Rangers do Playdough - again

>>  Monday, September 21, 2020

Years ago I used to make Playdough all the time with Cog,  buying it is expensive and with youngster having a tendency to eat it, I wanted to be sure I knew what she was eating!

I think knowing how to make it is a life skill, to be honest!  I have done playdough making before with Rangers but recently in an online forum I spotted an activity that a leader said worked really well over zoom.  I can't find the entry now to credit the leader with so if you recognise yourself leave me a comment and I can thank you, as it was a really relaxing, fun night that came in just when they were doing their back to school exams and needed something easy to take their mind off it all. 

Here is my well tried recipe for playdough:

1 cup plain flour (100grams)
1/2 cup salt (150 grams)
1 tablespoon cream of tartar (cooking aisle near bicarb!)
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 cup hot water (200 ml) from kettle with a splash of food colouring

Just put them into a bowl (it helps if the hot coloured water goes in last) and mix well, when it comes together just kneed it a bit and you have play dough as good as the bought stuff.
I always forget the 'use warm water bit' and put all the cold 'ingredients' into a pan on the stove and stir it until it's mixed and comes together to form a ball, let it cool a little and kneed it a bit. Either the hot water 'just mix' method or the cold water 'cook it on the stove top' method is just fine. And neither will take you longer than 10 minutes.

Once they'd made the dough, they had a few minutes to each model an animal. One point for it to be original (i.e. none of the other members of the group had done the same animal) and a bonus point if it was recognisable as the animal you said it was!

Then each of them took it in turns to give instructions to model an animal and the others made it without knowing what it was.  They really liked that part. (The one that started, split your dough into 24 equal parts was interesting!)

They then had a race to see how quickly they could form the word, Rangers from the dough.

Finally they had to use just the R from Rangers and model something that represented themselves. We got peace signs, sunglasses, microphones and one poor ranger splatted her dough and said the mess represented her life right now.   It is amazing how simple activities bring out those opportunities for them to express deep feelings.

It was a good Ranger zoom night and I really recommend it.


The Van Gogh Immersive Experience

>>  Friday, August 14, 2020

I was a little nervous about getting out, Leicester still has an infection rate higher than most of the country, but I found the small church at the back of the huge shopping centre car park. And the alley to the side of it felt rather Dickensian. Some parts of Leicester have not changed (or been cleaned) in a very long time! 

Going in I was slightly concerned that the corridor was small and there was a lot of of reading. I shouldn't have worried it was very quiet and this was the most reading of the whole thing.

There was a brief and interesting documentary to watch, I had no idea Van Gogh was most likely colour blind.

And then to the full scale bedroom.

And the huge vase which was a constantly fluid changing painting of many of his vases and flowers.

The immersive experience was truly that and I actually found it moving in places.

Partly because I know my favourite excuse for a euphemism would have enjoyed it as much as I did.

The church was a perfect setting for it, everything was constantly moving and changing, every picture, every wall, the light, the floor, the sky and yet it did it with a smoothness embraced by the music and occasional narration.

I think I could have sat there a very long time, and I did.

I  enjoyed it so much I would like to go back and do it again.

"‘Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience’ is a travelling exhibition intended for a wide audience including families and visitors of all ages. It is a beautiful exhibition around Van Gogh that combines his life story with an in-depth immersion into the heart of his art."
The virtual reality journey, a day in Arles, was like being completely absorbed in a huge 360 painting, travelling from painting to painting through the landscape.  It was incredible.  I wore a mask the whole time I was in there (as did everyone) and for the VR you put on more PPE over your own.

The 'experience' is a travelling one and is in Leicester (and York) until the 31st December.

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