Virtual Family Place Playgroup: Nutrition

During our virtual Family Place Playgroups, you will learn ways to spark learning and play at home with common household ingredients.

On February 3, 2021 Plano Public Library hosted the Family Place Playgroup: Nutrition, a virtual workshop on Zoom featuring a hands-on activity, shared songs and rhymes, and questions and answer with child development experts in our community. In this blog post, you’ll find a recording of our activity, along with additional resources to help answer your questions.

Activity: Homemade Playdough

Playdough helps build your child’s fine motor skills, or the small muscles in our fingers we use for writing. It also encourages social skills, language and literacy development, math and science concepts, and more. Using simple at-home ingredients, you can make your own playdough.

Supplies

Below is what you will need to participate in this activity:

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 cups flour
  • Food coloring
  • Measuring cups
  • Mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon

Instructions
  1. Mix the water and food coloring in a bowl.
  2. Add in the flour and oil.
  3. Stir the ingredients together, until the dough starts to come together.
  4. Knead the dough until smooth. You may want to use a placemat or waxed paper, or break the dough into multiple pieces.
  5. Play and explore with your dough!
  6. Store your dough in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Review and Extensions

Talk about your experience as you create and play together:

  • What textures do you feel? What colors are you creating? you can also practice observing, thinking, and predicting while you mix. What happens if you add more water? How do two colors combine to make new colors?
  • Follow the recipe together. This helps your child understand that words on paper represent physical objects.
  • Ask your child to describe what they are making, or talk through their building process. What shapes and sizes are you creating?

You can experiment with different dough recipes. Use different ingredients to explore different textures, or add ins like food coloring, paint, or powdered drink mixes to color your dough. You can also have building challenges, like making different letters or shapes or trying to build the tallest tower. These are great ways to teach your child problem solving and critical thinking skills.


Ask the Expert

Each playgroup session includes a featured guest from our community. For this session, we were joined by Ashley Kim with Children’s Health. She shared information about nutrition. 

Here are some of the questions we talked about: 

Question:  What are some tips to entice kids to eat different foods? 

Answer:  Start small. Think about ways that you can incorporate one or two more fruits or vegetables into a meal, instead of thinking about how to avoid foods. Make new food choices familiar and kid friendly, like adding peanut butter and raisins to celery to make ants on a log. Or, try making a soup or smoothie that helps disguise the taste. 

Question: How can I avoid making separate meals for kids and grownups in my house? 

Answer: As a parent, your job is to provide nutritious options for your child. Your child’s responsibility is to make a choice to eat it. Trust that if your child is truly hungry, they will eat. Setting expectations and balance early on teaches your child that they will continue to get food they enjoy, even when they need to eat things they don’t like as much. 

Question: How do I know how much food is the right amount for my child? 

Answer: Use your hands to cook! Lots of portion sizes can be based on your hand. For example, the palm of your hand represents a serving of protein. It’s the same for your child – a smaller serving that matches their smaller hand. 

Do you have other questions? Be sure to reach out to our community resource professional for more assistance. You can learn more about the Get Up & Go Team from Children’s Health on their website, or contact them at (214) 456-6312 or by email at GetUp&Go@childrens.com.  


Continue Learning

Explore some of these books from our collection:

101 Kids Activities That Are the Bestest, Funnest Ever! by Holly Homer and Rachel Miller Request
Whether your kid is 3, 5, or 12 years old, there are hundreds of fun, educational and engaging things to do in this book. One-of-a-kind activities range from making edible play dough and homemade sidewalk chalk to playing shoebox pinball and creating a balance beam obstacle course. And with outdoor and indoor activities and tips for adjusting according to our child’s age, this book will provide hours and hours of never-ending fun with your family. This parenting life raft is also the perfect way to make sure caregivers are spending quality time with your little ones.

Cool Doughs, Putties, Slimes & Goops: Crafting Creative Toys & Amazing Games by Rebecca Felix Request
Kids can make their own fun with Cool Doughs, Putties, Slimes & Goops! This title has everything needed to create one-of-a-kind toys. Step-by-step photos, materials lists, and extra tips and tricks get kids started. 

First Art: For Toddlers and Twos: Open-Ended Art Experiences by MaryAnn F. Kohl with Renee Ramsey and Dana Bowman Request
More than 75 open-ended art experiences to start toddlers and twos on a journey full of exploration and creativity. 

Unplugged Play: Toddler: 156 Activities & Games for Ages 1-2 by Bobbi Conner Request
From Tunnel Tube to Party Play Dough, Bumper Ball to Hoop-De-Doo, here are more than 150 screen-free games and activities to help kids enjoy the wholesome old-fashioned experience of playing creatively and freely…without technology. There are outdoor games and indoor games, games to play solo and games to play with others, crafts, songs, guessing games, puppet ideas, playdates, and party favorites – even instant activities to do at the kitchen table while dinner’s cooking. 


For more information and resources, be sure to download the session handout. You can find more about our upcoming programs by visiting our programming calendar or by signing up for our newsletter.

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