Monday, March 21, 2011

why i heart play dough

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).

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