Seeking sensory input and imaginative play ideas! Reason for the delay in posting is that I was on a streak of failed DIY crafts with the kids! Sigh. And I was trying to make an Easter banner, do some St. Patrick’s Day themed decorations….all to the recycle bin. I would say I feel embarrassed that I tried three ways to Sunday to make each of the above-themed decorations and failed, but cest la vie! It happens, I hopped back onto Pinterest to come up with a few more fresh ideas.
The kids were rallying around all the felts, string, scissors and everything I had out from my home decor crafting. Duncan told me to “calm my body.” Something I frequently tell them when they are frustrated, or wild, or have their listening ears turned off…So I took a breath, set aside the home décor ideas, and decided it was time to get them crafting.
We rummaged through the craft drawers; the play-doh was dried out, we color all the time, the googly eyes and feathered mini boa were not appealing. Hmm. Nothing attention-getting there. Except Laney and Duncan were excited about the play-doh. I pulled out the play-doh bin and they told me about the tools that were in it. The rollers made shapes in the dough, the scissors cut little pieces, the stamps made faces in the dough…You get the idea, I’m sure! It occupied them for a few moments while I gathered ideas. About fifteen Pinterest recipes later and I started pulling things out of the pantry to make up our own recipe.
Things to Use:
- 10-15 large marshmallows
- coconut oil (warmed)
- food coloring
- sensory tools (or play-doh tools)
This is a relatively easy recipe. Staying true to my goals of keeping the kids involved from the setup to breakdown, they each had their own bowl. They both practiced counting out about 7 or 8 marshmallows each, then two Tablespoons of cornstarch and 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil. I microwaved each bowl for about 30 seconds (or until the coconut oil melted and the marshmallows were soft and mushy.
The kids mixed up their own bowls. We added a pinch of cornstarch as needed to keep the stickiness down. They each chose a color to add, and I squeezed just 1-2 drops of food coloring into each bowl. I admit, I thought they would be oh so patient and mix the coloring in until it was uniform. Jokes on me! They pulled it out of the bowl and started playing moments after the food coloring was added. The dough was a neat streaky look!
Everything I saw on Pinterest was completely uniform in color – kudos to those parents that took that time to mix it so well or who had kids patient enough. Mine were un-phased by the streaky look of their homemade marshmallow dough. The cool thing about the homemade stuff is all the variations you can make!
Bonus! The coconut oil was awesome for moisturizing little hands while they played! I put down parchment paper, but they both were annoyed by it’s crinkling while they rolled and stamped their marshmallow dough, so that went by the wayside after a few minutes. But if you want an easy contained activity, the parchment paper helps; just roll and fold everything into it that needs to be tossed.
We have a bin of play-doh rollers, scissors, stamps, etc. so we ended up using those “tools” to play. Great for fine motor skill development. Definitely a solid sensory activity too! The marshmallow dough smelled sweet, didn’t have a great taste (but is edible), the texture was different than the usual play-doh, and we experimented with making our own colors! Super fun, super easy to make! And my kids have asked to do it again!
The dough was an odd consistency, not quite play-doh like, but not too tough either! And I did not save it when were ready to move on. It toughened up after about a half hour, so I tossed it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and it was like new again.
When they were done, I did a quick baby wipe of their hands to take off the excess oil, but I mushed the dough around for a few too to see how it acted. It was different! And moisturized hands after were an added bonus during this cold, dry weather!
Enjoy the dough!