If you make it they will come. And who knows what they will make out of it!? The “it” in this case is play dough and “they” are children!
Play dough is fun. It’s easy. It’s open ended. It’s for all ages. It’s therapeutic. It exercises the imagination. It practices fine motor skills. It feels good on the hands!
I have to admit that I have a nostalgic connection to store bought Play Doh. The smell alone brings me back to my childhood but I’ve been getting tired of seeing it dry out as the little containers are just not designed for little hands. Perhaps that was intentional.. so that they’d need adult assistance to open! They just don’t seem to get closed again!
In any case, I decided to finally look up some homemade play dough recipes and make our own. There are certainly no shortage of recipes found online! I went with DIY PLAYDOUGH found over at Modern Parents Messy Kids. The photos on this DIY post are fantastic and I thought the Jell-O ingredient was sort of interesting.
The result was perfectly smooth and squishy dough with a nice fruity scent! It was actually quite easy to make apart from a little arm muscle action required to constantly stir the goop that eventually formed into a nice clump of dough.
We made two colours: blue and yellow. A little while later my five year old independently came up with her creation…
Watching the magic happen, ie. what children do with the dough, is like getting a glimpse into their little minds.
A bird – mermaid!
A day later another artistic project was underway. This time inspired by Monet. Yes, you read that right, Claude Monet. The night before we had read Katie Meets The Impressionists (worthy of a blog post of it’s own) which includes the work of Claude Monet. While at the library we picked up a children’s book about Monet that describes the large area of colourful brush strokes in his art. This is the page that undoubtedly inspired her next creation:
This is what she made:
How umm.. unique! Before I could say “tell me about this,” Violet announced “This is a gift for you Mommy! It’s a globe in the style of Claude Monet. If you stand back it looks like the world.” - Brilliant!
For step by step directions on how to make the play dough, visit Modern Parents Messy Kids.
If you’re already familiar with the play dough making process, these are the ingredients you will need:
- white flour – 1 cup
- warm water – 1 cup
- salt – 2 tbsp
- cream of tartar – 2 tbsp
- cooking oil – 2 tbsp
- Jello – 1 3oz pack
Have fun and please share your little artists’ creations! What do your children like to do or make with play dough?