Who knew you could make pepperoni pizza, parmesan gnocchi and strawberry cake with blackberry ice cream, from just flour, salt, water and oil?

One of the Knee High Design Challenge briefs is to make it possible for more young children to learn and develop in their everyday lives. So last week, I worked with local primary school teacher, Lauren Jeffery, to put on a Make Your Own Play Dough workshop at our Knee High pop-up shop on London’s Southbank.

The day may have begun with measuring and stirring but soon we had lots of little people running about shouting out letters and learning the art of narration as they played games like fishing for letters in shaving foam, and creating sound effects by crunching toy trucks over cornflakes. By filling the space with everyday objects, Lauren really demonstrated to us all how simple games can help children enjoy learning, and that teaching them new things doesn’t have to be a struggle. I could see that allowing children explore, role play and experiment in the space was making them think and imagine but what was key was, they were more than happy to do so.

_MG_8330 copy

It was priceless watching children spontaneously bouncing between boxes creating new things, Sophia assembled peas and shaving foam in a small plastic tub and offered it to her mum a delicious desert… Belle addressed her mum as her cafe customer, took her order, then gave Lauren and I instructions on how to help her make this beautiful strawberry cake.

Children are the masters of creating something out of nothing, and what I witnessed at the ‘everyday play workshop’ was more than testament to that. But how can we continue to encourage this experimentation and help young people develop skills needed in later life? That’s exactly what the Knee High Design Challenge is all about and we’d love you to get involved. We’re accepting ideas and applications to be part of the design challenge until 30 September. If you have any questions or queries, drop us an email or just come down and see us at the pop-up shop in Gabriel’s Wharf on Thursday afternoons.

Take a look at the play dough recipe here.

_MG_8270_2