Ahhhhh playdough. Every year before school starts I make a big batch of playdough for my new kiddos. I love to use playdough at the beginning of the year because 1) It's fun for the kids. 2) It's versatile-- they can make shapes, letters, numbers, or just play creatively and 3) It's so good for working those fine motor muscles in the hands that we so need to develop in order to write! AND I like to make scented dough because that just doubles the fun factor!
There are lots of good playdough recipes on the internet and they're all pretty similar. The recipe I've included here will give you a nice big batch so that a small group of children can use it and everyone will feel they have a sufficient amount of dough to work with.
First, you will need
Mix all of the ingredients in a stock pot and place on a burner set to medium-low.
(It's about a 3 on my stove.)
Stir occasionally and do not leave your dough unattended so that it doesn't burn. It does take a little muscle to stir it once it thickens up!
When it starts to look more dough-like, it is done cooking.
(6 to 9 minutes)
Remove from heat.
Lay out a sheet of waxed paper and dump your dough onto it, letting it cool for a few minutes before you handle it.
Once it's cooled down a bit, you can knead it into a smooth texture and store it in a Ziploc gallon bag or airtight container. My batch made 8 tennis ball sized pieces. Perfect for my class of 26 which will break down into 4 groups of 6 or 7 kids-- there will always be enough for one group to use the playdough!
And oh it smells YUMMY!
CLICK HERE FOR THE PRINTABLE RECIPE
The first week of school, I let my kids just "play" with the dough, using cookie cutter shapes. After that I give them playdough centers such as letters and numbers.
You might enjoy these free counting mats for playdough from Kindergarten Celebrations.
They have an adorable Chicka Chicka Boom Boom theme and use playdough to represent numbers 1-10 on a ten frame.
Super CUTE!! Check out Melissa's blog while you're there !
I also have these mats with the same theme from another great teacher. The kids use the playdough to form the letters and numbers:
They're on sale on TpT right now!
Now that my playdough is made I know the first day of school is around the corner. I have one more week....well just four days until I have to report back but so much to do in my classroom before that! At least I know I have this great bundle of centers ready to go now!
Oh yeah-- you might want to mention to your kiddos not to eat the playdough! It smells so good.........I can hardly blame them!