Kids in the kitchen: play dough

For ages 1 – 8 years

Kids love play dough! It’s fun to make and fun to play with. When they follow the recipe with you, they will learn about following instructions and using numbers.

Playing with play dough supports the development of physical skills (especially hand and finger muscles). It also builds imagination and creativity, and can be a calming activity.

 What do I need?

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 4 tablespoons Cream of Tartar
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • Saucepan
  • Biscuit cutters (optional)
  • Food dye/spices/herbs (optional)

How do you do it?

Involve your child in making some play dough.

  1. Measure the ingredients together, and talk about what you are doing: “How much do we need?”, “How do we measure that?” 
  2. Talk about the method as you follow it.
  3. Mix all ingredients in a saucepan.
  4. Stir over a medium heat until mixture comes together as a dough (usually 3–5 minutes).
  5. Once the play dough is cool, it’s time to get creating.
  6. Use biscuit cutters to make shapes, or let your child make their own creations.
  7. Older children can use items such as toothpicks, straws and buttons to add to their creations. 

No-one knows your child better than you.  So, choose and/or adapt ideas here to best suit you and your child. Remember it’s the talking and time spent together that matters most.

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