Lucas and I belong to a fabulous co-op toddler group/school in Woodinville. This past year was our first in the program, and he and I both made a lot of great friends. Going to school each Tuesday morning was a definite highlight of our week. We already are looking forward to school starting again in September! I particularly benefited from the parent education class every other week and learned a lot of valuable parenting ideas, tips, and techniques. As the mom of an energetic and opinionated two-year-old (I know, what two-year-old isn’t …), those things are invaluable!
The program fosters an strong sense of community and support among parents and little ones, and has given Lucas a terrific place to learn and explore though a variety of curriculum. Each week, parents take turns making a new batch of playdough for the class. Playdough is a great way to strengthen the muscles of the hands to improve fine motor and bilateral coordination skills. And, obviously, it’s just a lot of fun. Who doesn’t love playdough?!
Our school’s homemade playdough recipe is seriously the best I’ve ever come across — and that’s saying a lot, since my mom made a mean batch of playdough back in the day. I made the current batch Lucas is playing with back in April and it’s still soft and pliable, but stands up well to modeling and shaping. Hasbro has nothing on WTG!
If you live in the area and are interested in checking out Woodinville Toddler Group, please visit our website. Several of our classes still have openings for the 2013-14 school year. We’d love to have you join us!
Woodinville Toddler Group’s Traditional Playdough Recipe
Mix together in a large pan:
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups water (with food coloring or liquid water color added)
- 1 cup regular table salt
- 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 Tablespoons cream of tartar
Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is the texture of soft mashed potatoes and pulls away from the side of the pan. Remove from pan and knead lightly. It may be lumpy, but will become smooth when kneaded. Cool and store in an airtight container. A favorite time to play with dough is while it is still warm!
- Food extracts such as peppermint, anise, orange, or lemon
- Spices such as pumpkin pie, cinnamon, or cloves
- Packages of Kool-Aid also are a great, easy way to add scent and color
- Texture added with coffee grounds, rice, or colored aquarium gravel
- Add visual interest with glitter
- Experiment with blending colors by starting with white playdough and knead in additional color
- Try supplying popsicle sticks, pasta, or small plastic animals for poking and playing
- Make impressions with potato mashers, forks, cookie presses, or hands and feet
- Discover how to use a garlic press or child-safe scissors
- Run toy cars through playdough to make tracks
- Add items from nature; small branches, sticks, or stones
Playdough offers endless possibilities for creativity. It’s more than cookie cutters and rolling pins; experimenting with dough can ease tensions, develop small muscles, and allow opportunities for creative problem-solving.
Did you know? Rainbow Crafts of Cincinnati, Ohio, originally introduced Play-Doh brand modeling compound to the public in 1956 (and it only was available in a sickly, off-white color)!