Whether you work at a preschool or have young children at home, I’m sure you’re always looking for easy and inexpensive resources for creativity and fun. Here are three great homemade “tried and true” recipes and ideas that are sure to please.
• 1 cup flour
• ½ cup salt
• 3 tsp. cream of tarter
• 1 cup water
• 1 Tbs. oil
• Food coloring
Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat stirring often until the dough thickens. Remove the pan from heat and let it cool slightly. Remove the play dough batter from the saucepan and knead it with your hands. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Allow it to cool completely and store in an airtight container. A covered Rubbermaid container works well.
This recipe makes enough play dough for two to four children to work together. The recipe can be doubled for a larger group. It can be used with small rolling pins and seasonal cookie cutters. Mixing some glitter into plain white play dough is a big hit for the winter months.
• 2/3 cup Dawn dish detergent
• 4 cups water
• 1/3 cup glycerin (this can be found at a pharmacy or cleaning supply store)
Mix the three ingredients together and store in a covered container (an empty laundry detergent bottle works well).
This bubble recipe works the best with Dawn brand dish detergent. To make extra big bubbles that can be used with large wands increase the dish detergent and the glycerin to ½ cup each.
Bubbles are always fun to use on the playground between spring and fall. Pour some bubble solution into a large pan. Be sure to have several bubble wands available so the children can enjoy blowing bubbles and catching them together.
Mix one part water and two parts flour together. The consistency should be somewhat runny and not as thick as glue. Mix well to remove any lumps. The mixture can be stored in a covered bowl or jar and put in the refrigerator for up to three days.
There are many fun things you can do with paper mache. One idea is to blow up a balloon, cut some strips of newspaper and pour paper mache mixture into a cake pan. Make sure the children wear smocks. They can cover strips of newspaper with the paper mache and put them onto the balloon. They should overlap the strips until the balloon is completely covered. Allow the balloon to dry overnight. After it’s dry, stick a pin inside to pop the balloon. The children can then paint the paper mache balloon with acrylic paints to make a globe. This is a wonderful activity for Earth Day.