Play dough is fun! Please have a go at making it yourself…it is so quick and easy to make at home! The kids can help you make it and in a few minutes you will have your own stash ready for play time! It is also great fun mixing colours! Kids of all ages will love playing, creating and stimulating their learning!
Play dough Recipe (So Easy! So Cheap to make at home!)
2 cups plain flour
1 cup salt (use table or cooking salt)
4 Tablespoons of Cream of Tartar (You will find this in the baking aisle at supermarkets)
2 Tablespoons of oil
2 cups of water
*Food colouring (see note)
1. Add all ingredients into a saucepan and stir constantly over a medium heat. After a few minutes the mix will become thicker and more difficult to stir, keep stirring until mixture comes away from the sides of the saucepan. (A good muscle workout!)
2. Allow to cool. (see storage instructions below)
*If you want one colour, add a few drops of food colouring at step 1. If you would like more colours, wait until the play dough has formed. Before it cools, divide mixture into bowls and quickly add a few drops of food colouring into each bowl. Using a rubber glove (or plastic bag on your hand!) quickly knead the dough until the colour is mixed evenly. You may need to add more food colouring to make your dough brighter.
Roll each colour into a ball and wrap individually in plastic wrap or place into a ziplock bag. Store it in the fridge and it will keep for months! (Be careful to remove the plastic when giving it to little ones to play!) Storing it this way will avoid the dough drying out or getting mouldy.
Ideas for Playing with Play Dough
Kids love play dough but you may need to give them ideas on what to do with it, or else you may find they will only play with it for a little while, which is fine too!
1. Have a set place where children can play without worrying about the mess. I suggest having a place mat that must be used every time and the dough can only be used on the mat. Give them a range of tools to play with. You can buy play dough tools or use many home recyclables: plastic cutlery, biscuit cutters, bottle tops, string and anything with an interesting patterned surface, for example steel wool and combs. Also have items to ‘decorate’ such as googly eyes, dry pasta and buttons.
2. Begin by letting kids have about five minutes of free play. Let them squish it, roll it, cut it or whatever they like!
3. Then involve your child with a game or idea of what to make. This will keep them busy and give them ideas for using play dough by themselves. (Play dough is great for when you need some time out!)
Here are some fun ideas:
Cafe: let’s make some food/ I would like to order (hot dogs, pizza, burgers, ice cream, lollies….anything!)
Monsters: make monsters or aliens by creating unusual shapes and pressing on googly eyes.
Puppet show: make faces and stick onto paddle pop sticks. Make a puppet show!
Choose a theme and create, examples: dinosaurs, animals, gardens,
Roll out the dough and use a stick to draw a picture.
Make alphabet letters or create things that start with a certain letter.
School age children can use play dough to help learn spelling. Physically spelling out words uses different brain paths and really helps children to remember how they are spelt.