10 March 2021
Playdough is such a great way to keep the children exploring all of their senses through sight, touch, smell, taste, and sound. This is especially effective when you provide accompanying resources which are taste-safe.
One of the great things about playdough is how versatile it can be. You can easily make different colours by adding food colouring, or add a scent using oils such as peppermint or lavender oil, and add texture such as poppy seeds or dried herbs.
Playdough is not only fun for your little ones, but it also allows them to practice fine-motor skills, provides an incentive for creativity and can be a calming and relaxing sensory-filled experience. This experience encourages children to focus and be fully engaged in their play and can be great for both social play and independent play, allowing children to enjoy their own company and/or the company of others.
Using the recipe from our Botany Junction Treetops Facebook page posted last year, Ender and I whipped up some playdough!
Here’s a recap of the recipe:
2 cups flour
½ cup salt
2 Tbsp cream of tartar
2 Tbsp oil
2 cups boiling water
Food colouring optional
Combine all dry ingredients into a large bowl.
Add oil, hot water, and food colouring and stir.
Knead dough until it is no longer sticky, adding flour if need be, then voila!
It is all ready to play with.
I chose to keep it plain and gave Ender some fresh herbs and spices to use in his play. It was wonderful observing his creativity as he made imprints using the star anise and cinnamon sticks. He also made up his own posting game using rosemary and cinnamon sticks. Ender especially enjoyed tasting the mint!
At Treetops, we offer uncoloured playdough for our akonga because it provides an expanse of potential. Uncoloured dough is limitless, and our akonga can choose how it can be moulded and what it can become. It carries its own sense of beauty in its raw state and allows children to work with the material as it is. Colour can also be offered in a variety of ways.
In this play session, the colour was added using fresh leaves and natural materials, allowing Ender to “colour” the dough green and brown.
By introducing playdough in its raw state, we encourage akonga to be creative and display their own personality and individualism in their play.