Clubhouse Play Dough: Just Add Crayons

Place hand on table, palm side up. 
I do so solemnly swear to play, with play dough, all week, 
in ways I have never played with play dough before. 

If I do not abide by this pledge, 
take away my rights to use Flour and Salt forever.

...and that's how our week started. 

By the way, the aforementioned blogs didn't really make me say that. Just in case you were wondering.

Our first play dough concoction of the week,

We started with the basic play dough recipe of:
2 Cups of Flour
1 Cup of Salt
2 Cups Water
2 Tablespoons of Oil
8 Teaspoons of Vinegar

I use half cup measuring cups so that each Clubhouse Kid has a turn to add in some dry ingredients. The recipe is posted on our easel before we begin. We talk about measurements, how much we will need, what each ingredient is. They touch, smell, and yes... even taste. Flour and Salt are apparently a tempting combo.

Bring the water, oil and vinegar to a boil and then slowly stir it in to the bowl of dry ingredients. Obviously at this point the water is HOT and only Mommy/Teacher hands were involved. Oh but wait, for this recipe we added a secret ingredient to the boiling water...

Kool Aid!! The addition of the Kool-Aid was for color and scent. You can add virtually anything to the mix for color (food coloring, liquid water colors), or you can use natural ingredients to dye your play dough, like we did here with our Easter eggs. Beets, Blueberries, Turmeric, Cabbage, boiled until the water is full of color, and then just add that water to your dry ingredients, and *presto*, naturally dyed Play Dough. Check out this post on natural dyes to see which ingredients produce which colors, and how to blend them for even more colors! 

Back to our Crayon Dough, once all of the ingredients were mixed and the dough had cooled just enough for little hands, the Clubhouse Kids had fun kneading, rolling and squishing. Letting them get their hands on the dough while it was still warm was therapeutic of sorts. Have you ever kneaded warm dough? It's just plain relaxing! One Clubhouse Kid did get upset as the dough cooled, "It's cold now! Make warm again!!"  She quickly changed her mind though when she realized we had another ingredient to add to this big ball of Purple, Blueberry scented play dough. 

A cup of crayon dust, left over from another fun Easter activity we did back in April. To understand the life cycle of a crayon, and how much fun can be had with crayon dust, you can check out this post. 

Adding the crayon dust was the best part!!
Mashing little fists into the dough to make the hole.
Pouring in some crayon dust.
"It's a bowl of crayon dust!"
Mashing it all together.

We also rolled out the dough and then the Clubhouse Kids sprinkled crayon dust on top and spread it all around, patting it into the dough.
Just making the Crayon Dough from start to finish was a great activity for the Clubhouse Kids. They took their time spreading out the crayon dust, mashing it into the dough, rolling the dough out again to add more. The gritty texture of the crayons coupled with the soft dough and the blueberry scent all made for a fun sensory experience.

The next day I set out the completed Crayon Dough with, what else.. crayons! We had spent some time last week peeling and breaking crayons (when told they should go ahead and break the crayons for an activity, they loved it. I guess breaking crayons can also be therapeutic.) The broken crayons are actually for a completely different activity, but I decided they would go perfectly with this for now. Crayons, they can be used in so many ways ;)

Also with the Crayon Dough and crayons I set out cut up milkshake straws (thicker straws that the kids love to use with play dough because they hollow out the dough wherever you poke them, and then they can squish the dough out of the straw), muffin holders, pom poms, and even a little more crayon dust. 

They can always incorporate items from other parts of the Clubhouse Classroom, and so they did. Bringing an egg carton to the table...

"I'm making really cool Easter eggs!"

Plus, I got to celebrate my Birthday... again.

"Ms. Liz, we made you birthday cake!! 
Happyyyy Birthdayyy to youuuuu..."

My actual Birthday is in October, but according to the Clubhouse Kids it's usually about once a month and I think at this point I am around 104 years old :)

Crayons are not just for coloring,

Ms. Liz

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