Thursday, 13 September 2012

Roald Dahl Day lucky dip

I do love to whip up a bit of themed play every now and again, and today has given me just the excuse I need - it's Roald Dahl Day. At six and seven years old, my two children are firmly in the RD zone -  his stories are bedtime favourites, and my eldest now frequently reads them to himself.

My two RD fans are certainly very keen to participate in the celebrations. Here's what I've got planned for them:

  • Dress up as a favourite RD character
  • Start making a silver foil ball like Roald Dahl (he made one over several years adding to it every time he ate a chocolate bar) using foil from a lunchtime cereal bar
  • Play RD Top Trumps - we have a shop-bought pack of these, but have made our own set in the past. Characters include Matilda, Mr and Mrs Twit, Miss Honey, Miss Trunchball and Boggis, and the categories - out of 100 - include brains, appearance, greed, kindness and cunning
  • Make a maze-of-underground-tunnels game telling the story of Fantastic Mr Fox. Both my children love making up board games - see their Christmas ideas here - so I know they'll be keen to try this
  • Use tricks to make things move like Matilda. For example we'll practise catching invisible things from the sky in a paper bag, levitating, creating a force-field, making someone's arms rise up without them trying, making a pencil roll without touching it - that kind of thing
  • Go on a golden ticket hunt around the house (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) - I've cut up some gold foil wrapping paper in anticipation of this one
  • Make a kite, like Danny (Danny, the Champion of the World). We'll cheat and make one from thin plastic bags and some thread, rather than a shirt
  • Solve some number puzzles like Matilda. We'll complete a simple Sudoku or two - I found kid-friendly ones here. And with large numbers chalked in a grid on our paved outside space, I'll call out some 2 and 3 digit numbers for them to 'jump out', and challenge them with some addition and subtraction sums - they'll need to 'jump out' the answers
  • Make a revolting concoction (in the kitchen) - like George (George's Marvellous Medicine)
  • Bake toad-in-the-hole, like Danny and his dad (Danny, the Champion of the World). I'm not sure whether my children will go for gravy to accompany this dish as in the book, but I'll certainly offer it - along with some baked beans, just to be on the safe side
  • Build a gravity-defying upside down house like the birds in The Twits - with Lego
  • Invent some crazy but yummy-sounding treats like Mr Wonka (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) - and think up some cool names for them - with play dough

I've made a lucky dip for the activities by simply writing brief explanations of each on strips of paper and putting them into a cloth bag for my children to dip into later. I wonder how many we'll get to do before bedtime? None of the activities need a great deal of preparation - so I won't be disappointed if we don't get to try them all. I am hoping the toad-in-the-hole will do as dinner though, so I'd better orchestrate it so that one comes out sooner rather than later, as it needs about an hour to bake in the oven.

Happy Roald Dahl Day everyone!


  1. These are great ideas!! Need to try some of these. We are big fans of Roald Dahl in our home too.

  2. Great ideas! thankyou for the inspiration. Adele x

  3. Some brilliant ideas, thank you for sharing!


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