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Best Play Dough Recipe and Benefits of Using it for Play

Posted on October 11 2018

iKids - Winter Art, Playing with Play Dough (Photo by_ Kate Romeo)
Play dough is super fun and it’s simply one of the greatest things ever! It’s a staple during childhood because it provides virtually endless opportunities for fun. What’s more, it offers many different benefits for kids.

For one, playing with play dough encourages the development of fine motor skills. While your children squish, poke, roll and shape the play dough, they’re building strength in their hand muscles.

In fact, this activity exercises the same muscles that are later used for scissor work and holding pencils, so it’s necessary to help your child develop it.

Play dough also encourages hand-eye coordination, as well as creativity and imagination. When your children engage in playing with play dough, they’re using symbolic thinking because they’re playing pretend. This skill is vital for cognitive flexibility and for them to express ideas.

The opportunities of imaginative play with play dough are endless, which is why your children have so much fun doing it.

What’s more, by making your own play dough at home, you’re giving your children the opportunity to learn about math and science.

To make a batch of play dough you need to measure, mix, experiment with different additions such as food coloring and predict what will happen as a result. All of this will give your children a different experience, not to mention play dough is also a great tool for sensory play.

If you want to make your own play dough at home, here’s the best recipe I could find!
No-Cook Play Dough in 4 Minutes (Supervision Required)

Materials:

• 2 cups of all-purpose plain flour
• 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, baby oil or coconut oil
• ½ cup of salt
• 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
• 1 – 1 and a half cups of boiling water *
• Food coloring
• A few drops of glycerin

Process:

• Take the flour, salt, oil and cream of tartar and mix them all together in a big bowl.
• Bring your water to a boil and add food coloring. Pour the water into a bowl. *
• Then, add the dry ingredients and stir until you have a sticky dough.
• Add the glycerin, which is optional. – gives it shine and longevity
• Let it cool, take it out of the bowl and knead for a few minutes until it’s no longer sticky.

* Boiling water can cause serious damage to children and adult supervision is required for this.

Pro tip: if it continues to be sticky, add a bit more flour until you get the right consistency!

As you can see, making your own play dough at home doesn’t require many materials and it’s incredibly easy and fast. This is the perfect way to engage your young children in a little science while providing something they will enjoy to play with.

Not only is play dough super fun and encouraging of creativity and imaginative play, it’s also necessary to develop certain skills that will help your children later on when it’s time to learn new things such as holding pencils and working with scissors.

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