To say this Vanilla and Cinnamon Play Dough smelt good enough to eat is an understatement! It really was irresistible! Making and creating with play dough is such a winning activity in my book. The OT in me just about explodes with excitement at the learning, imaginative play and skill development potential! In this post, I’ve tried to capture some of the possibilities, which should be on every kiddo’s ‘Childhood Bucket List’.
Firstly, I love to involve B in the making of the mixture. It is so simple, and aside from being a fun sensory experience on it’s own, how wonderful to be a part of the whole process from the start -enjoying watching the mixture literally take shape!
There are plenty of play dough recipes out there, but we love this one:
- Mix: 2 cups plain flour, 1 cup salt, 2 heaped tablespoons cream of tartar
- Add: 2 cups boiling water (as needed – waiting for the mixture to be warm/not too hot for little fingers), 2 tablespoons oil
- Add: vanilla essence to half and ground cinnamon to the other half “to taste” – a great combination, which is lucky, because we all know what happens to different kinds of play dough on the same table… it inevitably gets all mixed up!
Of course, I couldn’t resist getting stuck into this deliciously sweet and warm dough myself, and enjoyed making a little ‘invitation to play’ together with some absolute favourite loose parts in our house currently – rocks and pebble ‘treasures’!
So much hand skill practise without it feeling like a chore:
- Making a ball / forming smaller balls
- Pulling apart – sticking together
- Pushing, pressing, poking, placing
- Hiding, discovering
- Making shapes using cutters
- Creating characters (complete with back stories and motives) and stories
Check out the concentration … not to mention the plethora of grasp patterns and bilateral actions! Encouraging this kind of play strengthens the small (intrinsic) muscles of the hand which is perfect preparation for manipulating ‘tools’ in drawing/colouring, writing, cutting, pasting and other hand tasks. I think could watch him play ALL day! Interestingly, with a couple of basic tools and loose parts, a few ideas role-modelled, and the occasional comment taking an interest/questioning what’s going on, I am usually able to pop in and out of his play world and extend his attention to the activity long enough to make the whole idea worthwhile!
And you certainly don’t need to wait for an actual birthday to make a ‘cake’ with ‘candles’, sing “Happy Birthday”, and make a wish!
Before long, the play dough pieces have taken on a whole life of their own, practically skipping and ‘choo choo-ing’ their merry way around (and a little bit off!) the table…
Thanks so much for stopping by Kids Play Space!
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like to check out our Blue Play Dough activity!