns, castles, and fairies
- Summer: beach-theme buttons, tiny buckets, little sand molds
- Fall: cinnamon sticks, leaves, acorns
We try to come up with a new twist to this fun counting activity every season!
I love seeing what everyone else is doing and I love that it’s a place where I can share with like-minded people. And I also can get great advice if I need inspiration.
What are your favorite activity twists?
We’d love to see how you make an activity idea your own!