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I know there are a ton of play dough recipes out there. This one just happens to be one of my favorites. One of the best things about it is that the kids can be the ones to combine all the play dough ingredients themselves. For all practical purposes, making play dough is a great way for kids to gain some experience with hands-on use of mathematics. Younger children like my niece (pictured here making play dough with Hunter) can practice fine motor skills by being the ones to add the food coloring, adding the measured ingredients, and stirring the mixture before it goes to the stove.

Lily and Hunter making play dough


Play Dough Recipe
Materials:
  • Bowl for mixing, measuring cup, measuring spoons, pot, mixing spoons
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons oil (We used canola oil rather than the more expensive olive oil that I prefer for cooking.)
  • Food coloring (If you don't have food coloring, kool-aid packs work too.)
We did ours on the bar in the kitchen and it made a bit of a mess with the kids helping. I keep an old tablecloth for these occasions, but didn't use it this time. Aprons are helpful as well. If the kids don't have aprons, have them put on an old shirt or cut  hole in a large garbage bag and let the kids wear it over their clothes. Rubber gloves are helpful if you are worried about the kids getting food coloring on their hands (because they will...and the table, and the dog...).

Combine all ingredients. Cook on medium until the mix becomes doughy. This happens fairly quickly! Knead dough and allow to cool before letting the kids play with it. Repeat cooking process for the next batch that the kids already made because they wanted a different color. Store in sealed bag or bowl. Don't forget to praise the kids for doing such a good job making their own play dough!
Silly Lily

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