Making learning hands on is so important to me. For this reason I tend to make A LOT of play dough. My students love to make their words with play dough and I use play dough for numerous Social Studies and Science activities.
This week, I made SPACE DOUGH.
Source: E is for Explore
Whenever I make play dough I always start each batch with the same “core” recipe:
1 cup of flour
1 cup of water
1/4 cup of salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp of cream of tartar
Add all of the ingredients into a good sized pot and stir it with a wooden spoon. Cook it over medium heat and it will start to all clump together. Once it clumps (as in it makes one big clump inside your pot) take it out and knead the rest of it by hand. It will be super hot at first! (just a warning!)
(When I knead my play dough, I take out a cookie sheet and put some extra flour on it to avoid staining my counter tops if any of the food coloring hasn’t been absorbed and to make the clean up easier!)
When it is finished, store it in an sealed container and it will last for up to 6 months!
There are lots of fun things you can add to play dough once you know the “base” recipe. Feel free to add scents, sparkles, glitter, beads, or any color you want! You also can add Jello to your recipe. (I have never done this but I have heard it adds color and scent!! — this is on my list of things to try for my Easter play dough!!)
When you add your scents (or extracts) make sure you add it in with the liquid in the beginning. A little goes a long way. So, don’t use a half of a bottle to make peppermint play dough like I did by accident one year…. The whole house smelled like peppermints…for a few days. WOOPS!
I have found that a teaspoon of scent is good!
Some of my class favorites have included:
peppermint (for “candy cane” play dough)
apple pie- (for a double batch of the above recipe use 5 tsp. of cinnamon, 1/2tsp. nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. cloves)
pumpkin pie-(for a double batch of the above recipe use 3-5 tsp. of pumpkin pie mix)
When making it for my classroom, I always double the recipe and it makes enough for around 10-12 kids.
As I said, I’ve made A LOT of play dough so… I’ve made a lot of mistakes. Here’s what you should NOT do.
DON’T use extra virgin olive oil instead of vegetable oil. (it makes it smell weird and it doesn’t have the right consistency….)
Add any food coloring before you add the flour. Whenever I want a colored play dough I add the liquid first then I add everything else. When you forget to add the color until the end it’s a pain in the rear (and your hands get all sorts of stained!)
Now, for the SPACE play dough I added a whole quarter of the bottle of black food coloring (because I wanted it to be super black). In school I am going to give each student a ball of space, a small container or glitter, star beads, a yellow big bead, a blue bead and a gray bead.
We are going to create the night sky in our play dough by adding galaxies (the glitter), the sun (The yellow bead), the Earth (the blue bead), and the moon (the gray bead.) I will have them make their moons ORBIT the Earth and the Earth ORBIT the sun.
This will be a fun hands on lesson to introduce my explorers to SPACE.
Pictures to come! I hope your play dough comes out amazing!
Oh, by the way, it takes only 10 minutes from start to finish to make homemade play dough!!