Making Something Good Even Better

            My homemade Play dough is a favorite in our classroom for both toddlers and moms. In fact, sometimes I observe moms continuing to play with it long after their toddler has moved on to something else.

            Play dough offers both children and adults many benefits. For adults it offers the opportunity to reflect and relax while reducing stress. For children, the benefits are numerous. Here are a few:

  1. Fine Motor Development
  2. Imagination
  3. Eye-Hand Coordination
  4. Stress reducer
  5. Pre-Math skills
  6. Language development

For quite awhile, I have added extracts into our play dough recipe to enhance sensory stimulation. For example, if it is orange in color, I’ll add orange extract. Recently, I have been experimenting with adding essential oils.

Essential oils have numerous medicinal properties. One of the most well known is Lavender, known for its properties to promote sleep and relaxation. There are too many types of oils to mention with each providing several distinct benefits. I recommend checking into them on line and then going to Whole Foods where they provide testers. This way, you can align your senses with the benefits you hope to experience.

Essential oils shouldn’t be applied directly to the skin. Because they are potent, it will take only a few drops to scent your play dough.

Below is the Recipe. You can double or triple it if you have several children to entertain. It will last several weeks in a baggie without the need to refrigerate.

1 Cup Flour

1 Cup Water

½ Cup Salt

2 Tsp. Cream of Tarter

1 Tbs. oil

Food coloring mixed into the water ( I use the Gel kind available in craft stores)

Essential oil of your choosing

Mix together and cook over medium heat just until it congeals.

 This can take a few times of practice. Undercooked will result in the dough being sticky. If overcooked it will be crumbly.

 Making the play dough is an enjoyable activity in itself for you to do with your children that offers math skills, eye hand coordination, socialization and language.