This is an activity I did when Travis was a toddler. Today it was Veronika’s turn, but it looked so fun that Travis wanted a repeat, too!
To make the play dough, place the following in a bowl (do not stir):
2 cups flour
1/2 cup salt
1 and 1/2 tablespoons cream of tartar
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 drops tea tree oil
Add 1 cup boiling water, pouring directly over the salt. Knead the dough until smooth, adding about 2 tablespoons more flour if it feels too sticky.
We divided our dough into 3 portions to color it the various hues of a pond landscape. Some was green for grass, some was blue for the water, and some was a yellowish-brown for stones or earth.
I set out all three colors on a tray, adding a few plastic frogs and lizards, and Veronika immediately came to see what it was all about. And Travis too!
Veronika loved just moving the toy animals around on the dough.
She clearly enjoyed the sensory elements, whether the way it smelled (the tea tree oil is so authentically earthy!) or the feel of pulling large portions of play dough into small pieces.
Travis enjoyed the imaginative elements that this particular play dough lends itself to. He made little “rocks” from the yellow dough, and set out the turtles and lizards to “sun”.
Next, he built a tree for a frog to hop up! I loved seeing his creativity.
In sum, this simple homemade play dough will be a hit for all ages.