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Mystery play dough in preschool

play doughWe’ve enjoyed making and experimenting homemade made play dough all year long … and by far the most favorite was the “mystery play dough” we made last week! In the “great minds think alike” category … Deborah Stewart at Teach Preschool did the same activity recently (stop by and see what her class did with their play dough).

I made up a batch of homemade play dough beforehand, (but you can have children can assist with this process, measuring and mixing the ingredients). I did mine beforehand because I wanted this to be a mystery. Next, I formed balls of play dough and used a straw to make a small hole into the play dough and then added a few drops of food coloring into it and covered it up. (Deborah used liquid watercolor, which I think I’ll try next time).

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When I got to class, I showed the kids the play dough balls and asked them what they thought I had in my hands (“play dough”) and what color it was (“white”). I asked them if they were SURE that the play dough was white (and they were). I then told them that there was something mysterious about this play dough, and when they played with it – “something would happen”!

So, each child got a ball of play dough and they were excited when it changed color!

Lots of screams of “I’ve got red!” and “Mine’s turning green!

The kids LOVED it – and it was great for their fine motor development as they had to kneed and squeeze and really work the play dough to get the color all through.

The color spreads very well throughout the homemade play dough.

We had one child with a gluten allergy, and since I didn’t have all the ingredients to make a batch of gluten-free play dough, I also make up some balls of regular store-bought white play dough and added drops of food coloring in those as well. While the homemade stuff is softer and the color spread more evenly; the regular white play dough mixed with the food color created a pretty marble effect.

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At the end, one little girl said “Miss Laura, that was the BEST activity ever!” That says it all … doesn’t it?!

Check out more fun play dough ideas on our SEEDS Idea Search and on our Pinterest board.

What is your favorite play dough activity?


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