Not to be left out of the sore throat, runny nose, coughing, upset stomach, fever epidemic that is sweeping through this January, I seem to have an ear infection. It's bringing out my inner whiny 2-year-old, but I'm attempting to tough it out using ear drops and ibuprofen. If nothing else, it's making me feel more connected with my toddlers.
On the onset of all of these nasty illnesses, I thought it would be nice to do something a little different with the play dough in our classroom. I like to change out our dough every couple of weeks. Being kept in a sealed container, it can actually last much longer, but we get a little bored with the same color and smell. We also end up throwing bits away that get dropped on the floor so there's not as much to play with over time. Having just a wee bit of play dough is just sad! Though, I have to admit, the toddlers I work with are quick to share.
If you're using store bought play dough, you're really missing out on a fine money-saving crafty opportunity! (Even if you're not all that craftyt!) Not only does making your own play dough save money, it's actually kind of fun to make. There are so many options for color and scent and even glitter! I even try to fit it into our theme or the season such as lilac color and scent, black glittery "space" dough, or autumn "pumpkin pie" play dough made with spices. Tools can be changed to meet the fine motor needs of your child/ren or to go with a theme.
2 cups flour
1/2 cup salt
2 cups water
2 Tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Food coloring and essential oil
1. Combine all ingredients in a pot and stir.
2. Cook over low heat, stirring until a ball forms.
2. Add food coloring and essential oil and mix thoroughly.
It's rather enjoyable to knead it while still warm! I used neon green food coloring (the purple in the box is my favorite.) The scent that I used for my coughing, sneezing, runny nosed little buddies was
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Mmm, it smells just like the steamy Vicks smelling vaporizer of my youth! I'm pretty sure it's healing us as we cut, press, poke, roll, and mold.