Monday, September 6, 2010

Mommy & Me Monday: Apple Pie Playdough

Hello, MOPS moms! Happy Labor Day! Hopefully you have a fun and relaxing day planned. Today's Mommy & Me activity is making homemade playdough. If you have never tried this before, please give it a go. You may never go back to the store bought kind. I have made homemade playdough using this recipe for years. I love that you can customize it with scents and colors. I will give you some ideas to tweak this basic recipe at the end of this post.

Homemade Playdough


1 cup flour
1 cup water
1 T. oil
1 T. granulated alum (or cream of tartar.......both are available with the spices in the grocery store)
1/2 cup salt
Food coloring

Scents (You can add vanilla extract, peppermint extract, or any spices you want)

NOTE: For the apple pie playdough I used a BUNCH of apple pie spice as well as extra cinnamon and nutmeg. You will want to add quite a bit so the playdough smells really yummy after it's cooked.

Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan. Stir until combined and until color is mixed through. You may need to add food coloring until you get the desired hue. Once combined, cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. The mixture will start to get really lumpy and hard to stir. Keep stirring until it is pretty much pulling away from the pan (although it will stick to the bottom of your pan) and until you can kind of stir it into a ball. Remove from heat and allow to cool until you are able to touch it comfortably. Once it has cooled a little bit you should knead it until it reaches a nice playdough consistency. If it feels too sticky, don't worry! Just add about 1 T. of flour and knead it until the flour is blended in. Also, some of the stickiness disappears once it completely cools. When you have the consistency you want, allow the playdough to cool enough for your child to play with it. If they are not going to play right away, put it in a sealed container so it doesn't dry out. This recipe will keep for a LONG time in a sealed container.

Playing with playdough is not only fun for your little one, it's a great fine motor activity.

Following are some ideas for maximizing this fine motor experience for your child:

* Add a rolling pin so they can roll out the dough. (1 inch diameter wooden dowels cut into 6 inch lengths make great rolling pins. However, you should seal them with a few coats of clear polyurethane so the dough doesn't stick.)

* Add cookie cutters to cut out shapes.

* Show them how to roll snakes.

* Have them cut the snakes apart with scissors or a dull knife.

* Have them roll small pieces into little balls. (In the photo below I made some little apples and used tiny pieces of twigs for stems. Around Halloween you could make pumpkins with orange pumpkin pie playdough and twig stems.)

* Have them poke holes in the dough with one finger.

* Have them pinch off small pieces of dough.

* Add little plates or small pie tins so they can make pretend food.

Here are a few ideas for tweaking this recipe to provide seasonal variations for your children. If you make them new special playdough every month you will definitely be a contender for "Mom of the Year."

Apple pie playdough with apple pie spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg
Pumpkin pie playdough with pumpkin pie spice

Red or green peppermint playdough with glitter (just add the glitter like any other ingredient)
Snow dough.......just make the recipe with no food coloring and add white or silver glitter (Add some buttons and googly eyes for making snowmen. See THIS POST for photos.)
Gingerbread dough.........add ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg until you get a really spicy scent
Chocolate playdough (Recipe HERE) for valentines day.......add an empty candy box and let them make chocolates to fill it up

Yellow playdough with lemon extract
Chocolate playdough to use as "dirt" for gardening play (See this link to a post I wrote about this on my Montessori blog.)

More ideas:

In THIS POST that I wrote a few years ago on my Montessori blog, I have listed a bunch of ideas for giving playdough as a gift. Scroll down to the end and you will see the list.

No comments: