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Imaginative play with play dough

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It can be kneaded. It can be punched. It can be cut up. It can be rolled into “snakes.” It can be formed into shapes. It can help fine motor skills. It can be measured. It is a lot of fun. What wondrous substance is this? It is soft play dough, cheap to make but rich in possibilities! And with the languishing economy here is northern Michigan, soft play dough is inexpensive while providing hours of entertainment.

There are lots of recipes for soft play dough or clay. Here is a good one:
1 ½ cup salt
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon alum
1 cup water
½ cup cooking oil
food coloring, if desired
Mix dry ingredients in a plastic bowl. Gradually add oil and water. Knead in food coloring. Store in an airtight container.

Children can also help make soft play dough. Not only do they have fun helping with the measuring and mixing, they are learning a little about math in the process.

Children like the feel of play dough. It helps a child’s fine motor skills. It can be formed into a shaped then “mushed” up to start all over again. The possibilities are endless with this medium—it can be poked, pounded and rolled. Cookie cutters add another dimension to this kind of play.

Homemade play dough also makes a good Christmas present. What a great personalized gift!

Making soft play dough is a great activity to do with your child. And this simple mixture of flour and salt provides many ways to boost a child’s imagination.

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