Monday, April 18, 2016

Making Playdough

Making play dough is one of our favorite activities at the preschool.  It feels good to create something that we can all use together, and remember the steps it took to create it.  Often our activities and provocations are open ended, allowing for a child to follow their interests in an organic way.  When we make play dough we talk about what our goals are, the steps we need to follow and how each of us will participate.  This is how we practice following a logical sequence of events to get to an intended outcome, while also practicing group social dynamics as we each take a turn and communicate with each other.  It feels so good to make a plan!
Play Dough Recipe
1 cup warm water
1 cup flour
1/3 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Food Coloring
1 Tablespoon oil
Combine warm water, oil and food coloring of your choice.  Add flour, cream of tartar and salt and mix thoroughly with a wisk.   When there are no more lumps, microwave on high for 30 seconds, covered with a towel.  Stir, scraping the sides.  Microwave 30 seconds.  Stir, scraping the sides.  Continue the microwave/stir pattern just until the dough begins to form.  Cover with towel and let cool enough to touch.  Once cool, knead to final mix.  
Each child added one ingredient, and as we added it we talked about what it was, where it came from and why it's part of the recipe: Oil helps keep everything together, this oil comes from a plant; cream of tartar makes the dough stretchy, it's a kind of salt.  We took some time to vote on a color, then decided to mix red and blue.  We used a lot of food coloring, and it turned out a somewhat mauve color.  
Then we got to use it!  The play dough is still a favorite for our work at the tables.  Stay tuned for a gluten free version soon to come!
Once all the ingredients were added, we each took a turn stirring.  We counted to 10 then passed it.  It felt fun to count together while our friends stirred, and it took everyone two turns until it was ready.  We gathered in the kitchen while I microwaved the dough.  Finally it was ready!!