Make Homemade Play Dough to Teach Children of all Ages about Cooking
As Samantha is getting more interested in the cooking, I am looking for easy jobs she can do that take into account her level of skill. Since she is only 14 months old, these jobs are usually pretty easy. Place the cut up veggies in the pan. Bring a food item from the pantry to the kitchen. Unload a grocery bag and hand to me to put in the fridge.
But she really wants to stir. This was the first “cooking” she did; she took my spoon and stirred the food. It is messy and she is not that coordinated yet. But she wanted to stir. I will give her a spoon the same as me having a spoon. But boy did she want to stir – whatever pan or bowl she could find. It didn’t matter if it had our food in it or any food. Mommy stirs and she wanted to stir.
This got me thinking, what could we make where it did not matter if there was a mess, or if the mess was bigger than the food we were making? The answer came to me. Play dough! All I had to do is find a simple recipe, and Mister Roger’s Easy Play Dough fit the bill.
With just flour and water, it can teach Samantha about stirring without worrying about the food in the end. I used food coloring in mine, but since I have been thinking, wouldn’t it be great to do the coloring with food instead. Think about all the great flavored fresh pastas with wonderful colors. And, once the child is ready, you can turn play dough making into pasta making. After all, this recipe and an egg free pasta recipe are very similar. I will have to experiment with that.
Back to the play dough we did make. Samantha loved stirring. We were going to make a red batch and a green batch, starting with the red. But Samantha had other ideas. Into the green bowl the red batch went. The result was a red ball with green on the outside, that was, of course, until Samantha had twirled it all up.
After the stirring, Samantha did some rolling with a plastic cup and some cutting with her little baby knife. She had a great time. When she was done, we put it in a Tupperware and into the fridge. It has kept nicely so far, which at the time of this writing is 6 days.
Now, onward to the recipe!
Easy Play Dough
- 2 cups flour plus enough to make it not sticky (about ¼ cup)
- 1 cup water
- Liquid food coloring
- Color the water with the food coloring.
- Mix water and flour together.
- Add more flour until the play dough does not stick.
That’s it. Doesn’t get much simpler than that, and it is a great way to get your child making something. Give it a try today.
Now, back to that food for color idea; what “flavors” of play dough would you like to see?