I was lucky enough to participate recently in a conference at Utah State University. It was so much fun (and a little surreal) to teach a session at the front of a room where I had sat through many, many classes more than a decade ago.
As much fun as I had teaching my session, I also loved going to a session taught by my friend, Kelli Barker, who was my counterpart while head teaching at the lab school and my partner for many deliriously late night study sessions. She taught a fantastic class, sharing all kinds of fantastic ideas for hands-on activities for young children.
One that I had to try already: a little twist on a favorite playdough recipe.
Kelli and I both used the classic recipe for playdough as we worked together in the lab. I’ve been using it as my favorite ever since. But in the breakout session, Kelli mentioned she had stumbled on a recipe she liked even more. (And she even said I could let you in on the secret.)
First Kelli cut the salt in half. Brilliance? Surely. Not enough salt in the cupboard that day? Also true. At any rate, Kelli put in half the salt and found herself with a smoother dough.
The second twist — Kelli used baby oil instead of cooking oil. This was one of those forehead smacking, why-didn’t-I-think-of-that moments. The baby oil, which can be picked up inexpensively at the dollar store, added a rich smoothness as well as a nice, mild scent.
So for an super-smooth dough, here’s the adapted recipe:
I mixed up a batch today for this Robert Munsch book activity and it’s fantastically fine and smooth.
Try it out the next time you’re looking for an activity to give those little hands and fingers and minds a fun workout!