Tag Archives: Play-Doh

Extra Sensory Scented Play Dough.

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Home made play dough is such a simple pleasure.  Grown ups and kids alike can’t help but give it a squidge.  It is quick and easy to make, and you can vary it in endless ways.

Today, I thought I would treat the little guy to a new batch of the squishy sensory stuff as we were a little housebound.

To make things a bit more interesting, and to stimulate the senses, this batch was a kind of aromatherapy dough.  After learning about importance of sensorial activities  in a Montessori setting, this seemed like an ideal variation on the usual play dough theme.

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I used the recipe below to make up a nice big batch of dough which I split in half.  I coloured one a light green and added a few drops of peppermint oil.  To the other half, a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and a little red colouring.  Mint creams and cookie dough, it would be a miracle if he didn’t devour the lot!!

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Not having had much luck with cookie cutters and rolling pins in the past, I decided to bring some contrasting textures and colours into the mix.  Some natural, some man made, the variety kept him interested for so much longer than I had anticipated.

Play dough is a great tool for fine motor development.  On its own, each squash, squeeze, poke and prod is developing a skill.  The extra elements help to multiply the possibilities of exploration and investigation.  The change in pressure required to poke in a spaghetti stick is different to the pressure required to press in a flat star shape. A bowl of rice behaves differently in little hands to a ball of dough.  Try out the recipe below, and add anything you can find to change up the experience.

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2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons oil
1.5 cups boiling water

Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil together in a bowl.

Add the boiling water and combine with a spoon until a dough forms, add more water slowly if needed to bring all the ingredients together.

Turn the dough out onto a surface and once cool enough to handle, begin to knead for a few minutes to create a smooth bouncy dough.

Divide the dough and colour or scent  using some of the following ideas…

Cinnamon
Ginger
Cocoa
Essential oils, peppermint, orange, lavender…
Rosemary
Ground cloves/nutmeg/mixed spice
Turmeric
Food colouring
Food flavouring

Then raid the cupboards for some textures…

Dried pasta
Dried beans
Dried rice
Straws
Pebbles
Leaves
Paper clips
Glitter
Beads
Feathers
Cookie cutters

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Making My Grand Return, Toddler In Tow.

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It has been two months since my last post. A lot has happened. Such a short space of time in which so much has changed, and life marches on leaving you struggling in the ripples it leaves behind.

Just a couple of months ago, life was a different entity all together. A trauma involving a good friend became my priority, she needed me, so I had to be there with my full focus. Then the more trivial bits…some major home improvements, a case of foot and mouth, a very poorly little guy, and all of a sudden I realised just how much time had passed.

So after my disappearance, I am easing back into the all consuming world of blogging with a nice simple post. If I don’t do this one, I have a feeling that three months, then six months then a year may pass with my blog gathering dust.

My sixteen month old little guy is a fully fledged toddler, he has dropped a nap, he sleeps slightly better at night (one feed instead of four!) and he gets VeRy bored indoors, no longer content to play with a few toys on the lounge floor!

Day to day at the moment involves constantly entertaining, stimulating and interacting with a very inquisitive and hands on little guy with the attention span of a goldfish. Playgroups, messy play, animals, art exhibitions, swimming, anything to keep him occupied.

…but it has been really rewarding.

Seeing him understand how to handle a paintbrush and splodge paint around, hold a stick of chalk and make shapes on the chalk board, sit at his little table and tap on his keyboard making phone calls on a remote control, playing with the contents of his mini kitchen.

My favourite time is letting him play while exploring textures, that’s why I love painting, play dough, salt dough, sand and water. Over the next few posts I will post up a few really simple recipes for totally edible and homemade art ideas.

I hope you have fun getting mucky…

P.S. We are still breastfeeding!!