Making sensory dough at home is much easier than you might think, and you probably already have everything you need waiting in your pantry.
Sarah Gough from our Programs & Partnerships department and mom of three, walks you through common pantry staples that will help you create lasting, independent play time opportunities for you little one(s).
Sensory dough is a wonderful open-ended play material that can keep your children occupied creatively (and independently!) when you need to get some work done. There are also lots of ways to use sensory dough for more intentional skill building during your homeschool time.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) considers sensory dough “a powerful way to support your child’s learning,” by encouraging the development of their social, language and literacy, science, math, and physical skills – all while they’re just having fun!
1 cup all-purpose flour (+ ¼ cup extra reserved for final kneading) ¼ cup table salt
2 Tbsp cream of tartar (You can substitute vinegar or lemon juice. If so, add with the other liquid ingredients rather than at the beginning with the dry ingredients.)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil (You can substitute baby oil or mineral oil if you don’t need it to be taste-safe)
¾ cup boiling water
Food coloring (You can use either liquid or gel food coloring, and can substitute Kool-Aid, beet juice, turmeric, or even tempura or acrylic paint if you don’t need it to be taste safe – experiment and use what you have!)
Add flour, salt, and cream of tartar to a mixing bowl and stir to combine
Add your coloring ingredient to the boiling water and stir to combine, then add it to the dry ingredients along with the oil
Stir until it comes together to form a loose ball of dough, adding the reserved flour little by little as needed (until the mixture is no longer wet and holds together)
Turn the ball of dough out onto your counter or cutting board and knead until smooth
Allow to cool fully before storing it in an air-tight container, and it will last for several months up to a year