Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Salt Dough Science

 Call it what you will but play dough, salt dough, play clay...it never gets old. Approach a batch of salt dough with your wee ones as a science experiment and you'll witness some great fun, dialogue and happy kidlets!

What you need:
*large bowl
*mess friendly zone
*wooden spoons
*1/2 cup measuring cup
*damp dishcloth

scrumdilly-do it!

Set out your ingredients. Doing this outside would be the best bet but indoors will work as well. A typical batch of salt dough calls for one cup of flour, a half cup of salt and a half cup of water. By using a half cup measure you can introduce fractions to your wee ones. You can have your kidlets follow the recipe exactly so that they can learn the math part of following a recipe....order and measuring, or you can have them measure out the flour and salt and then add water as they will.
Into the bowl, have your wee on measure one cup of flour. Have them then, or a different kidlet, measure out a half cup of salt. Use the wooden spoons to sift together.

Add a little bit of water either by pouring it into the salt and flour or ask your wee ones to measure a tablespoonful at a time. While you do this, talk about play dough and clay and texture and feeling. What kind of dough does you wee one prefer? Explain that the more water that is added, the gooier the dough will be. The more flour, the more dry it will be and the more salt, the more gritty it will be.

After enough water has been added to make the dough stick a bit, toss those wooden spoon and go for it with your hands. Allow your children to mix and match, add as much water as they wish, salt...flour. Talk about what is happening with their mixtures. If you wish, you may want to create a graph of sorts to see which measures make which kind of dough. Also let your kidlets know that the more they manipulate the dough, the more moisture they can work off.
 Once they have the consistency they like, they can create sculptures to leave out in the sun to harden. Once dry, you can paint the pieces with paint or permanent markers. We had more fun mixing and creating than even thinking about an end product. Have fun!

1 comment:

  1. What a FUN idea!! I love this as a way to commemorate the little memorabilia you gather from a nature walk or from a special trip (like a sea shell, a fair ticket stub, a few popcorn kernels, etc). Brilliant. :)

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