Play dough is wonderfully versatile. It can be used in a limitless amount of pretend/fantasy play scenarios from creating your own sweet shop, to under the sea exploration or if you wish jurassic dinosaur attack! It is also great for very young children (although you have to keep a close eye to make sure not too much ends up in their mouths) because they can manipulate play dough easily unlike clay for instance which tends to require more strength.
You can also add to the sensory experience of play dough by adding essential oils or chopped up herbs from the garden. You don’t have to use salt either if you are using play dough with very young children or food colouring you can just keep it very plain. I visited an early childhood centre recently that had what I thought was a great idea. They made bread with the children. So the children got to measure out the ingredients and strengthened their hands whilst kneading the dough and then eat what they had made. I think this is a great alternative for people who believe it is wasteful to use flour just for play or who want to follow tikanga Maori.
Alice measured out the ingredients :
2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Salt
2 tbsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp oil
1 1/2 cups boiling water
We added food colouring and glitter.