This month the theme is “Fall is Here” and the week’s theme is Apples. To add to my sensory center I changed out our playdough mats. I replaced them this week with some 0-10 Apple Playdough mats that I created.
These mats were a great enhancement to our sensory center. The children use the playdough just about every morning and the mats are a good way to help keep them within their space when working. With these mats, they can add the apples to the tree, add apples to the ten frames, or just play on the mats.
Small Batch Playdough Trick
I did make some playdough to go along with the theme of the week. I do not use a stove to create it as I only make it when I am in the classroom. So I use a microwave and this playdough comes out soft and pliable. I only make enough to fit inside my container. So I am going to share my small batch playdough trick.
What I used to make my playdough:
- Container that you will store playdough in. (I use these)
- Mixing bowl
- Spoon (I use a playdough spatula that came in a set)
- Warm water (I heat 2 cups in a microwave for about 5 minutes.)
- Oil (I used Jamaican Castor Oil. It gives the playdough a pleasant smell.)
- Cream of tartar
- Gel food coloring
How I make my Playdough
Using the container that I am storing the playdough in as a measuring cup
- Place one and a half scoops of flour into your mixing bowl.
- Add half a container of salt
- Sprinkle the cream of tartar over the top of the flour and salt mixture until it’s covered.
- Add your gel food coloring to the measuring container. ( The more color you add the more opaque it will be.)
- Fill your container with the warm water and mix it with the spatula until the gel is dissolved. Or you can put the top on and give it a few good shakes.
- Mix the salt and flour mixture in the mixing bowl.
- Add the warm colored water to the flour mixture and mix it. If the mixture is not a good consistency then add a little more water.
- Once you have a nice ball of dough pour about 3 small dots of oil on a smooth surface and knead the dough.
I realize this is not exact measurements, but I have long stopped measuring, and only make what I need for the week. This playdough is made more by feel for me, so sometimes I have to add more oil to loosen it up and sometimes we need more water in the colder months. I have tried other small batch recipes, but it still ends up being too much for my needs.
How I care for my playdough
I store my playdough in the containers that I used to measure the materials with. This playdough should be stored in an airtight container. Every now and then I have to play with the playdough in a tiny bit of Jamaican Castor Oil when it gets stiff from the kids not putting the top back on the container. This usually helps it return to the consistency that I like. When we are done with the playdough I place them in take-home containers and put them in my goodies bin. (This is the real treat of the month.)