Well after a longer than expected Christmas break, I'm back. The snow may be gone but the view from my window is still pretty grim and I've been looking for something to keep the wee man busy on the days when it's just not feasible to be out and about.
One home made activity that I discovered last year and one that uses ingredients that you'll probably already have in the house, is Salt Dough. This is a great method for making your own craft or play dough, and the end results can be left to harden in the hot press, or in the microwave or oven (if you do choose to oven dry it must be on a very low heat for a couple of hours and you should brush the pieces with oil to avoid cracking - in the microwave you only need about 5 seconds).
The basic end dough is degradable and made without chemicals, so you can be confident that your child is playing with something safe and eco friendly (if they do decide to chow down it will taste unpleasant, but it's not toxic).
There are loads of recipes and methods out there, but I have included a simple video from YouTube that shows you how to make a batch pre-coloured with red food colouring. You can also paint it afterwards.
From past experience making Christmas decorations with Salt Dough I'd also advise that you gloss any pieces that you want to keep long term, as over time they can go soft and even mouldy depending on how you store them.