Discovery!: Play Dough


Our mission: to make three kinds of play dough in a forty-five minute session. These were our recipes:

1. Dirt Playdough
For each batch, use:
Equal parts flour, salt, and water
Add two spoonfuls of black tempura paint for color
Add coffee grounds for texture

2. Snow/Cloud Playdough
For each batch, use:
Equal parts cornstarch & shaving cream

3. Scented Playdough
For each batch, use:
1 cup of flour
3 TBSP of salt
2 TSP olive oil
1 TSP of cream of tartar
1 & 1/2 packets of sugar-free Crystal Light
1/3 cup of water

I still can’t believe that I made play dough with a class full of preschoolers and no one died! Here’s a few tips:

1. Since I don’t have twenty five sets of measuring spoons and cups, I improvised. I put a popsicle stick into a styrofoam cup. I measured where each measurement hit on the stick and marked it. The kids were told to measure to the “blue line” for a cup, the “red line” for 1/3, etc. That was excellent.

2. I had a tarp underneath the tables to prevent too much mess and disposable tablecloths on the tables.

3. Parents went to the sink to get the water instead of the kids doing that part and potentially spilling on the floor.

4. I had a set of purchased name-brand PlayDoh at the front of the room. I talked about how much it cost ($20) and that the supplies for 25 kids cost just about that for three types of homemade playdough.

5. The mess took FOREVER to clean up and I was so very blessed by my co-worker who pitched in for an hour of clean-up including vacuuming.

Overall, a fun and fantastic program. It teaches math skills (measuring), science (chemistry!), and it gives everyone a great take-home since I let them keep each dough they made!

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