Thursday, April 26, 2012

Playdough Fun for All Ages

source (I didn't do these but super Cute!!)
This morning not only did I teach a room full of high schoolers (early morning seminary/religion class), I also had a house full young ones as it was my day to host pre-school.  Thus, I decided to kill 2 birds with one stone (so to speak) and made a huge batch of playdough for both:) 


2 cups flour
2 cups hot water
1 cup salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar (optional for improved elasticity)
Fragrance/color: food coloring, koolaid mix, ground cinnamon, scented oils (fyi: it will stink otherwise)


In a pan, add water and oil and begin heating on medium heat .  In the meantime,  mix the flour, salt, and cream of tarter together in a bowl.  Add dry ingredients to pan and stir (at a low heat).  It will begin to resemble mashed potatoes. It's ready when the dough pulls away from the side and clumps together in the center of the pan.  Turn the dough out onto a clean surface, cool, then knead until it becomes silky smooth.
Note: I've read that if it is still sticky, you need to cook it longer...and I've also read that using hot water and pre-mixing wet & dry ingredients seperately before combining will prevent any problems (it worked for me:)
To Color, Divide the dough into balls, make an indentation in center, pour or drop in coloring and/or frangrance of choice and knead it until evenly distributed.

Kids Activity:

There are so many fun learning activities to do with playdough.   I got a lot of my ideas for this activity here. Here are some of the things I did with the pre-schoolers.

SKILL: fine motor dexterity and strength; hand-eye coordination, visualizing

• Pound it
• Roll it
• Squish it
• Pull it apart/tear/cut it

SKILL: sensory information such as shapes, texture, temperature, touch, size

• roll out circles, triangles, rectangles, squares
• make different shapes: flat, round, tall, short, long, curved, straight, etc
• Size (form a small, medium and large ball)
• Textures (roll into a smooth ball, make it bumpy)

SKILL: vocabulary and descriptive language, measuring, counting, pre-writing
• Alphabet: Have adult form the letters of the alphabet and let kids guess, or have kids make them
• Have child form the letters of his/her name
• Numbers: make the shapes of the numbers 1-10 and/or roll out some little balls to show how many for each
• Counting: have kids make a specified number of circles or have them count the circles you’ve already made.

This was most popular w/ the kids, they
made little balls to fill in the circles provided
(I got them here)

SKILL:  problem-solving, planning, imagining and pretending

• Simple math (addition, subtract, fractions…it’s easy to see the meaning of ¼  or  ½ when you divide a ball or disk into 4 pieces)
• Using their imagination, children create their own little masterpiece (a fine art lesson too)

For Teens (& adults):  In seminary class (a good Family Home Evening lesson too), I explained how God tries to "shape" our lives like the potter's clay (Jeremiah 18-19) if we will but let Him.  Could you just imagine the clay jumping off the potter's wheel exclaiming "I don't need you, I can do this on my own!"  In the same way, do we sometimes jump off the wheel of the Great Potter (God)? I ended by having them shape/sculpt the clay to represent something important to them.


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