Soft Playdough

I cam across a recipe for super soft playdough the other day while I was wasting time researching on Pinterest. It was one of those Pinterest moments where I thought, I’m going to do that as soon as I can. (As opposed to the 200 ideas that are still filed away for future use.) I shared here that the triplets have been very demanding of late, so I recognised that this would be an easy thing to make and play with. As it turned out, the triplets enjoyed it, but they weren’t in the mood at the time. (I’ll try again soon with them) Trent had his best friend around though, and the two of them had a fantastic time using this playdough.

It was a totally different sensory experience to normal playdough. The dough is really soft and smooth. It’s very moldable. It will stretch if you stretch it gently, but it also breaks apart easily. Even though it feels soft, it actually takes quite a bit of manipulation to play with. I could feel that the muscles in my fingers had received quite a workout playing with it. Which means it is a great activity for developing fine motor skills.

The recipe is super easy. It only has two ingredients – three if you put a few drops of food colouring in. Cornflour – and would you believe – Hair conditioner! As you can see below,  So it definitely isn’t edible playdough! The recipe advised 2 parts cornflour to 1 part conditioner, but to adjust the quantities if necessary. I certainly needed to add more cornflour. It was a little tricky to find the right consistency, having never seen it before. The first batch wasn’t as good as the second. I found it needed to be a little sticky as you finished mixing it in with a knife. Then you work it with your hands for a little bit and the stickiness goes away, to finish it off, I kneaded it on a bench sprinkled with cornflour, after that it no longer stuck to our hands very much and was still pliable. I used the cheapest ingredients I could find. The conditioner smelt like apples, so it was lovely to play with, and the playdough was soft on our hands and washed off easily.

But the best bit of all was playing!!!

Out came some playdough toys, and armed with two colours, the boys got stuck into playing. Pizza making was a big favourite. Even if mine kept getting flattened.

Then I started making a rocket. I was using lovely words like ‘cylinder’ and ‘cone’.

The boys were not so excited about the amazing learning opportunity I was presenting about the properties of 3 dimensional shapes. However they were very focussed on destroying my rocket ship before it even was completed. I had to go to extraordinary lengths to keep it safe!

Although it turned out that resistance was futile. Demolition was inevitable.

Once my rocket was obliterated, I started rolling playdough peas with my fingertips. Another excellent chance to develop fine motor skills. The boys weren’t too interested in that either, but wanted to squash my peas. This turned into an excellent training opportunity to teach self control and consideration. I explained to the boys, “I’m trying to roll a big pile of little peas with my fingers? Can you please not squash them?” There were a few squished at first, but I would say, “Oh dear, that makes me so frustrated because I’m trying to get a big pile. Can you please leave them so I can make a pile. Would you like to help me?” Eventually their hands would hover before they ceased and desisted! Excellent self control. The moment I asked for mushy peas they complied instantly!

Can you see yourself making and playing with this recipe? Let me know if you do!

Postscript: When we returned to play with this a few days later, the playdough was a lot harder and crumbly and we threw it out after that session, so it’s a bit of a one hit wonder. Although, perhaps different brands of conditioner might have greater success? I should also add, that it did crumble a little the first time, and was a little bit of messy play, but it did clean up OK, although I did hose the chairs off. It came out easily with water.

Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess

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    1. I stored it in ziplock bags. It was a bit crumbly the next day so I threw it out. However, a piece stayed out over night and I noticed after the dew had been on it, it was soft again, so if I make it again, I’ll try a spray bottle and squirt some water and knead it in first.

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