Clay Play

Children between two and three love to play with things they can squeeze, pound, break apart and put back together.

Here’s a recipe to make your own play dough that you probably already have right in the kitchen.

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • a few drops of food coloring (optional)

1. Mix the flour, salt, and water. If necessary, add more flour until mixture has a doughy, but not sticky, consistency. Add food coloring for vibrancy. You can also let your child help pour everything together. This is a great way to learn numbers, measuring, and how mixing things you can create something new. Talk about it together.

This dough lasts for weeks if you store it in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or covered jar. Or they can make “things” and leave them out to dry and harden. Small children may put the dough in their mouths. It won’t taste good, but it also won’t hurt them. You can use a cookie sheet for a working place or the kitchen table. Dust his hands with a little flour, so the dough doesn’t stick to his hands. S/he may just want to pound it, or he may want to try using the following things:

  • rolling-pin
  • cookie cutter
  • dull knives, forks and spoons
  • craft Popsicle sticks

Benefits: Colors, shapes, numbers, measuring, promotes creativity, encourages generosity (make gifts), fine motor skills

This activity is best for children 2+.Please also note: I first made play dough for my son at less than 18 months. Use your judgment on your child’s abilities. 🙂

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