Creating Your Own Playdough Kit
By: Brandie Valenzuela
It is hard to find a child who doesn't love to
play with doughs and clays. And as a mom of three, I know that playdough can
become a mom's best or worst friend -- it all depends on how you handle it.
In our home, we created a playdough kit. This kit
contained all of the essential items needed for creative play with this fun
substance, and when it was time to play, the kit came out and when playtime was
over, away it went until next time. We had very specific rules for the playdough
kit and I can say with all honesty that never has my carpet or tables been
ruined by their doughy creations.
Follow these directions and you too can have a
fun activity ready to go at all time for your little ones:
You will need the following:
1) A large plastic tub or storage container with
2) A fresh supply of playdough or clay -- can be homemade or store bought.
3) Inexpensive or old cookie cutters
4) Cutting utensils such as plastic butter knives, pizza cutters, etc.
5) Plastic coated placemats to protect their work surface
6) Optional: garlic press, forks, melon baller, rolling pin, or other items.
I enjoyed making homemade playdough with my
children for their kit. Not only does this give you a fun and education activity
with your children, it is inexpensive. Here is one good recipe for
making your own playdough:
1 cup Flour
1 cup Water
1/2 cup Salt
2 tablespoon Cream of tartar
1 tablespoon Oil
Cook until ingredients start to clump together. Turn out onto a plate or piece
of wax paper, and knead in food coloring if you wish.
After making the dough, we would store it in
large zipper style plastic bags, that would then be placed inside the large
storage container. If sealed properly, the bags will keep the dough fresh and
pliable for 1-2 weeks, possibly even a little bit longer. When the dough did
started to dry out, it was easy to whip up another batch or two.
In the storage container, we also placed all of
our other goodies. While I did give you suggestions above as to what to put in
your kit, it is really up to you. You may have some great ideas that are perfect
for creating with. The standard items in our kit were always dull butter knives,
pizza cutters, rolling pin, and cookie cutters. We also made sure that there was
always a a plastic coated placemat for each child could work on.
One of the most important things to me when it
came to putting together my children's playdough kit, was that they could truly
create -- and that no one was telling them how something "should"
look, unless they really wanted to know. I found that allowing them plenty of
free time to design and explore with their dough, encouraged them to create
those things that only their minds could dream of.
Another important issue -- which helped me to
keep my sanity -- was clearly defined rules. In our home, the kit was in a place
that was low enough so that the children could initiate their own activities
with it, but they also knew that misuse of the items would cause me to put it
away. We had rules such as:
- No playdough off of the placemats
- If you drop dough, you must pick it up right
- Only 5 minutes per tool if someone else would
like to use it
- Everyone cleans up their own space
Of course, you will want to create your own rules
and guidelines that will fit the needs of your home. You will find that because
the playdough kit is so easily portable and it all contained within the storage
box, it was easy to remove the kit when play is out of hand and put it away for
a specified amount of time.
©2001 - Brandie Valenzuela