I finally brought out the quintessential item that every child loves and plays with – Playdoh!! Not the branded dough that comes in a tub because they are so expensive and no matter what beautiful colours I had, they all ended up a mucky brown. That would totally make me cry.
So we made our own and it was really really messy. Be still, my heart. We got the recipe from Growing a Jewelled Rose and urm… though it says “Snow Dough Recipe”, I kinda forgot to leave the ingredients overnight in the fridge, so they weren’t, urm.. cold. So not really snow. But still, the dough part is valid. Only 2 ingredients and no cooking! Just corn flour (I mixed corn flour and tapioca flour cuz’ they are so old and mouldy, they’ve probably expired) and I mixed some (also expiring) face moisturizer. Take note that you do need quite a lot of moisturizer and since I’ve started the activity and then ran out of moisturizer, I was forced to use other things and ta dah!!! I’ve found that shower gel and hair conditioner works too!!! I was really happy I found a use for the many many soaps and gels that I’ve collected over the years – Christmas gift exchanges and what not. You know… those really pretty gels that come in beautiful tubes and bottles that you don’t ever get to open them at home because you’ve just gotten a jumbo refill of Shokobutsu and you feel a bit wasteful using them but they are just taking up space in your house anyway.
*Shameless plug* My friends, please give me these shower gel and hand lotion thingeys this Christmas!! I’ve finally found a good use for them!
I don’t really have the proportion, all I can say is, mix the flour and the gel together until you get the consistency you want. Then portion out the dough and knead in desired water colours. Because I wanted K to be part of the process (which is a mistake I’m still repenting from), naturally she was overexcited at how good the corn flour feels and yes, it really got all over the place. The picture below might induce certain uncomfortable heart palpitations for the clean-freak Mother, so be warned.
Anyway, playing with dough is great for little fingers because they need to really press in and mould the dough. It builds strength and dexterity of the fingers. Plus, it’s really great fun for the child! K was sufficiently entertained for a really really long time – like an hour, and she has asked repeatedly if we could do this again. Certainly, my child. More dough, you shall have…
K chanced upon this youtube clip of a girl showing how she makes new playdoh dresses for her Disney Princesses. So since we do not have the plastic Disney Princesses, she said, “Oh!! Nevermind! I shall make a new dress for James!!”
This is James.
She didn’t actually make a dress but just stuck bits of dough on him. But that was okay. She was play acting what she saw in the youtube video and also making up stories of how James got to be in that beautiful dress. Stories that make you go, “Wut?”
Cleaning up?? Fairly easy actually!! I just wiped the floor and swept up the flour with wet wipes (or a cloth, if you are the environmentally conscious kind). They dry out pretty easily so by then, they were mere crumbly bits, easily swept away. But the floor felt a bit funny, like soapy… but I figure it’s not a big problem that a good mop won’t solve.
The dough is honestly not very malleable (probably cuz it’s not oily) and so, dries out really quickly. As mentioned, it’s crumbly so you do need to keep adding more gel/lotion and “wet” it. After K was done with it, did it all turn a mucky, murky brown? No! Because it was crumbly, the coloured pieces do not actually blend together. It ended up more like a coloured mosaic of sorts. I’ve kept them in the fridge because they are supposed to be good to play for a few more times. Next time, I’ll prepare another batch of dough beforehand and ONLY give her 1 colour at a time to work or play with. After that, she can have the mucky dough to mess up further!!
I’ll be trying another sensory play activity with K on Friday. That one is supposed to be explosive and even messier. Keep a lookout!