Spring Break is just around the corner for some of you and our resident preschool expert, Joanne, has this awesome homemade play dough recipe to share with you today! This is a great opportunity to get crafty and keep those little hands busy!
We are born with two essential skills: our reflexes and our sense. Basically, this means that children react and learn everything about the world around them through their senses (that’s why they seem to put their hands and mouths onto EVERYTHING! They’re learning!)
“The child’s brain grows as she or he sees, feels, tastes, smells and hears. Each time the child uses one of the senses, a neural connection is made in the child’s brain. New experiences repeated many times help make new connections, which shape the way the child thinks, feels, behaves and learns now and in the future.” (www.factsforlifeglobal.com)
There are so many activities to stimulate a child’s senses, but one of the easiest is play dough. Children use their fine and gross motor skills to tear, roll and knead the dough. As your child grow older, add scissors for cutting, rolling pins, cookie cutters (various shapes, letters and numbers), toilet paper tubes, basically anything you have in your house to enhance their learning experience.
(The Best!) Home Made Scented Play Dough
1 cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 (¼ ounce) packages of Kool-Aid *
1 cup flour
¼ cup salt
5 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1. In a pot, combine water, oil, Kool-Aid and salt. Heat and stir until everything is dissolved.
2. Add flour and Cream of Tartar to the pot.
3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until everything is well mixed and dough can form a ball (should happen after a few minutes).
4. Remove from heat once the dough forms a ball.
5. Cool on a clean baking sheet. When it is cool enough to handle, knead the dough to remove lumps.
6. Once completely cooled, it is ready for fun!
7. Store in a plastic container or re-sealable plastic bag. Play dough should stay fresh for several months, if stored properly.
*Feel free to experiment with this recipe! You can also use essential oils or extracts to create different scents. Fresh herbs from your garden or spices from your pantry (cocoa powder, cinnamon, clove, ginger, etc.) add interesting scents and textures. Other texture additives include: oats, sand, rice, beans, pasta, couscous, etc. Experiment by adding peanut butter, honey, pumpkin puree, jelly – what happens to the dough? Food coloring can create your child’s favorite colors, while glitter adds a little sparkle.
Each change to the recipe offers a new sensory and learning experience. So, look through your pantry, and try something new!