Saturday, 12 January 2013

Fixing the Play Dough

Fixing the play dough - An invitation to play

How tools and play dough are educational..........and fun

Play dough is such a versatile medium with wonderful learning potential. I'm not really qualified in the whys and wherefores of this, its just something i know instinctively as a mom as I'm sure you do too. If you want to read more on this subject though i recommend This post from the wonderful imagination tree

This idea has been rattling around my head since Christmas day when Ninky, (hereby know as N ) received two Bob the Builder play dough sets and two tool sets, you can see where his interests lie.

On N's little table i lay out a selection of his tools and some black sparkly and silver play dough, shop bought this time but see below for similar recipes.

I didn't plan it this way but, but actually it had so many options for learning.

We discussed the names of the tools and what they did. i.e The pliers grip things such as nails to help you pull them out. This was great for vocabulary and N asked some interesting questions, showing he was thinking about what i said.

I noticed i had added a big and small pair of pliers so we discussed big and small, i added a small hammer and large spanner (not photographed, to extend this point)

We then made imprints in the dough with the tools,
screws and bolts, looking at both the shape
and size of these imprints. We later used just the screw
to make imprints and counted them.

All that learning before I've even even thought of the benefit to N's fine motor skills, building up strength in his little hands with all that rolling, cutting, hammering, screwing and squeezing which is important in early literacy.

If you look closely at the table in some of the pictures you will see his graffiti...(ahem) mark making skills are coming along nicely already!

I haven't pictured the Bob the builder sets as we didn't use them in this activity but i do highly recommend them if you have little ones who like play dough and building things, they have some great features like moulds to make bricks, slabs,  wreaking balls and a section that squeezes out moulding of all kinds, square, round, hexagon, t-shapes. ( you can find them Here and Here from Amazon if you're interested.I have not been paid for this) 

I had been forming the post in my head when i came across something very similar on line. Here is my problem. I cant find where, i have searched all my usual places, pinterest, twitter, the blogs i subscribe too, I've found one similar at but it Isnt the one.

I like to give credit for further inspiration when i can but this time i cant. If anyone knows of a similar post please let me know, I'll have a look and if it is the one that i saw i will credit it

This is the basic no cook play dough recipe i use.

No-Cook Play Dough:
 1/2 cup of salt
 2 cups of plain flour
 2 tbsp oil
 2 tbsp cream of tartar
 1.5 to 2 cups boiling water
 A few drops of glycerine (adds extra shine, stretch and smoothness- optional)

 Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl then knead it until it becomes smooth.

Now some people add the colour after it has become a dough, kneading it in till it is distributed evenly. This is helpful if you are making a few different colours from the same batch.

If you are only making one colour i prefer to add it with the water as i feel it is easier to mix evenly that way.

For the black sparkly play dough you will need black Gel food colouring. You will need a lot of colour, half to a whole bottle depending on brand. Add Lots of fine silver glitter to it and you're done.

I cant think of a way to make a silver coloured playdough and cant find a receipe either. You can buy silver colouring from cake decorating supply shops but it tends to be runny and i think this would effect the consistency. (i decorate cakes too)

The best way i can think of is to make a plain play dough with no colouring or a pale blue colour maybe and add lots of silver glitter.

Please let me know if you know any other way.


P x

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