After a shaky start with stretchy playdough during our 50 day play challenge, Isabelle has developed a huge love of the squidy stuff and is always asking to play with it. The no-cook playdough I made for her at the start of November was definitely well loved but, after being poorly sealed up last time we played it had to go into the bin last week. That was perfect timing, however, to create some new scented dough instead.
I decided to make a simple chocolate scented playdough for a cupcake activity, as Isabelle absolutely adores playing with a cupcake set she received for Christmas. To make the play dough you need:
*2 cups plain flour
*1/2 cup hot chocolate powder
*1 cup salt
*2 tablespoons vegetable oil
*2 tablespoons cream of tartar
*1 cup boiling water
I combined all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stirred them together with a spoon, as the mixture is initially very hot due to the water. The hot chocolate powder both colours and scents the dough, and easily spreads throughout it as you mix. After the dough had cooled slightly, I took it from the bowl and kneaded it with my hands until I was happy with the consistency. It took less than 5 minutes and it was ready to go.
I laid out the tin from her cupcake set, along with some muffin cases we already had. I also made some 'sprinkles' for the top of the cupcakes simply by cutting up coloured paper into very teeny pieces and placing them inside an old sprinkles jar we already had (I disposed of the sprinkles which were 3 years out of date! Oops!). Although we usually play with playdough on the table, I decided that we we use the tough spot this time instead, so I set everything out while Isabelle was napping. I decided to include her oven sheet, rolling pin and cookie cutters too, along with some lollipop stick 'candles'.
Isabelle woke up, and we were ready to play! The playdough smelled delicious - absolutely good enough to eat. It had a really rich chocolatey smell which filled the whole room and it looked so much like chocolate that it was pretty hard to resist taking a bite! Sadly, this is where it all started to go a bit wrong...because our dog agreed that the playdough looked and smelled delicious. While I was getting Isabelle up, Roxy was chowing down...she ate half the play dough!
Funny, but no big deal, we still had plenty to make our cupcakes. Isabelle was excited to see her new playdough along with her cupcake making kit, and she was most excited about the sprinkles. I made a few balls of dough and she enthusiastically added the sprinkles on top, before popping them into the muffin cases and topping with a candle, and then even more sprinkles. I was surprised that she was happy to let me play with the dough to make the 'cakes' while she decorated as she usually insists that she is the only one who touches her dough. However, the sprinkles were a new element in our playdough, so I suppose it is only natural that she was most taken with these. We were able to pick out colours in the sprinkles, and carefully sniffed our playdough while I made the shapes.
We played for about 10 minutes baking our cupcakes when things suddenly went very wrong. What goes down must come up, and the dog eaten playdough made a hasty reappearance in the other room. On the rug. Play was swiftly abandoned in favour of clean up, and by the time we had gotten round to cleaning everything and hosing down the rug, Isabelle's interest in the playdough had waned and we played outside instead.
I was hoping to pick up the cupcake play maybe the next day...only to find that one nibble hadn't quite been enough for Roxy, who polished off almost all of the rest of the dough as well! (Yes, I should have lifted it up. But I didn't think she would be that stupid!!)
Due to unforeseen circumstances, this was definitely not our most successful activity to date! However, Isabelle really did enjoy decorating our chocolate cupcakes so I will have to make some more of the dough soon, and remember to keep it well out of doggy reach....
Don't forget that you can follow along with the 31 day sensory play challenge on the Adventures of Adam Pinterest board here.