How to Make "Play Do"-Homemade Playdough Recipes
Learning With Play-dough
Play-dough is a great tool to use for instructional purposes. Not only does it provide a natural way for children to explore, it delves into using each of the five senses, provides an opportunity for conversation with your children, and practice with shapes, numbers, and letters.
By using cookie cutters that are different shapes, letters or numbers, your child will be able to practice identifying these objects, build words, and explore her creativity all at the same time. If you decide to make your own play-dough, it also provides an opportunity to learn vocabulary, math, and cooperation skills. If you watch the video, you will hear me use words like knead, ingredients, combine, mixture, and more. Children hear these words as you use them in real world situations and will be far more likely to use and apply them on their own. This will help to build reading success. Studies have shown that the biggest indicator to reading success is the vocabulary base that a child has as they enter and continue through school.
Math concepts are shown as you measure and pour the various ingredients, children begin to have an introduction to the basic ideas of measuring, fractions and even estimation skills. Imagine that all of this learning is hidden by fun!
The Five Senses and Play-dough
edible playdough; mix in m&ms, peanuts, oats
beads, string, people or animal figures
sound of cookie cutters, plastic scissors, tolling pins
Jello, various extracts to intensify the scents
Play-dough and the Five Senses
Thinking about playing with play-dough brings back such fond memories. Children of all ages delight in the opportunity to get creative with cutting, sculpting, and shaping various things out of play-dough. We all know that you can easily go to the store to buy brand name play dough. However, if you are looking to make large quantities of play-dough and don't want to spend a fortune or are looking to create an opportunity to involve all of your child’s five senses, here are a few recipes to help you out.
Play-dough Tools and Supplies
Basic Play-dough Recipe
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
Mix the flour, salt, and water in a bowl. Add a small amount of oil (this keeps the dough from hardening.) Knead the play dough a little then let the kids each take a turn.
You can use some of the variations in the table above to help you make the basic playdough more interesting. Why not add some brightly colored beads or some glitter? Or how about a drop or two of lemon or peppermint extract?
Photos of Making the Edible Play-doughClick thumbnail to view full-size
Edible Peanut Butter Play-dough
- One 18 oz. jar of creamy peanut butter
- 6 tablespoons of honey
- ¾ cup non-fat dry milk
Mix ingredients together. Knead it with fingers while forming the dough into desired shapes.
(For those with peanut allergies, try using soy nut butter.)
Photos of the Making Play-doughClick thumbnail to view full-size
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup salt
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 cup water
- 1 (3 ½ oz. package) of Jell-O
Mix all ingredients together and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the consistency of mashed potatoes. Let cool and knead with floured hands until dry. Store in airtight container after the mixture is cooled.
Note: If you decided to make play-dough sculptures using this recipe, you will be able to paint them after they have air dried.
Using and Storing Your Play-dough
Playing with your new play-dough is very exciting. Break out all of the wonderful tools that you have to make the learning experience even more fun. You don't have to have anything fancy. Just a rolling pin, a plastic knife, match box cars, and some plastic action figures or animals can elicit a world of imagination in your child!
When you are ready to clean up your new creation, find an airtight container to store it in. This can be a plastic container with a lid or even just a zip lock plastic bag. As long as air does not penetrate to container, your play-dough will stay fresh.
Play-dough Gift Idea
If you are looking for an easy and inexpensive gift to give to some young people in your life, why not make some play-dough? Imagine their surprise as they open up the package and find that it is not just regular play-dough but smells like cherries or is mixed with beads. What a wonderful surprise for them!
Place the play-dough in a decorative container and attach some cookie cutters with a ribbon. Your thoughtful gift will be a hit!
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