My name is Joanna Davis-Lanum and I'm the author and voice behind my classroom art blog"We Heart Art". Among other things I'm addicted to (photographing my two boys, anything crafty, crock-pot meals, colorful scrapbook paper, and home-fragrance items) I'm addicted to Pinterest. Recently I came across a little gem on Pinterest that has rocked my classroom. And my house. And my nose. And my inner-child. Behold the the power that is....
Most teachers don't enjoy using play-doh. It's messy. The kids mix the colors. The kids may eat it. We don't have time for it. It dries quickly. Kids with sensory issues don't like it.
Besides the creativity that abounds from a lump of play-doh, there are other obvious "plusses" to this "go-to" indoor activity! Play-Doh provides fun while increasing strength of those intrinsic muscles in their hands! It's great for dexterity and fine motor skills! It strengthens neuro-transmissions in the brain!...in other words, Play-Doh is supercalafragilisticexbealidocious!
1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
1 Tablespoon Peppermint Extract (by the Vanilla Extract in the Grocery Store!)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water
red glitter (optional)
red food coloring (optional)
1. Mix flour, salt, & cream of tartar in a medium cooking pot.
2. Add water, peppermint extract and oil.
3. Stir over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes stirring constantly.
4. When mixture forms a ball in pot, remove.
5. Knead until smooth. I use red food coloring to make some red and leave some white as well.
6. Store in any air-tight container or bag, or decorate to give as gifts---like me!
Now, beside this stuff being completely awesome and cute, there are some teaching extensions that you can use to make it classroom-worthy!
- Smell and Build: the aromatherapy of the peppermint extract will fill your classroom with this calming scent! Peppermint has been used as a calming agent for hundreds of years...it may be just what you need for your energetic kids on a cold day right before Winter Break! Encourage your students to describe the smell with words.
- Talk it Out: If you make the play-doh with the students, ask process questions while you're making it: "What will happen when we add the red food coloring?"
- Bead It: use these math mats! Have the kids roll the play-doh up into balls and practice counting!
- Just Beat It: Playing with and pounding on play-doh can offer all children a healthy and safe outlet for releasing extra energy and expressing their feelings!
- Still think that play-doh is just for fun? Check out this article in Young Children Magazine from 2005 outlining the pros to play-doh!
Play-Doh isn't just for child's play anymore...it can be a useful, tangible, therapeutic learning tool that you can use in your classroom! Do yourself a favor...and do your kids a favor...and plunge into some peppermint play-doh. You'll be glad you did, and you'll be hooked!
Joanna Davis is a National Board Certified Art Teacher and teaches at Garden Elementary School in Venice, Florida. She is a mom to two young, energetic boys, and sometimes besides kneading play-doh for therapy, she takes peppermint bubble baths!
This post has been added to:
I Heart Nap Time link-up
Hi Sugarplum! Christmas Cheer link-up
Thirty Handmade Days Pity Party
Catch My Party link-up
La-la's Home Daycare Holiday Linky
The Girl Creative link-up
No Time for Flash Cards linky
C.R.A.F.T "Making Monday Marvelous" link-up
Somewhat Simple SYS linky
Craft Junkie Too linky
Crafts Unleashed Holiday Link-Up
The Grant Life Friday link-up
If I've left you off, my apologies, I think the peppermint is getting to my brain! Leave me a comment so I can right my wrong!