Why is play dough the most magnificent early childhood toy of all time? Several reasons:
- It's open-ended, fostering creativity.
- It's a sensory experience.
- It helps to develop small muscles in the hands, leading to improved fine motor control.
- It can encourage dramatic play ("Look, I made a pizza! Would you like a bite of my pizza?"), which is an important aspect of social and emotional development.
- It's easy to make at home!
There are a zillion play dough recipes online. I've tried several of them and I like this one the best:
Ingredients: Flour, Water, Salt, Cream of Tartar, Oil (any kind is fine), and Food Coloring
Step 1: Measure ingredients and pour into pot.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup salt
- 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
- 1 tablespoon oil
- food coloring (as much as you'd like depending on the shade you're going for)
Step 2: Stir continuously over medium heat until the play dough begins to thicken (usually about 3-5 minutes)
Step 3: Scoop the playdough onto a lightly floured surface and kneed the flour into the dough until you reach your desired consistency.
Step 4: Play! Touch, poke, pull, squeeze, roll, create!
Step 5: Store your playdough in an airtight container (such as tupperware or a zip lock bag).