Valentine’s Day Play Dough

It’s February, and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner in case you weren’t aware!  It’s actually quite hard to miss it, as all the stores have had isles and isles of V-day paraphernalia out for what seems like ages already.  I seriously think the shelves were being stocked right after Christmas…can we not just take a break between holidays??  I’m not the type of person that goes completely all out for every “holiday” …but I will admit, I do like the idea of writing nice letters or notes to friends and family to let them know we care.  I’m also a sucker for a good play dough invitation, which bring us to this little set up that I put together with dollar store items I purchased last year.

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Ok – here it is again: my super amazing, no-fail, play dough recipe.  This recipe makes super-smooth play dough that will last months!  In a large mixing bowl combine the following ingredients (I usually do all the dry, then add the wet):

1 cup flour

1/4 cup salt

1 TBSP cream of tartar

1 cup water

1 TBSP veg oil

Glycerin (a few drops to add shine)

When you have it all mixed up, it’s going to be very wet; like pancake batter.  Next you will transfer it to a pan on the stove, set to low/medium heat.  Move it all around until it all gets cooked up.  You will notice a change in the texture and it will appear a bit darker in colour.

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After removing the dough from the pan, wait for it to cool slightly, then kneed it for a few minutes.  I decided to add the colouring at this point.  You could add it before you cook the dough, but I figured if I did it this way, I could cook it all in one batch instead of two (because I wanted two different colours).  So, I added a few drops of food colouring to one of the balls and kneaded it out.  Then, I simply added a few Valentine’s Day items from the dollar store and let the kids’ imaginations go from there!

This silicone heart mold has ten spaces, which is too perfect!  Play dough is a great way to incorporate math into your play; it’s a great opportunity to learn new concepts and to practice skills.  I asked him to show me “two” and Emy was able to pop two little hearts in.  “Now how many more to make five?” “We have to add three more”.  If you don’t have little heart counters, you could roll the play dough into little balls, or even use other items such as buttons.

Easton is making cookies and used the little hearts to decorate them.  More math was used here as he decorated the smallest cookie with one heart, the next biggest one with two hearts, and so on.  Then he ordered the cookie from smallest to biggest.

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Play dough is always a hit in our house, we were able to incorporate a lot of math during our play.  It wasn’t something I intended, it just sort of happened naturally.  I recommend seeing where your child goes when they play and following their lead.

Happy playing!

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