Play-Dough is such a versatile material. It can teach anything from shapes ( using different cookie cutters), fine motor skills ( great place to introduce scissors), pretend play , measurement while making play-dough and more. Here are some of our favorite play-dough activities we’ve done over the years.
Scented Play-Dough ( pictured above)
Need an easy well tested recipe for homemade play-dough?
Red, Blue and White play dough: we used our favorite play dough recipe. We also added glitter to the white after they played with it the first time. The recipe is super simple: 1 cup water, 1 cup salt, 1 cup flour, 2 TBSP oil and coloring( for this i used sugar free jello! smells so yummy! but you can use food paste or coloring, kool aid or paint.) stir all the ingredients till smooth,cook on med heat till it pulls away from the
pan, cool for a bit, knead still smooth and play!
Shannon blogs at Welcome To Our Wonderland where she share’s books and sometimes activities to go with the children’s books. She taught prek for 11 years and become a stay at home mom 10 years ago when her oldest was born.
Sensory activities are always a huge hit around here. My son loves exploring , squishing and the pretend play that always seems to accompany play dough play. Adding scents to your play dough simply makes something every day a little more novel and exciting.He played with this play dough forever. I originally only gave him half of each scent/color so we’d have some reserved for later, but then gave in. He was pretending to make and ice a cake on his own youtube video. It was hilarious and great pretend play.
- Gather your materials. Today we made Bisquick Playdough ( click for the recipe) , I like this one because the playdough is very white and is easy to color. To make the play dough scented we used flavorings ( Banana, Strawberry and Cherry) and food coloring. You can also use Kool-aid. Also grab a few zip locks for adding the flavor and color to avoid stained hands.
- After kneading the dough per the recipe , separate the dough into one bag per scent/color.
- Add the coloring , close the bag and have your helper come help. He mixed it some but I did the majority of mixing, it takes some time.
- Chill the dough until cold. This makes it less sticky.
- Gather some fun tools to play with – I love cookie cutters and popscicle sticks.
- Smell see if your child can identify the scents.
- One big happy smelly mess .
Books About Fruit
Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert is an alphabet book extraordinaire! Wonderful paintings of fruits and vegetables seem ultra simple and it is but somehow the way the author has pieced this simple book together is brilliant. Maybe it’s that children learn about food at the table multiple times a day and feel proud being able to identify not only some of the letters but some of the pictures too! From a teaching standpoint I love that there are both upper and lower case letters on each page! This book will grow with your child, and beware it will also make you
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Audrey and Ron Wood is a fantastic book that children adore! The story not only unique in that the narrator speaks directly to the mouse , it’s illustrations will enchant your child’s imagination and make the most overtired parent smile. The little mouse is trying to keep the strawberry away from the bear, and his adorable attempts to hide it make my son laugh every time! Great book!
We love cupcakes, but who wants 24 cupcakes when only 2 people in your house will be eating them( which means 22 for me and 2 for my son … not good). So instead of baking them we decided to play with them. This pretend play incorporates sensory, learning shapes, and color mixing too! Not to mention it was really fun!
- Gather your materials. You will need some red and white playdough, some fun cupcake liners, cake picks ( is that what they are called?), a cutting board and heart cookie cutters. You can also add sprinkles, fancy plates and muffin tins!
- Start by mixing some of the red and while to make pink playdough. Normally I make my own playdough but I wanted this color mixing lesson as part of the play, so I bought white and red dough, it’s hard to make true white playdough at home. If you want to make your own here are my favorite recipes.
- Let em at it! My son kneaded the dough ” I squish it until it’s yummy!”
- We rolled it into balls and popped it in a liner.
- Made hearts for the top – I did one to show him all the options while and he ran with it.
- Don’t forget a pick!
- Keep playing- this cupcake cost me $38 dollars! Good thing the playdough , liners and pics together only cost $3.99!
- There is no right or wrong way to play – just explore, have fun and remember to keep playdough far away from carpet, it’s such a pain to get out.
Mr. Cookie Baker was an instant hit at our house. The book is about who else, Mr. Cookie Baker and it shows the reader how he makes cookies from scratch, ices them and sells them. It’s a great book to explain baking and bakeries. My son loves the part where Mr. Cookie Baker eats a cookie after a long hard day and then says goodnight. I like the illustrations, they are bold and detailed without being cluttered and can almost tell the story all by themselves. Be warned though reading this will almost definitely make you crave a cookie or two.