4 ideas for homemade playdough

Galaxy playdough by fairydustteaching.blogspot.com
Help your child develop the motor skills needed for handwriting with these no-skills-needed ideas and recipes for playdough and similar slimy substances – ideal for sensory play and scientific investigations!

Playdough offers more than just a fun activity – it can also help to strengthen finger muscles that your child needs to grip a pencil and form letters properly. The push and pull motion from shaping sculptures, sticking in objects to make 3D scenes and more improves dexterity, which helps your child become ready to start handwriting.

You can also use these amazing substances to make shapes for storytelling, or run scientific experiments to test the bouncing, stretching and sticking properties of each one. Keep your playdough in airtight bags or containers when not in use.

Galaxy playdough  

Cover this galaxy playdough from Fairy Dust Teaching with glitter, stars and other space shapes to help your child create their own galaxy!

You will need:
255g of plain flour
235ml of water mixed with black and blue food colouring (to make a rich, dark colour)
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of cream of tartar
285g of salt

Instructions:
Step 1: Mix all the liquid ingredients in a large pan, and begin to heat them.
Step 2: In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Add to the heating liquids.
Step 3: Stir until the dough gathers and thickens. Cook until it gets a sheen to it. 
Step 4: Let it cool slightly, and then knead to bring proper consistency. Store in a plastic container.

Slime

This slimy substance is also known as a “Non-Newtonian fluid”, because it’s not just a liquid or a solid – it falls in both categories, and also neither of them! Have fun experimenting with it and watching it change shape as you play.

You will need:
Food colouring
Cornflour (plain flour won't do the trick)
2 plastic cups
Spoon
Water

Instructions:
Step 1: Add a few drops of food colouring to half a cup of water (real slime is always green!).
Step 2: Fill another cup one quarter of the way with cornflour.
Step 3: Slowly add a few drops of the water at a time to the cornflour, and mix it all together with your hand.
Step 4: Keep adding a few drops at a time, then stirring the slime until you get a slimy mess! If you add too much water, you can just add some more cornflour to thicken it up again.
Step 5: Enjoy your slime!

No-cook playdough

This playdough is ready for your child to use in 15 minutes – no need to wait for it to cool down!

You will need:
130g of plain flour
145g of salt
235ml of cold water
Food colouring

Instructions:
Step 1: Pour the flour and salt into a bowl, and mix.
Step 2: Stir in the water (and a couple drops of food colouring, if desired), mixing and kneading until a smooth dough forms. You can add a bit more water or flour if necessary to get the right consistency.
Step 3: Take the dough out of the bowl, and put it onto a floured surface. Continue kneading for about 10 minutes, or until the dough becomes soft and easy to shape.

Sweet treats to play with

Make playdough that you can eat! Make or buy some biscuit dough that can be formed into balls, flat circles or other shapes (perhaps tie in a geometry lesson too?). Bake as instructed on the package or in the recipe, then enjoy your creations!