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Pool Noodle Art

Building with pool noodles gives children a natural opportunity to practice problem solving using basic engineering concepts and allows children to have independent thoughts and actions as they conduct their experiments.

Download the pool Noodle Art tipsheet


Learning with Matroyshka (Russian Nesting Dolls)

The Matryoshka or Russian nesting doll is one of the most popular and endearing examples of Russian folk art.  The first Russian Nesting Dolls were crafted over 100 years ago by skilled craftsmen devoted to the production and preservation of peasant folk toys and dolls dressed in regional costumes.


In Russian, Matryoshka is derived from the word mother. At the time the first dolls were made Matrena or Matreshka was among the most popular names for Russian girls.  It's not surprising then that many of the first Matryoshka dolls utilized the image of a chubby checked mother or grandmother on the outside doll with the likenesses of her numerous children painted on the smaller, nested inner dolls.

Download full set of Learning with Matroyshka materials (PDF)


Kitchen Concoction Recipes as seen on WNYT's Live at Noon, December 17, 2013

Basic Playdough:

  • Combine 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.

  • Gradually add 1 cup hot/boiling water colored with 5 or 6 drops of food coloring. 

  • Stir and knead. 

  • Keep in plastic bag or covered container for approx. 2 to 4 weeks. 

  • This is not a good dough for hardening objects.


  • Combine 1 cup of water with 1.5 to 2 cups of cornstarch.

  • When you get close to adding the 1.5 cups of cornstarch, slow down and add cornstarch slowly, mixing by hand. The goal is to create a mixture that is both liquid and solid.

  • Optional: Add a few drops of food coloring and mix

Gelatin Cake

  • Sprinkle and wisk together 1 cup of hot/boiling water for each packet of gelatin needed to fit your mold. (adding slowly while wisking will help reduce clumps)

  • Pour gelatine mixture into mold of choice (cake pan, bundt pan, bucket, bowl)

  • Place in refridgerator to set.

  • Once the gelatine is set, turn out onto a tray or cookie sheet. Use pipettes, straws, fingers, spoons and other tools to "inject" colored water into mold. Play!

More recipes:

http://www.wessland.com/early_childhood_art_recipes.htm#Top of Page