Home-Made Play Dough!

Physical, creative PLAY is so important for a child’s development, and one form of engaging activity is playing with Play Dough. Squeezing and molding home-made Play Dough helps your child’s eye-hand coordination and manipulative skills  ~ AND stimulates a child’s imagination! As exemplified Koa and Kanani in “The Magical Journey from Hawai’i,”  there are so many Hawaiian Children’s Books characters for a child to create and become fully immersed in the process!

NB:  This home-made Play Dough recipe uses flour and food coloring, but is intended only for PLAY ~  definitely not for eating.  Please make it clear to your child that it’s fun for play, but “yucky” to eat!


1 cup flour

½ cup water

¼ cup salt

Food coloring (6 – 8 drops):

Add coloring to water before mixing with other ingredients.



  1. Mix all ingredients and knead until dough is smooth.
  2. Depending on humidity of the day you make the dough, add or subtract a teaspoon or 2 to get the desired consistency.
  3. If you are making for more than one child, or if you have a budding young Michaelangelo ~ double or treble the ingredients!
  4. Store in an air-tight container e.g. a washed out/recycled 32 oz yoghurt container.


Happy playing and we look forward to seeing your creations (@hawaiianchildrensbooks)! For more activities, check out “Color & Share.” 

Coloring Cards

Welcome to “Coloring Cards” ~ AS SEEN ON INSTAGRAM & FACEBOOK

For the month of August, we will be releasing a weekly coloring card — every Thursday! It’s a great way to keep the fun of summer alive, one coloring template at a time. From swaying seahorses (template #1) to scuttling crabs (come back next week to find out!), each template can be transformed into whatever your little one wants. 

The “August Coloring Cards” series is designed to be greeting, thank you, birthday (etc!) cards, so we recommend that you first print the template on regular paper – and then print all your cards on cardstock paper. Use 4 3/4 inch x 5 3/4 inch quarter-fold envelopes (in different colors) for snazzy colors, to complement the colored cards.

Or, perhaps use your child’s creativity and imagination  to create alternatives to coloring cards. Some ideas we came up with with Gill McBarnet‘s grandson are the following: An illustration can be put in a 5 inch x 7 inch picture frame – or you can cut out the sea creatures and glue popsicle sticks to the back to make paper puppets.  Finger puppets are a great way to tell stories about the sea horses, crabs, octopus or dolphins! If you have any other ideas, we’d love to hear them in the comments section below! 

… And now for the easy peasy steps to make the Colorful Greeting Cards with your little ones!

  1. Visit our COLOR & SHARE page to download and print out your template (and sea creature!) of choice.
  2. Cut along the horizontal line to create two cards, then fold each of the two cards (after folding on line, trim where needed!)
  3. Have your little one color in the sea creature.
  4. On the back of the card, have your little artist sign his/her name on the dotted line below “Made By”.
  5. Don’t forget to add your message on the inside of the card.
  6. Voila!

For our Greeting Cards, we are using these “invitation envelopes” from OfficeMax … but if you’re feeling extra creative, here is a DIY to make an envelope.

Have fun! And don’t forget to tag us on social media (#HCBcoloringcards) or send a picture of your beautiful coloring cards to tara@hawaiianchildrensbooks.com … See you next week for the release of the next coloring card!