Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The importance of P-L-A-Y (dough)!

Through volunteer work, internships, teaching pre-school,  and just spending time with young people, I have seen how play can impact a child. I feel that play is incredibly useful to develop creativity as well as social skills. When students come into the counseling office, I want my room to be filled with different toys for them to play with. From what I have been able to see, some children are able to communicate better through play than through their words.

A toy that I have found to be  useful is Play-dough. I decided to try to make my own and used the recipe below to make it! It was very easy and I highly recommend it. It is non-toxic and I think that it tends to last longer than regular play-dough that you might find at a store. So enjoy and I hope you are able to bring this simple recipe into your office so kids will be able to use it and talk while still having something to "play" with!

Basic ingredients:
2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 cup salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar (optional for improved elasticity)
food coloring (liquid, powder, or unsweetened drink mix)

1.Mix all of the ingredients together, and stir over low heat. The dough will begin to thicken until it resembles mashed potatoes.
2.When the dough pulls away from the sides and clumps in the center,remove the pan from heat and allow the dough to cool enough to handle.

3.Make a divot in the center of the ball, and drop some food coloring in. Fold the dough over, working the food color through the body of the play dough, trying to keep the raw dye away from your hands and the counter. You could use gloves or plastic wrap at this stage to keep your hands clean.
Since it is almost Halloween, I decided to make it orange but you can do any color you want!