January 8, 2013 *Gramma Bellzona's Birthday)

Time swaggers along like a self assured little boy learning his place in the world. And so it happens children bring grandchildren and their children bring great-grandchildren. I’m convinced the reason these are called great is that by this time great-grandparents have become quite skillful in their dealings with children.

To see a great-grandchild learning to roll out play dough with their hands has to be like turning pages backward in time to when their grandparents learned the same adept managing of their tactile gifts.

“Owwweeeeh! Snakes! You want me to roll out snakes, Grand D.” The great-granddaughter at four is reluctant to think of it.

“Oh yes! You will see. Soon they will do all sorts of useful things for us, like being wrapped and stacked to make a bowl or ash tray, or just to make straight lines to use for our letters.” My granddaughter’s tiny hands and eyes are working right with me as she carefully watches my every move.”

“Watch! Now we will roll a ball from the dough. The ball has another name and it is “sphere.” I tell her making a mental note to use the word ball the first day and from then on the word sphere, and so begins the learning of geometry at this early age.

Little hands are soon as skillful as anyone’s as she has learned to keep them flat to roll the ball between her palms.

Recipe for Play Dough

One cup flour
0ne cup salt
1 Tablespoon cooking oil
Add water by the 1/8 cup at a time
until you have a non-sticky dough.

You can divide ithe dough to use food color for
different colors or leave it natural
and paint your creation later with acrylic paint, which is
what we do. My four year old learned to mix
white and red to make pink.