Friday, 20 April 2012

Bashing baked cotton balls (goggles optional!)

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I first read about baked cotton balls at Time for Play and have also seen a post on them at Play Create Explore.  It looked like fun and as the boys more than enjoy smashing with hammers I thought I'd give it a go!

This turned out to be a fun two stage activity as first we had to make the balls which I did with Champ whilst Bud was out at his swimming lesson with Hubby.  Then we had even more fun bashing the balls once baked.  Here's what we did.....


First Champ and I assembled all our ingredients (plain flour & water in equal parts and a splash of food colouring).  Then Champ mixed everything up which he did really well then I did a bit of extra mixing to get out any lumps.


We had three different colours - yellow, blue and grey - due to the only colours I had in the cupboard!


Then Champ got dipping the cotton wool balls.  This part was trickier than I'd imagined as dipping in wasn't too bad, but to also coat the underside he found a little tricky (and messy).  So I got him to do three or four balls in each colour and held back a bit of the mixture.  He placed these on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.


This is the end result of Champs handiwork.  Not bad for a 2 year old, but a bit stuck together so I did a bit of rearranging and used up the rest of the mixture which meant we got a few more balls completed.


Ahhhh, much tidier.  Not bad for a 34 year old!  Then I baked them on a low heat (about 150C) for about 45mins.



And here they are!  I think I over cooked them a bit as if you follow the blogs where I read about this originally their colours are a lot more vibrant.  Plus where they were on the baking tray they have flat bottoms, but that didn't stop the fun!  They basically go hard on the outside, but remain soft and fluffy on the inside, perfect for bashing!


The boys had heaps of fun bashing these with a toy hammer.  Only downside, we didn't make nearly enough of them!

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30 comments:

  1. Love this idea. I am visiting from No Time For Flashcards link-up. I have two very energetic boys and can't wait to try this. I am always looking for new ways to embrace and explore their energy. Looking forward to more of your posts.

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  2. Thanks! This was a great way to channel a bit of excess energy. One we'll be doing again.

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  3. Hmm...I wonder if there's a gluten free version for my little guys.

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    1. Hi I haven't seen a gluten free version, perhaps you could try rice flour? Hope you get to make them! Hannah

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    2. Bisquick has a gluten free mix. It's about $5 a box for about 4 cups. I use it alot bc my grandmother has Cyliac(sp?)

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    3. Is that a joke? They aren't for eating!

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    4. No joke! Some people have serious enough allergies/reactions to gluten that even handling wheat products can cause illness. I have serious doubts that a GF flour would work here... What you are making is a baked wheat paste shell... basically, you are drying out glue, created when water mixes with gluten (as an aside, i have always wondered why we consume something that, when mixed with water, turns into the stuff people use to glue posters to the sides of buildings?? Aren't we mostly made of water? That can't be good, right? , so... since rice, bean, almond, etc. flours don't make gluten when mixed with water... I don't know that it would harden when baked. Might have to try it sometime!!

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  4. HA! Aren't they fun! My kids LOVED smashing them. Loved your pictures, thanks for the mention too!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, especially as your post was our inspiration! I loved how colourful yours were, we'll be doing this again and hopefully ours will be a bit brighter then too. Cheers Hannah

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  5. I can't wait to try these! I'm a new subscriber to your blog and am loving all of your ideas! The pasta and playdough is also on our to-do list!
    Gina @famiglia&seoul

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for subscribing! I'm enjoying your 365 outdoor challenge, we should do more outside I just have to brave the never ending rain!

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  6. Thanks for sharing this cool idea. I also have two boys. I am sure they will have lots of FUN!!

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  7. This is a really creative and fun idea. I would even have fun bashing those things, lol! :)

    ~Lisha

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  8. At one point you use the term cotton wool balls. Are we just talking plain cotton balls here. Storing up ideas for when my grandson comes to visit :)

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    1. Hi, yes these are just cotton balls, we also call them cotton wool in the UK. I hope your grandson enjoys!

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  9. I tried this and I think I dipped them too thick? They were still too squishy when taking them out and they didn't crack or anything like that.

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    1. Hi Cathy, thanks for stopping by and giving the cotton balls ago! I think you're right they may have been too thick, when ours came out the oven they were firm to touch as the flour creates a 'shell' for the cotton ball. I hope you get to give them another try!

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  10. What is the point to this? Just something to smash then toss? Why not just bake cookies?!?

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    1. Hello, you can use the cotton balls to make sculptures in the same way you use papier mâché, but we did smash ours you could say there was no point at all! But the boys loved it, it kept them entertained, Champ got the sensory experience of making them, you could add in a bit of a colour mixing lesson and learning to hit small things with a hammer is great for hand eye coordination. Plus, they burnt off a bit of crazy energy. Don't worry we do plenty of baking too! Sorry this activity wasn't for you, but hopefully some of the other play ideas would be fun for you instead. Thanks for stopping by.

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    2. what a great response :D

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  11. Cant wait to try this with my 21month old boy :)

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  12. Sounds fun! What temperature would that be in Fahrenheit, please?

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    1. I believe that's 300F, hope you get to try it out!

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  13. The color differences may have to do with types of food coloring allowed in the US that are banned (and should be) in the UK. I will br trying this with my little guy, he just got a tiny workbench for Christmas.

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  14. They look tasty. I wanna try it.

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  15. Fun fun fun. The kids love breaking things just to see what happens, but they are so rarely allowed to! Thanks for sharing!

    http://thisfineday.com/

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  16. This looks fun!! I think I'm doing this today with my three kids (11, 7 & 4). Two have summer colds, I'm trying to pack to move and the air quality is horrible right now in our part of the US due to wildfires. THey'll be able to do this with little supervision and even my little princess will enjoy smashing them :) Thanks!!

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