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Doodles Blog

Doodles crafty and creative activity blog for kids!

Filtering by Category: building

LITTLE TINKERS! Building & design for kids!

holly rose


"Building" is a BIG part of creating. Here at Doodles we work with a lot of 'little tinkers' - small people who like to create! So, last week we really got down to the nitty-gritty of creative making; building up a structure, breaking it down again, designing, dismantling, moulding and shaping...


After a quick intro of dressing up in high vis jackets and hard hats our tinkers had a discussion about the range of building bricks on offer (erm...sponges actually). We had a lot of fun launching them at the parents mostly, but then we had to get down to the serious business of creative play. 

A firm fave of the morning was the building wall of huge sponges, foam, black sand and fluffy cotton wool. The general agreement was that we should mix up our 'cement' with a giant squidgy and get stacking and knocking down! Absolute delight for any child Under 5!


Blocks were heavily included with a block printing area for plenty of splodging and pattern making. A good way to use old play blocks in a new and engaging way. We all have a box of unloved building blocks somewhere in the toy cupboard!


Of course, no building yard would be complete without some mighty trucks! This week we introduced 'sand dough'...modelling dough mixed with oats, sand and wholemeal flour. This gives it a really chunky, gritty effect. Perfect for sculpting bolders, roads, pebbles and bricks. Add in some rice and oats for scooping and your little tinkers will be in building heaven!


Last, but most definitely NOT least, we explored the Doodles 'Tinker Lab'. A huge range of everyday junk items to build, glue, tear, shred, stick, rip, sculpt, paint and design. Then adding sticks, pipe cleaners, foil and feathers for structures to take shape.

Using non-specific materials allows kids to build using their imaginations - they can create anything!

If you would lilt to join us for a Doodles creative play session please take a look at our 'Up & Coming workshops for Under 5's.'

BUILDING WITHOUT BLOCKS! Creative character design for kids!

holly rose

Building without blocks....Creative character design for kids!

2015 sees the start of a new Doodles term and the theme this spring is 'I wish...' where we will be exploring imaginative activities to get the Doodles kids into character.

The first week began with a friendly introduction to a series of jungle animals as we all became explorers for the morning. After a lot of roaring practice we started on some creative and sensory play with an emphasis on building characters (without blocks!)....

Doodles crocodile construction in progress!

Doodles crocodile construction in progress!

We often like to engage the kids in some large scale making and this time used lots of hand painting and collage to build on our huge crocodile sculptures.

By encouraging the use of different textiles, wool, paper shreds, cotton wool and card each crocodile started to transform into an individual character. The idea was to explore the different textures from hard to soft, squidgy to smooth and also add some of the 3D element to their final designs by building up a picture! This helps with creating a dialogue and includes an element of storytelling whilst the kids are creating.

Jungle vines and scary snake designs!

Jungle vines and scary snake designs!

To extend the character play, kids could make their own jungle designs. String 'vines' hung next to the crocodiles with mini leaves and pipe cleaner 'snakes'. Using the same collage technique we wrapped, twirled and built up materials onto the wires to make a wiggly snakes and used plenty of tape in the process. TIP! Masking tape is really easy for smaller hands to tear and manage and is a good substitute for glue as it achieves the sculpture effect instantly when building...much more satisfying for a toddler!

Brocoli, spring greens and pasta playdough jungles!

Brocoli, spring greens and pasta playdough jungles!

The Doodles kids also got stuck in with some squidgy play dough building. This time the emphasis was on building a mini jungle for our animals using lots of yummy broccoli trees, spring greens and dried pasta! Food items are always a hit and add an element of play discovery to our well loved playdough!


Creative building can be more than just using blocks. By providing a range of basic materials and scraps children can explore and design without any restrictions or instructions.