It's been a while since we've had fresh play dough around here. Last week, while Calder slept in, Piper and I mixed up a batch. It started in just fun and ended as a lesson in color theory. Four choices of coloring is too much for a three year old. Green and red make...ah, grey. Add blue and you get...a different shade of grey. Add lots of yellow and you get...army green?! Didn't see that one coming. At first I thought we under cooked the dough (we used this recipe this time). But after kneading in a bit of extra flour it came out the perfect consistency.
Then we set to putting together a tool kit. We surveyed the kitchen cabinets and drawers to see what wouldn't be missed there that could be used for dough work. We started with the rolling pin (which is actually returned to the kitchen after each use - we need to make a small hands version), the pastry blender, a canning lid, a cookie cutter, and a small funnel. Over the week we added a melon baller from the thrift store, a small doily and a stamp I made by hot gluing a shell to a cork.
She's played with it alone a few times. Then we invited Calder to join. He liked using the tools to bang at the play dough. They worked on each others play dough, which seemed to be most interesting to the both of them. Piper mostly tried to dictate what they should be doing. But gave into him doing his own thing fairly quickly.
Truth be told the first go round, Calder didn't like to touch the play dough with his fingers. Each time he'd try it would result in a scrunched up face. I think it's now growing on him.
In an effort to make this an activity that Piper can accomplish from start to finish on her own, we've been working on the whole process in steps. From getting the basket and all its contents out, opening the play dough container, and putting it all back into the basket when she's done. I hang a damp cloth on a hook on the side of her table for her to wipe her hands and table with. Quite liberating to be able to do it all on her own.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!