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Have you ever noticed that most of the playdough available in the market are all labeled as non-toxic, but at the same time contain a lot of chemicals? With playdough being a toy made for children, it is no surprise if you find them licking or nibbling away at their playdough out of curiosity and although the manufacturer may claim that accidental intake of playdough in small amounts may not harm the child, for most parents out there, this is still a very worrying toy.
In recent years, many parents have taken up making homemade playdough for their child not only because the store bought ones contains various types of chemicals but also because making a DIY playdough at home is cheaper than buying it from a store and these store bought playdough can get increasingly expensive if you happen to have multiple children. Furthermore, if you are making a DIY playdough, you can always mix around with the colours and make any type of colours that your kids will love so that they won’t get bored of it so easily.
What’s more, if you happen to be a preschool teacher or a nanny and are worried about the kids putting unknown things into their mouths, while being occupied with other kids, this simple and non-toxic recipe is perfect for you.
Now you may be wondering, “why should the kids play with a playdough when there are so many other fuss-free toys?” Well the answer is simple. Because of its soft clay like properties, when kids are shaping them into things or rolling them around, it is actually helping them in developing their fine motor skills such as their muscles which will be helpful in the future when they start learning how to write or make arts and crafts.
Furthermore, playing with a playdough is also calming for children as the squishy playdough can be used as a stress ball. Children are very expressive creatures as they have not found the need to hide nor suppress their emotions. Thus when they get mad, the playdough can act as a stress ball substitute and help calm the children during their fit of anger. Meanwhile, playing with a playdough could also increase their focus in trying to shape it into the thing that they visualize, thus making their emotions fade away as they focus solely on trying to make what they desire.
In addition to that, it also encourages creativity and enhances their hand eye coordination whereby there are various things the playdough can be shaped into and it is all completely up to the child’s imagination. With there being no limitations on what a playdough can be turned into, this helps spark the child’s imagination into creating new things. Furthermore, while trying to shape the playdough into the child’s preferred shape, this helps in developing the child’s hand eye coordination by pushing them to manipulate and think of a way on how the playdough can be shaped into something that fits their ideas.
Letting your child play with playdough also helps in improving their social skills. For example, while the child is playing with their playdough, you can engage in a conversation with them about which colour of playdough is their favourite, what they are making and spend time together discussing the various materials and tools that can help make their imagination come true.
Other than that, it can also help support their critical thinking skills in which if they are faced with a problem, they will be able to force their brain into action to think of a solution for that current problem that they are facing. For example, while building a tall model of something, they find that their model keeps toppling over because the top half of the model is too heavy. With that, they will be able to activate their critical thinking skills in finding a solution to solve the issue so that they can continue making what they desire.
It can also help in increasing their literacy and mathematics skill in where by making them into various shapes and sizes and sharing it among the children, they will be able to tell you the changes in size, who has a bigger playdough and they will even be able to learn descriptive phrases when trying to describe the shape, texture or what it is that they have made thus, enhancing their literacy skills as well. In addition to that, when they mix two different coloured playdough together, they will realise that it changes into a different colour and when they do, this helps in developing their understanding in the subject of science.
Playdough is a very powerful learning toy in helping the child develop in various aspects and it’s clear now that playing with playdough is worth all the cleaning trouble with all the benefits it brings. But of course, even though playing with playdough may be good for a child’s development, it is still better to have them start playing with it once they reach age two to prevent any sort of mishaps from happening and as a safety precaution. This is because a child is very likely to continuously put things in their mouth out of curiosity and by the time they reach the age of two, their desire to explore things with their mouths will naturally decrease. However, even if they are allowed to play with playdough at the age of two, this does not mean that they should be playing with the playdough unsupervised though.
Here’s an easy recipe to make some non-toxic play-dough for your little ones. Do keep in mind to not omit the salt and the cream of tartar as they help to preserve the dough. While the recipe is technically organic since we are able to control what goes into the playdough and leave out all the chemical induced ingredients with it being a homemade type of playdough, we still want to make sure that our little ones and pets will avoid from eating these overly salty dough as it may be harmful to their health. Since the playdough has an abundant amount of salt blended in, parents or adults should always remember to keep an eye out on the children and their pets while they are playing with the playdough or is going near it as it may cause salt poisoning.
You can now learn how to make a non-toxic playdough catering to your child’s colour preference using your multifunction and all purpose Thermomix®. Although Thermomix® is marketed as a multifunctional and all purpose cooker, this cooker is actually more than that. Its potential is endless since this cooker’s functionality is not only limited to the kitchen but in creating various things which can be created with any kitchen appliances as well. Find out from the step by step guide provided below on how to make a playdough!
Homemade Non-Toxic Playdough Recipe
110 g salt
250 g water
1 tbsp cream of tartar
250 g plain flour
1 tbsp cooking oil
food colouring in various colours
To begin with, place the salt into the Thermomix mixing bowl and grind them into fine powder for 5 seconds at speed 10.
Then, scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure that there is no residue left sticking to the walls of the bowl when moving onto the next step.
Add water and cream of tartar in to the grinded salt earlier and cook at 60°C for 5 minutes at speed 3.
Next, add in the flour and oil and set it to mix for 50 seconds at speed 4.
After it is done mixing, put the setting to knead for 1 minute.
Once done kneading, check if the texture is still sticky. You can try pulling it off the blades to see if it is still sticking on strongly to the blades. If the dough is not coming off easily, add more flour and continue kneading for another good 30 seconds.
Once the dough separates from the blades easily, divide them into equal parts in several bowls. And with that your playdough is ready. Now you just need to add in yours or your child’s preferred colours.
Add a drop of food colouring into each bowl containing the playdough and mix it in with your hands until the colour is evenly distributed.
After all the playdough has gotten their colours all evenly distributed and dried, it’s ready to PLAY!
If you wish to keep the playdough soft for months to come, after your kids are done playing with the playdough, wrap them in individual cling wrap to prevent them from sticking onto one another and store them in an airtight container or re-sealable bag in the fridge.
💡: While mixing the colours into the playdough, wear plastic gloves to avoid staining your hands.
💡: You may also add in some glitters to make it more fun and kids love glitters!
💡: This dough can keep for couple of months if stored properly.