As a teacher of Early Years, Play dough provides many learning opportunities. It is great for investigation and exploration and all the squashing, squeezing, rolling and chopping secretly builds strength in children’s hand muscles. Therefore, not only is it fun, it prepares them for pencil and scissor control later on. Personally, I prefer to make my own - it means I get more and I prefer the consistency, but it is not always easy to get the traditional play dough ingredients, here in Slovakia, so here is what I do…
I tend to use a mug, but as long as you keep to the ratios
1 mug flour (it’s about 200g)
1 mug water (it’s about 250ml )
1/2 mug salt
2 tablespoons citric acid
1 tablespoon oil
egg colouring (I got mine in Lidl and I’ve seen them in DM, too)
1. I just throw it all together in a pan and heat gently, stirring all the time (it only takes a few minutes).
2. The ingredients will begin to combine and leave the sides of the pan clean.
3. Cook for a further 30 seconds or until it loses it’s stickiness.
4. Let it cool for 5 minutes and the knead it to make it smooth.
5. Wrap it in cling film or put it in a ziplock bag.
DON'T PANIC - if you can’t get egg colouring then all is not lost:
• break up 3 coloured wax crayons (see picture).
• put the oil and crayons in a pan (ideally non stick) and gently heat the crayons until they melt
• Add the water and stir, then add all the other ingredients and mix well.
• continue from number 2 above!