Playdough is a simple and fun way for preschool age children to learn through the use of hands-on creation. Creative imaginations explode with ideas of what to make, shape, stretch, and mold this medium into. The options are limitless!
Not only is playdough great for use as an artistic outlet, but it also has benefits for toddlers in relation to science, math and social skills. Exploring ideas, comparing experiences, and observing changes with playdough fosters abilities that are necessary for an early learner’s growth and development.
Playdough can be purchased from the store; however, it could also be a quick and fun rainy day activity where children can learn how it’s made! Here are some wonderful homemade playdough recipes to get started:
3 Easy Playdough Recipes for Toddlers
1. All Natural Play-Dough
- 1-cup flour
- ¼-cup salt
- ½-cup warm water
- 3-5 drops of natural food coloring
- Mix together the flour and the salt.
- In a separate container, mix water and food coloring.
- Combine ingredients by pouring the water mixture onto the flour mixture.
- Knead together until smooth.
If the dough seems too sticky, add more flour until the stickiness is gone.
2. Simply Playdough
- 1-cup baking soda
- ½-cup cornstarch
- ¾-cup water
- Mix baking soda and cornstarch in a pot making sure to get the lumps out.
- Add water.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat as soon as the mixture gathers together.
- When it cools, knead into smooth dough.
3. Edible Playdough *contains nuts*
- 3 marshmallows (fresh works best)
- 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar
- Combine marshmallows and peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl.
- Microwave for about 10 seconds.
- Remove from microwave and stir until smooth.
- Add powdered sugar and knead until stickiness is gone.
After making homemade dough, there are several variations that can be incorporated to keep it interesting. For example, using Kool-Aid or Jell-O can enhance color (or flavor, if the play-dough is edible). Attempt to make dough sparkle by mixing in some glitter (also available in an edible variety). Experiment with different textures by adding sand, dried beans or oats.
Don’t forget the use of props. Get creative with different household items like spatulas or cookie cutters. Take old shoe boxes and make a playdough house or neighborhood. Gather items that will add designs to the dough, such as buttons, leaves, or bottle caps. Try some of these tools to make it extra fun!
Fun Facts About Play-Dough
Did you know?
- National Playdough Day is September 16
- Play Doh was invented in the 1930’s as a household cleaner to remove dirt from wallpaper
- Captain Kangaroo introduced Play Doh as a sculpting medium for kids. Play Doh appeared on his show about three times a week.
- To commemorate Play Doh’s 50th anniversary, a fragrance was created resembling the smell of the popular dough.