I was nominated for handling the kids’ activities for our company picnic. Fourteen kids were expected, most in the 4-7 age range. My first idea was sidewalk chalk, an introduction to a lifelong career as a graffitist. Unfortunately, the picnic spot was nowhere near sidewalk. Using the paved parking lot also seemed like a bad idea for obvious reasons.
Plan B was fun dough in a variety of colors. That seemed insufficient, so on the advice of my better half, plans C (kites), D (bubbles) and E (random balls) were also implemented. The grand total came to just over $40, not including the flour, sticks, paper and crayons I kicked in myself.
The kids gravitated to the kites first. Once built, they ran around a few times, lost interest, and went for the bubbles.
My youngest had a lot of fun playing with the dough, but it was clear it needed some marketing. Adults were generally averse to picking up something that begged to be squished, pounded and mixed. I fiddled with it off and on, then managed to entice another guy to join in. He tired of the molds and made an olive (mixing the blue and yellow doughs) with a red “pimento” inside. This triggered a flurry of other food-themed creations: a blueberry, a celery stick with cream cheese, a carrot and its leaves. There was a pseudo-competition to replicate the hardest food substance. Eventually, there was a piece of fish cake, sushi, a black berry, cauliflower, an eggplant, watermelon slice, pinapple ring, a lemon, zucchini wedge and, the agreed winner, a slice of orange.
As the party wound down, I was looking for ways to parlay extra bags of fun dough onto other people (much like a midwesterner does with her prize corn harvest). We still had to take home about 10 pounds’ worth.
The various nerf-like balls weren’t used.