Sometimes in the doldrums of winter, it’s easy to forget that there are lots of fun things that you can be doing with your kids. One easy idea that has a lot of educational potential is to create your own play-dough. Teaching kids that there is a process behind creating toys, and then going through that process with them, can be a valuable learning experience. The act of creating the play-dough itself requires math skills, reading skills, and then boosts creativity as kids get to choose what colors to make their play-dough and what to make with their finished product! Play-dough isn’t difficult to create, and it allows for bonding time between you and your child, or between older siblings and their younger siblings. There are two different ways to make play-dough: one that involves cooking on a stovetop and the other that involves no cooking and is suitable for younger children to complete all by themselves. Of course, having someone involved who makes the exercise deliberate is helpful.
For added educational benefits, ask older children to double or halve the recipe for practice in upper-level math skills. To help younger children improve reading skills, have them read the directions aloud. Our personal favorite play-dough recipes can be found at http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Playdough-Play-doh/. What are some other projects that you love to make with your kids?