Play dough fun!

Toddlers (especially from 18mths) need messy play time. Play dough is probably at the cleaner end of the messy play spectrum - but is a lovely, versatile activity. Wrapped in cling film or in an airtight container and stored in the fridge, it can be brought out again and again (apparently for up to 6 months - but ours has not lasted that long!!!)

There are lots of different recipes available. Here are a couple of my favourites:
No cook play dough - great for kids to help out:
2 cups plain four, 1 cup salt, 1 tablespoon cooking oil, 1/2-1 cup cold water (may not need it all!!), 2 drops food colouring
1. Combine flour & salt; 2. Add food colouring (optional) to water. 3. Add water/colour & oil - mix well/ knead well. 4. Review consistency (add a bit more flour if too wet.)

No cook play dough - makes a great consistency - caution with boiling water if making with kids.
2 cups plain flour, 1 cup salt 2 heaped tablespoons cream of tartar, 2 cups boiling water (add as needed), 2 tablespoons oil, food colouring (optional)
1. Mix dry ingredients; 2. Add water/oil; 3. Stir & knead

No salt play dough - great for kids who are likely to eat it!!
2 cups plain flour, 1/2 cup oil, food colouring/edicol dye (optional), water
1. Add oil to water; 2. Add to flour; 3. Mix/ knead.

Gluten free play dough 
(I am yet to try this out...)
Try substituting plain flour for corn flour or rice flour.

or... I found this recipe (also untested by myself as yet)
1/2 cup rice flour, 1/2 cup corn starch, 1/2 cup salt, 2 tsp cream of tarter, 1 cup water, 1 tsp cooking oil, food coloring (optional)
1. Mix ingredients; 2. Cook/stir on low heat for 3 minutes or until mixture forms a ball. 3. Cool completely before storing.

Peppermint oil, glitter, colouring, garlic press 'worms' or 'spaghetti', rolling pin (or cling film wrapped up cardboard tube), cookie cutters/shapes, 'cooking accessories' (perfect for our little chef - everything is 'cooked'!!!!), hiding little objects in the play dough to be found (and 'cleaned') - this is a fantastic activity for in-hand manipulation skills, no extras except little hands and fingers - rolling - snakes / balls, pinching, poking, hiding and discovering fingers, ...

For added activity attention and immersion, it's good to try to tap into whatever the interests of the child are at the moment:
-insects? make worms and caterpillars,
-cooking? make burgers, sausages, tomatoes, spaghetti,
-trains? make carriages & tracks,
-cars? make cars with wheels,
-animals? make a dog ...  etc

I find that if I pop in and out of the activity (by joining in, demonstrating how to do something different, applauding & showing interest in whatever he's doing...) our little one will stick with the activity longer.

Thanks for visiting Kids' Play Space!
Happy playing!
'til soon,
Anna :-)


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