Thursday, September 18, 2014

Playing with Playdough

The kids were super motivated today, and chores and breakfast were all accomplished by 8--a whole hour earlier than normal.

School wrapped up by 930, and we had a whole lotta extra time. So we out Simon down for his morning nap, and whipped up a double batch of playdough.

Since the only salt I had on hand was my semi-expensive sea salt, I searched the Internet for salt free recipes. I didn't want to use a cup of that! 

In my search, I learned that this kind is better for playdough eaters (Owen) since there isn't a high sodium content. That never even crossed my mind, I have to admit, but I felt better as he quickly ate his small ball of dough and any others he could get his hands on.

The recipe we used called for flour, olive oil and water. We added food coloring and mixed it all up. No cooking! Of course it won't last as long, but it was simple.

We got out the cookie cutters, garlic press, rolling pin and a handful of spaghetti noodles to see what creations we could come up with. 

I made a porcupine!

It was such a relaxing time, just playing together and enjoying a simple activity. We often get so overstimulated with noise and activity and to-do lists that it's important to relax once in a while. 

Squeezing playdough between your fingers is a lot of fun! So is experimenting with different things. 

The garlic press made great hair and noodle type strands, and  we all took turns making a bird nest with eggs. This was definite fine motor practice, but no one even knew it had an academic twist! 

The spaghetti noodles also added a textual element. Jayme experimented with using them as supports--like you would do with wire in sculpting.

After almost an hour of play, we decided to stick all the colors together. We thought we would end up with a messy brown, but instead we got...

A beautiful tie-dye! Then we had to play with that for a while too.

Eventually our stomachs got the best of us, and we had to clean up for lunch. But not before turning on the "do You Want to Build a Snowman" song from Frozen and having a snowman building frenzy.

Aren't they beautiful? Definitely messy, but all created with love and enjoyment. 

And yes, in case you were wondering, the food coloring mess came off the table. We used diluted wood oil soap and it cleaned right up!  (Well the food coloring did--we still have fingernail polish and sharpie to figure out how to get rid of!)

Productive children, fabulous playdough play AND a clean table? That's what I call a great morning! 

What are your favorite play dough tools?

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