Sunday, April 6, 2014

Play Dough!

I spent some time this morning making play dough for my class. It turned out great! I've had varying degrees of success with this but I really think this time was the best!

It's very soft and pliable but not at all sticky! (The play dough is for first graders but the snail is compliments of my resident fifth grader who did a lot of the work!)

I think the big difference this time was I didn't freak out when it looked too runny and just kept cooking it. In the space of just a few minutes it went from a runny pancake batter to a slightly sticky play dough. I kept cooking and it really firmed up. Then I cooked about two minutes more--after I  thought it was done.

The other difference was that didn't use my usual liquid food coloring. I had recently bought some gel coloring from Michael's and it worked great! It didn't add any water to the play dough so the consistency stayed nice and firm!

So, here's the recipe I used
I mixed together in a pot:
2 cups of flour
2 cups of warm water
1 cup of salt
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of cream of tartar

Turn the heat on and stir! Stir continuously until it comes away from the pot and has a play dough consistency. Stir for two more minutes! Remove the dough from the pot and let it cool for about ten minutes before adding the food coloring.

I wanted a lot of colors so I divided mine first. 

We use play dough almost every day in my classroom. Usually it's for word work. The students roll it out and write sentences or words in it. They poke the letters in using dots made with the tip of a pencil. We do have a bunch of play dough tools but those are for Friday! Dough extruders are such great tools for strengthening fine motor skills. 

Throughout the week my kids have the chance to earn tickets and on Fridays we trade them in for coupons. One of the coupons is play dough! They get to keep a tray with play dough and tools near their desk and whenever they are finished with their work they can play. I suspect that with all these new colors, there will be a run on the play dough coupons!

Word Walls!

Wow, this isn't my post but over at Dragonflies in First there is a fantastic piece on using interactive word walls. I have a word wall and I use it but it's not nearly as effective as I think it could be. I'm so excited to try these ideas. Check it out!

Dragonflies in First
You can find it here: