With the winter months lingering, it can be difficult to keep our little ones entertained at home.
Days out and new toys can be expensive and as parents, we don’t always have the time to come up with new play ideas. So I’m going to share a simple and inexpensive recipe that can help you out…
It’s a favourite at our house as well as in the play sessions I run with children. It can ignite the imagination like nothing else. Playdough can transform into food, buildings, animals, monsters, jewellery; the possibilities are endless. It’s a fantastic activity for child development as well. It supports development of their fine motor skills as they mould shapes, their gross motor skills as they knead the dough and their social skills as they play with each other or role play every day activities such as ‘cooking’.
Playdough is a wonderful way for children to be creative and engage in a multi-sensory activity. They are using their imagination, their muscles, their senses.
It’s an easy and versatile play idea for toddlers through to older children. Why don’t you give it a go?
Basic Play Dough Recipe
2 Cups of Flour
2 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
½ Cup of Salt
1 Sachet/2Tablespoons of Cream of Tartar
A Few Drops of Food Colouring
Approximately 1 cup of Boiling Water
A Few Drops of Glycerine (for added shine!)
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl then add the vegetable oil. Add the food colouring to the water and pour the water into the mixture in very small increments, stirring as you go. As the mixture becomes stiffer, you’ll need to use your hands to knead it into a dough. Keep kneading until the dough is no longer sticky and can be easily moulded.
Basic Taste-Safe Play Dough Recipe
If (like me) you have a little tot who enjoys tasting their creations, a ‘taste safe’ version is very easy to make.
2 Cups of flour
Approximately 2/3 Cup of Water
Add the water in increments until you achieve a non sticky, dough consistency……yes, it’s that easy! This one doesn’t keep as long though and will usually only last a day or two. You can add more flour if it begins to get sticky during play.
Mix it Up!
There are so many ways you can adapt this playdough recipe and unlimited play ideas to keep yout children interested. Here are a few suggestions:
- Add different food colourings
- Add textures such as oats and grain
- Include some glitter!
- Add spices such as cinnamon to add to the sensory experience
- Provide different tools for your child to work with. They don’t have to be fancy playdough tools, muffin cases, a rolling pin, plastic knives and straws can all add to the game.
- Be inspired by nature and collect sticks, seeds, bark, flowers and stones to add to your child’s creations.
It’s a joy to see what children can come up with when we give them the tools to play and create. We’d love to see your playdough creations and hear about your experiences!
Wishing you all Happy Playing!
Oh and if you’re looking for more inspiration, why don’t you look at building an obstacle course. After all Christmas inspired play can be a year round affair.
Caroline holds a Master’s degree in Mental Health and Psychological Therapy and works to help others achieve their full potential. As one of the Directors of SensoBaby, she focuses her attention on families and young children.
You can find her at www.littlenaledi.com