Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Simple Play Ideas 2 - Playdough

Thursday 10 November 2011

Playdough. It just drums up images of my childhood and my teaching days. I remember as a young uni student learning to make playdough on one of my pracs and burning it (please don't burn it, the smell is disgusting). There are two types of playdough - cooked and uncooked. Cooked takes a little longer to make, and it lasts longer. Uncooked is a quick fix, but seems to go greasy rather quickly.

Playdough is really great for kids of all ages, and I'd have to say the right age to start your child playing with playdough is when you feel they are ready. Yes, they will eat it, and yes... it will be messy but it will be so much fun for them! Also, playdough is beneficial for fine motor development (and those muscles needed for many things including hand writing), eye hand co-ordination, imagination (who hasn't made a playdough snake?) and other cognitive development such as textural awareness, sensory development and understanding cause and effect (stab the playdough and what happens? A hole!).

Here's the recipe I use. It's from the McKenzies cream of tartar tin:
2 cups plain flour
4 tablespoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup salt
food colouring
2 cups water.

Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan, stir over medium heat (don't burn it!) for about 3-5 minutes or until mixture begins to stick together. It starts to look doughy.

What I find is a good idea is to make the dough without the colouring, and then poke a hole in the dough and add tiny bits of food colouring into the whole then knead it through.

BE CAREFUL you don't turn your hands blue like I did... I was being careful and as I needed it all the blue squirted out onto my hands. Alternatively, you can add the food colouring as it's cooking, or use gloves to help you mix it through.

The yellow playdough has glitter mixed through it.

Plain dough is great, but there are variations you can add:
 - Rice (for texture)
 - Sand
 - Rolled oats
 - Cous Cous
 - Glitter
 - Vanilla essence (for a lovely smell),
 - Eucalyptus Oil (brilliant for winter)
 - Lemon essence

Possible tools you could use for playdough play:
 - Melon Baller
 - Rolling pin
 - Cookie cutters
 - Knife and fork
 - Toddler scissors for cutting the dough
 - Chop Sticks
 - Garlic press (for tiny worms!)

Be creative and use what you have!

I store my playdough in the fridge, wrapped in plastic wrap in an icecream container. I find it lasts quite a while this way.

Hoping you all have a great day today. It's already feeling warm here today, I think it may be over 30 degrees today. Good day for the boys to start their swimming lessons!

Thanks for stopping by!

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