Monday, January 5, 2009

Homemade Playdough

Playdough is a great way to develop fine motor skills in your child. As they manipulate the dough they work out the tiny muscles in their arms, hands and fingers. These small muscles need exercised in order for children to learn to do a variety of education based tasks--printing and cutting to name a few.
Not only is playdough great for fine motor skills, but it's also a wonderful sensory activity for your little one. Children learn through the use of their five senses--taste, touch, smell, hear, and see. The more senses you can incorporate into an activity, the better! My little ones had a ball squishing, rolling and poking their balls of dough. My two year old especially enjoyed this activity. She spent al ot of time smooshing her elbows and fingertips into the dough and making hand prints on little flat pancakes of dough.

Commercially made playdoughs are always fun, but we decided to try our own homemade playdough for this activity. The kids really loved the experience of manipulating the dough while it was still warm from the stove. We also added vanilla extract to make our dough smell nice, incorporating yet another of the five senses. And as an added bonus, we added lots of glitter to our dough to make it nice and sparkly.

Here's the recipe I used:

Ingredients:

1 cup flour

1 cup water

1/2 cup salt

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 teaspoons cream of tartar (found on the spice aisle of the grocery store)

food coloring of your choice

How to make glitter playdough:

Mix all the ingredients together in a saucepan over medium/low heat. Stir until dough forms a ball (be patient it takes a few minutes). Remove the dough from the pan and cool. Add glitter to the dough and knead. Do not refrigerate--but do keep in an air tight container and this dough will last several weeks at room temperature.


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