I always have play dough available in the classroom. Often, we make it in the morning using a no cook recipe that is mostly made up as I never write things down. It has all the usual suspects; 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 1/4 cup corn starch (makes it so smooth!), 2 T cream of tartar, 2 T oil, liquid watercolor, and about 1/2 cup of hot water. The measurements are not exactly exact when you let three-year-olds take the lead but it is always fun and it is always a learning process. While I would have delighted in making up a batch of pink dough for Valentine's Day, we had a perfectly good batch of aqua colored dough that came about when the children mixed their blue dough and their green dough together. Add a bunch of heart shapes and cookie cutters and voila! Valentine's Dough!
Perfectly good save for the fact that it kept getting more and more gooey week by week (hey, it's still good!). I think maybe someone was experimenting with water and well since school is always a learning process, I added a cup of flour to the table for the children to knead into the dough. We call it "working the dough". I love hearing their little voices call out that they are working the dough!
This was the first time I added basic flour to the table. Some of the children spent more time playing with the flour than the dough. Across the table I even had a batch of Valentine's Day cloud dough available but I think the sensation of the flour on the table was a new and unique experience. I remember how much I loved the feeling of flour on my hands when I helped my mother bake and so we added a bit more flour just because.
One of the children discovered she could make heart shapes in the flour with a cookie cutter. She also discovered she could scrape and scoop the flour with the cutter as well. It was all very exciting!
Every time I passed the dough table I was greeted with a new sight. One of my kiddos rolled the dough out as thin as possible and stuck these festive picks into it. They kept falling over and it took a few tries for him to realize the dough needed to be a a tad bit thicker. All that flour made the dough super fluffy and not crumbly. Putting it away at the end of the day found me joyfully rolling it into balls and squishing it into the bag, you know...to dust it off, of course!