Monday, March 4, 2013

Lucky Play Dough

DSC_0140-2 (2)

I am such a sucker for holiday fun.  St. Patrick’s Day is no exception.  Being that one side of my family is Irish, and Bradley’s middle name is Patrick we like to go big for St. Patty’s Day.

This weekend I whipped up some St. Patrick’s Inspired Play Dough.  I would suggest making your own play dough if you haven’t before.  It is really fun to do with the kids, you can make a ton of different colors, and it lasts a REALLY long time if you keep it in an air tight container or a Ziploc baggie.  The following recipe makes a large batch of play dough.  I made mine half with glitter and half just plain green.  Bradley likes to play with his Legos in the play dough and he didn’t want them covered with glitter.  The glitter will come off on your hands or the table while you are playing.

I figured I would give you a play by play with our Play Dough fun.  I am always doing activities like this with the kids, but I usually don’t break it down and really show the “how” and “why” behind what we are doing.  With my new preschool adventure starting next year, I thought it might be good to get back to my roots and really share my passion for learning through play.  I hope to do a few posts like this a month to inspire you too!  Enjoy!

Green Glitter Play Dough Recipe

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 cups salt
  • 6 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 3 cups water
  • green food coloring
  • green or gold glitter

Mix all ingredients over medium-high heat stirring continuously until it forms a ball, and none stick to the side of the pan.  Put on wax paper to cool enough for you to knead.  Slowly pour glitter over a section of the play dough and then knead the glitter into the dough.  Repeat until your play dough has the perfect amount of glitter!  Remember to store in an air tight container.

Once I made my play dough I decided to create a St. Patrick’s Day inspired play dough tray.  This is what I came up with…

DSC_0133 (2)

The Play Dough Tray contained:

two large balls of green glitter play dough

green and yellow pipe cleaners

eye balls

green and yellow pom poms

green and yellow beads

I like to offer smaller containers for the little items.  I just put a small amount in each little cup.  It keeps things organized and doesn’t overwhelm them with a too many choices for play.  Sometimes a heaping pile of dough or tools can be intimidating.  I notice if I just give Ellie a large amount of play dough she will stick stuff in it and then walk away.  She tends to pull apart and actually play with the smaller amounts of play dough.


We played with our trays on Saturday after ballet class.  Ellie went to town pulling apart her dough and creating aliens, monsters, and birthday cakes. 


I will often give her large popsicle sticks to use as a knife for manipulating her dough.  She begged me for toothpicks later too.  So today I made her a new play dough tray with some of the green items and some toothpicks and popsicle sticks…


Ellie had a little play date this morning and they both had their own St. Patty’s Day play tray.  They were a huge hit, and they both actually sat very quietly and played for some time with their trays.  I am trying to be more thoughtful with my activities with Ellie and it pays off.  She is more engaged, creative, and sustains play for a longer period of time.

Good luck with your play dough trays!

Happy St. Patty’s Day!


Lindsay said...

Nice job Clare!! :-) I love it!

Jenny said...

What a great idea! I have thought about making my own play dough and now I will!