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Playdough: An Invitation to be Creative

Playdough. Such a simple thing can bring endless joy to a toddler and is a great open-ended play opportunity that has physical development benefits as well. Before children have the physical skills to learn to write, they need to have lots of experiences using their hands in a variety of ways through play to develop their fine motor skills. Playdough provides that and more. With just a clump of soft playdough toddlers can use their imagination to create any number of things.

Keeping playdough tools at bay for a while gives toddlers a chance to discover the properties of playdough and be creative without being limited to what the tools do or don’t do. Overtime, if your toddler seeks new ways to experiment, offering a few open-ended materials to inspire fresh ideas can help them expand their play.

Homemade Playdough Recipe

Dry Ingredients

3 Cups Flour

¾ Cup Salt

2 Tb. Alum or Cream of Tartar

Wet Ingredients

3 Cups Water, Room Temp.

¼ Cup Vegetable Oil

Food coloring or liquid watercolor paint, optional

Combine dry ingredients in a saucepan. Mix well. Add wet ingredients. Stir to combine. Cook on low-medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture congeals. If the heat is too high it may scorch.

Place cooked dough in a stand mixer and knead for 10 minutes (or knead by hand). While kneading, if the dough feels dry add a little more oil. Lay dough flat on the table to cool. Store in a plastic air-tight container.

Use with children ages 2+. Supervision is strongly recommended.

*Double the recipe to fill an ice cream pail.

Play dough

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