The 4th of July is a great way to inspire some patriotic play with your little ones. In this blog we are sharing how to create a simple play dough kit that your kids can enjoy all summer long.
To make the play dough, we followed the lovely Mama Papa Bubba's no cook scented play dough recipe. This is the best recipe because the play dough stays soft and stretchy for months... and it smells delicious!! We added a few extra sparkles just for fun. Here's what you need for each color play dough:
Red Play Dough:
- Basic play dough recipe (1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup table salt, 1 tablespoon cream of tartar, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon glycerine (we got this at Walmart), 3/4 cup boiling water)
- 1 packet Cherry Kool Aid powder dissolved in the boiling water
- 1 tablespoon red glitter
White Play Dough:
- Basic play dough recipe (see above)
- Small blue star confetti and large red star confetti (we found this at Party City)
Blue Play Dough:
- Basic play dough recipe (see above)
- 1 packet Blue Raspberry Kool Aid powder dissolved in the boiling water
- 1 tablespoon blue glitter
To make the play dough:
- By hand mix the flour, salt, cream of tar tar, vegetable oil and glycerine in a bowl with a whisk.
- If making a colored dough, dissolve the packet of Kool Aid in the boiling water and pour it into the dry mix. Mix together using a wooden spoon.
- Take the dough mixture out of the bowl and place on a lightly flour dusted surface. Knead by hand to give all the ingredients a thorough mix.
- If adding glitter or stars, flatten the dough, add the extras, roll the dough and then knead it all together again.
- Leave the play dough to completely cool before storing in an air tight container or ziplock bag.
As mentioned earlier, we followed Mama Papa Bubba's recipe on her blog and she has some awesome tips to make sure your play dough is the correct consistency. Be sure to give her blog a read before starting!
Once you have your play dough made, it's time to find some inviting loose parts to add to the kit. We opted for some shimmery red, clear and blue gems, pretend coins and patriotic necklaces and two star shaped cookie cutters. Try to encourage your kids' imaginations to run wild with their creations by providing loose parts which direct them towards small world and role play. You want the kit to be as open-ended as possible to encourage creative play. We used an IKEA GLIS box with lid to store the kit in, and used an IKEA SMULA tray for our play session.
Play dough is such a great sensory play material for kids. The fact that it can be re-shaped easily and they are able to enjoy their play relatively mess-free makes it a win-win for kids and parents.
We guarantee your kids will be happy to simply explore the contents of the kit during their first play. They will likely just want to test out sticking all the loose parts in the dough and that is totally ok. It is actually great for their fine motor skills and sensory exploration confidence.
It's always so much fun to see how your kids use what you have included in the kit. Our little tester decided that he needed to use the patriotic necklaces as barriers for his star islands which were hiding the valuable treasure gems. Imaginative play at it's best!
A simple play prompt question can also be a great way to freshen up play with the kit. For example, we asked our little tester if he could decorate some play dough with a repeating patriotic pattern.
But what if they mix the colors? Don't panic, we totally get that kids sometimes have their own play agendas. Our advice, go with it. Engage with their play ideas and work together to get the most from the kit. If your child loves to mix colors, why not make a marbled patriotic star, or even a color exploding firework?!
The best thing about play dough kits is that they can be packed up and used over and over again. We always give the loose parts a wash just to make sure they don't get covered in hard dough for the next play. And don't be afraid to switch out the accessories in the kit. Adding a new component will completely inspire new play!
Creative QT designs quality + innovative toys that declutter homes and inspire creative play. Founded by parents of five, Adam and Dana Sue Hinkle, Creative QT’s vision is to empower parents and encourage a culture of families that Make Time Together. All products are designed to enrich families’ lives through active, creative play and play based learning. Creative QT products are laboratory tested for compliance with CPSC requirements and are free of lead, cadmium and phthalates so you can play with confidence. So, go ahead … today is the day: be your kid’s hero.
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