Thursday, April 7, 2011

Home-Made Playdough

As a WAHM, one of my greatest challenges is in keeping Kenan occupied.

Unfortunately or fortunately (depending on how you look at it), he is not into toys, so that makes my task even more challenging. But yes, we don't have to burn a hole in our pocket buying toys. However, sometimes I wonder if I'm depriving him, especially after going to playdate with another kid whose place is almost brimming over with toys. But experience tells me it's wiser not to succumb to the sense of guilt.

Often, Kenan would appear thrilled with a certain toy at the store, but once we buy it home, he would probably play it a while and then chuck it aside. Then he will go back to some simple toys like balls, or he will fiddle with bottles, empty boxes and whatever knick knacks he can lay his tiny hands on. When that's done, he will go on an exploration trip around the house, attempting to open drawers or cupboard doors and emptying the contents. But often, he will be happy just to 'read' his books or our magazines (books are possibly our best buys as he really loves them).

Here are some photos I found of him playing with a balloon. These were taken when he was about eight months old (he looks so different now ya? Was such a chubby boy then!).

Day 1 - Happy balloon time!

Day 2 - Balloon burst. Nevermind, let me play with the string then!

As you can see, one simple balloon like this keeps him occupied for two days. Even on the second day after the balloon had burst, he was happily playing with the string tied to it. So that's my boy for you.

Anyway, recently I thought of letting him try out some craft work and decided to make playdough for him.

I searched the internet for recipes and followed one found on Kaboose which I adapted for my purpose. Here's how I made the playdough:

2 cups of flour
1/3 cup of salt
Food colouring

1. Mix the flour and salt together in a big bowl.
2. Put a few drops of the food colouring into the water and stir well.
3. Slowly add water into the flour and salt and knead thoroughly until it's a firm, stretchy dough, add more water if necessary.
4. Store the playdough in an airtight container.

I chose this recipe because it doesn't require any cooking, unlike many other recipes I came across (I think cooking is supposed to help the playdough last longer).

To make it more interesting, you can make use of cookie cutters to cut out different shapes.

Kenan wasn't really fascinated with the playdough, think he doesn't quite like the feel of it. He would kind of pinch the dough or squash whatever I made for him but he has not attempted to make anything yet. Guess it's beyond his age for now. Anyway, my purpose was to give him a new experience, which I think is what's more important at this stage of his development.

By the way, it's been about two weeks since I first made the playdough and it turned moist and sticky. So what I did was to add some flour and knead it back to the right texture again.

Do you have some interesting activities you do with your toddler at home? Hope you can share with me your ideas!


MamaJ said...

Hello, thanks for dropping by my blog! And glad you found the activities useful! :) Your playdough looks great, when I tried another no-cook version it turned out way too sticky! So now we're sticking to store-bought versions, but after reading this post, I would like to try your version soon! :)

Ruth said...

Let me know if you do make the playdough! Btw, are there any non-toxic ready-made playdough? I ended up making as I was afraid my boy will put the playdough into his mouth; I feel safer if it's home-made :)

MamaJ said...

Actually, I'm not sure. I just try to buy anything that has a label that says it conforms to the ASTM/EN71 standards, I think our playdough set also said the dough was not toxic. I guess you never know though, so home-made is still best! :)

Corsage@A Dollop Of Me said...

Thanks Ruth for dropping by my blog. Glad to see MamaJ here as well - she's an amazing mom! This post caught my eye. I've been meaning to make playdough for ages but never got round to it! Bubbles did play with homemade ones at a friend's place though. Pretty neat!

Ruth said...

MamaJ: ASTM/EN71... you've taught me something new! Thanks for that, I'll look out for the certification from now on.

Corsage: Yes, MamaJ's amazing.. and so are you! Learnt a lot from your blog too :)

mumusings said...

Interesting post - I will definitely try making the dough. My son was on helium high a few weeks back playing with home-modified propelling balloon tied to a roll of paper. Guess kids do share numerous universal interests.

Ruth said...

Mumusings: That sounds like lots of fun! Somehow kids are just so attracted to balloons :)

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