Monday, 5 December 2016

Winter White Play-Dough

Getting out the play dough is probably one Chick 2's favourite activities when he's at home with me. There is so much to love about play dough - it's a great for encouraging imaginative play it strengthens the muscles and control in their hands, it's so versatile, and it's pretty cheap to make a batch at home which will last up to 6 months(if in an air tight container).

As it's winter and we've not made a new batch in a while, I thought we'd make it white this time. I have never made it like this before so I researched a few different recipes to see what worked best. Essentially, white play dough has one key difference from regular play dough - the flour. Instead of using plain flour, swap it out for cornflour (or cornstarch if you're in the states). Here is how we made ours:


1 cup cornflour (cornstarch)
1/2 cup salt
1 cup boiling water
1 tbsp cream of tartar
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp glycerine (optional)
Silver Glitter (optional)


1. Combine all the dry ingredients and gently stir together.

2. Add the oil and then the boiling water. At this stage it looks like there is too much water as the mixture becomes very watery looking. You can either let it sit for a while to cool down and stir it up until it becomes more dough-like, or what I did was to pop it back in the pan and heat it gently while stirring which sped up the process.

3. Once the mixture is starting to stick together you can turn it out on a lightly floured surface, add the glitter  (as much or as little as you like) and glycerine and kneed until it forms a dough like texture. I love this bit the best. I let Chick 2 join in once the dough had cooled a little as it's too hot when it first comes out. 

And voila - Winter White Playdough!!

To add a sensory element to it, I put out another bowl with various glittery/christmasy bits for Chick 2 to use along with the play dough. There were some pipe cleaners, baubles, gem stones and beads. 

I joined in and made a little snow man :)


What I love about children (and play dough) is that you never know what they'll come up with when they are playing with it. While I thought about the possibility of doing things like snowmen, stars, snow scenes, Chick 2 had other ideas in mind - "look mummy, I hiding the treasure... you can't find them". I should have known that he'd want to turn it into something pirate related!! But that's the great thing about Play dough, it is such an open ended activity and can lead to all sorts of imaginative games and learning based activities (see theSpring Sensory Play dough activity HERE)

For more information on why Play dough is such a fantastic resource for children please read this article The Benefits of playing with Play Dough it also lists lots of ways you can adapt it. 

In school, my fabulous fellow reception teacher found this link for on You Tube called PLAY DOUGH DISCO which is a super fun way to use play dough to help strengthen the muscles in their hands using various movements to music. This is particularly good for those children who might be struggling with fine motor activities. 

Anyway, I'd love to hear if you've had any success with this recipe or if you've added anything else to the play to make it more interesting. 

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