Thursday, October 4, 2007

Playdough

Have you ever thought about creating a playdough kit? I am very much into storing my children's toys in big, clear tubs and when we decide to engage in a particular activity we get out that tub e.g. a music tub filled with keyboard, tamborine, guitar, drum etc. With this tub, we turn up the music really loud, have a little jam session and then pack away the instruments when we're finished. It has kept all the musical instruments together and from being wrecked or lost.

We also have tubs of blocks, wooden toys, plastic animals, pretend food etc. It's not to say these activites or toys never get mixed up and played together, but they are always sorted at the end of the day and packed up nicely. Most importantly though I feel that I am teaching my children to look after their belongings by modelling to them that everything has a home.

When I read about having a playdough kit, it totally made sense to me. A kit that contains all of the items needed for playing playdough. When it is time to play, the kit comes out and when playtime is over, it goes away until next time.

The following recipe and directions(not my own) will help you to have a fun activity ready to go at all times for your little ones:

You will need the following:
1) A large plastic tub or storage container with a lid.
2) A fresh supply of playdough- can be homemade or bought.
3) Inexpensive or old cookie cutters
4) Cutting utensils such as plastic butter knives, pizza cutters, etc.
5) Plastic coated placemats to protect their work surface
6) Optional: garlic press, forks, melon baller, rolling pin, or other items.

Here is one good recipe for making your own playdough:

1 cup Flour
1 cup Water
1/2 cup Salt
2 tablespoon Cream of tartar
1 tablespoon Oil

Cook until ingredients start to clump together. Turn out onto a plate or piece of wax paper, and knead in food coloring if you wish.
After making the dough, we would store it in large zipper style plastic bags, that would then be placed inside the large storage container. If sealed properly, the bags will keep the dough fresh and pliable for 1-2 weeks, possibly even a little bit longer. When the dough did started to dry out, it was easy to whip up another batch or two.

In the playdough kit (depending on the age of your children) you can put dull butter knives, pizza cutters, rolling pins, cookie cutters and a plastic coated placemat for each child to work on.

Rules for the playdough kit can prevent carpet and tables been ruined by doughy creations. Rules such as:
· No playdough off the placemats
· If you drop dough, pick it up straight away
· Only a few minutes per tool if someone else would like to use it
· Everyone cleans up their own space

Create your own rules and guidelines that will fit the needs of your home. You will find that because the playdough kit is so easily portable and it is all contained within the storage tub, it is easy to remove the kit if play gets out of hand and put it away for another time.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

We have a playdough kit too! Hope you don't mind if I link to this article from http://mysquiggles.com

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