Tried-and-true for over thirty years!
Play dough. Hands-on creative fun with the ability to build motor skills. It is a staple in many homes and schools.
As a high school student employed as a teacher’s assistant, I was introduced to an amazing homemade version of a timeless childhood treasure.
Part of my role as the assistant was to make sure the play dough was fresh, every day. Sometimes that meant making a new batch of pliable goodness. Over thirty years later (and counting) I am still using the same recipe with my littles.
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar (cream of tartar acts as a preservative)
2 cups cold water
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon OR a few drops of essential oil
Wooden cutting board or clear counter space
Air tight plastic bag or container
1. In a medium saucepan, mix together the flour, salt, vegetable oil, cream of tartar, and water. Stir well. Add 5 to 6 drops of food coloring and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon or essential oil.
2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the dough is the consistency of mashed potatoes; about 5 minutes.
3. Spoon onto wooden cutting board or wax paper covered counter top.
4. Knead until smooth.
5. Store play dough in an airtight plastic zipper bag or container up to 6 months.
Knead, roll and pat to build fine motor skills.
Play dough is not just for molding and making.
- Make a long rope and form into letters. Begin with the first letter of the child's first name (this is important to them).
- Make a long rope and form into numbers.
- Make a long rope. Ask the child to cut the rope into specified number of equal parts. This can be used to introduce and reinforce the concept of fractional parts.
- Make a long rope. Ask the child to divide the rope so that each person in the room receives an equal number of pieces. This reinforces the concept of division.
- Cut circles from the play dough. Cut the circles into equal parts, fractional pieces.