I have recently been exploring the wonders of home-made playdough!
I found an easy no-cook playdough recipe and some fabulous ideas on a play ideas site called The Imagination Tree run by a lovely mum called Anna – here is her playdough page…
I can’t recommend this site highly enough! Anna explains all the wonderful educational benefits of playdough really well, as she was a primary teacher for years.
The kids and I decided to see what we could do with playdough too.
I started off with a big batch of chocolate playdough sprinkled with gold glitter, which went down a storm! The children (aged 2 to 6) made some amazing cakes and lollipops with it!
Even the littlest got involved…making a chocolate train and lots of holes and star patterns.
I then hit the shops and went on a shopping spree for a playdough toolkit (I love my toolkits). I went mad in the pound shops, second hand shops and the odd cake decorating shop. I don’t do things by halves. What I found filled the biggest box yet. Dozens of little pots which I filled with every conceivable little object for decorating playdough creations. Trays for displaying portions of it for easy child access. Cutters, silicone cake cases and ice cube trays, old chocolate boxes, pastie makers, moulds, modelling tools, rolling pins, beautiful silver cardboard cake boards and golden paper plates.
We then made strawberry sparkle playdough, orange playdough and lavender playdough (with essential oil and real lavender flowers from the garden). Strawberry and orange were mixed to make tutti frutti butterflies and swiss roll! I started wondering if you can teach yourself about fractions at 4 by cutting a playdough cake into slices…..
Next session we added herb playdough and peppermint playdough (with fresh chopped garden herbs). I loved Mr Mintenstein and Herbie Mouse! His ears were made from pistachio shells.
We then added oat cinnamon spice playdough and blueberry playdough. The heart-shaped ice cube tray was very popular, and everyone loved the birthday candles most of all. (Every time I’ve seen children play with playdough, someone makes a birthday cake).
Eventually we ended up with playdough in all the colours of the rainbow! I brought it out every day for a week and again a couple of weeks later, and nobody got bored with it! 🙂
Quote: “This is my BEST DAY EVER!!!”
Some of the girls decided to take it up a notch and pretended to bake their creations in a real oven! This was hugely entertaining and wonderful role play.
Everyone I show it to is addicted and can’t get enough. I’ve made it for the nursery school, neighbours’ children, friends and cousins’ children.
Even parents love it (as long as it doesn’t get trodden into the carpet). I particularly loved the creative ideas dreamed up by this child…
and glasses! …oh no, my hair is stuck…
Recently I visited a friend, and while her kids played with the playdough I started pressing pieces of it onto her antique carved chest and it took imprints really well. It was so squishy and tactile that I couldn’t stop playing with it as I talked to her. And at 44 I am supposed to be past the sensory stage.
So I went out and bought some carved wooden rollers and Indian stamping blocks, and made our own printing tools from all kinds of raised patterned objects. Our playdough creations suddenly soared to new heights!
You’re never too old to enjoy playdough…
And so I simply MUST share the recipe with you! (Thanks Anna from Imagination Tree!)
2 cups flour, half a cup salt, 2 tbsp oil, 2 tbsp cream of tartar, few drops glycerine (optional). Mix, then stir in 1 to 1 and a half cups boiling water till a sticky paste forms, keep stirring till it begins to come together and is not so hot, then knead till cool. That’s it!
Add a few drops food colouring paste, flavouring or essential oil, vanilla, chopped herbs, flowers, glitter, oats, etc.
For chocolate playdough use the same recipe but with 2 cups water and add 1 cup cocoa powder.