The best playdough recipe I ever made was at Kindergarten as a student-teacher. Over the years I’ve become an expert at making homemade playdough and I’ve got it down to a fine art. I remember my kindergarten tutor giving me a playdough recipe and telling me to give it a try. The playdough turned out fantastic.
Today I am sharing the best playdough recipe with cream of tartar. It’s simple and easy to make and doesn’t take too long. I’ll also be sharing a simple and frugal playdough activity that is both fun and a great way to teach kids about insects and fossils.
Teaching Kids About Fossils
It can be really fun to teach children about fossils. There are two types of fossils, body fossils or trace fossils.
A body fossil is the preserved remains of an animal or plant. Last year my husband took Sylvia my daughter to the Natural Museum of History in London to see the body fossils of a dinosaur. It was a fantastic experience.
There are lots of different types of body fossils and they are all different shapes and sizes. The second type of fossil is a trace fossil.
Trace fossils are the remains and evidence of an animals’ activity. Examples of trace fossils include preserved footprints, tracks, fossilised nests and eggshells.
What Is a Palaeontologist?
The name of someone who studies and works with fossils is a Palaeontologist.
After creating your playdough recipe you might want to talk to the children about fossils. You could role play, go on an adventure, pretend to be Paleontologists, explore and discover fossils from many years ago.
This is a fantastic playdough activity to teach children about exploration, to teach little ones about discovery and the world around them. Enjoy.
Ingredients to Make the Best Playdough Recipe
- 3 ½ cups of Flour
- 3 Tbsp. Cream of Tartar
- ½ cup Salt
- 3 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. Vegetable Oil
- Brown Food Colouring
- 2 cups Boiling Water
- Variety of Small Plastic Bugs
How to Make Playdough With Cream of Tartar
Now it’s time to make the playdough. You can make this either on your own or with the little ones. If you are making your playdough with kids, be careful of the hot water and make sure the little ones are supervised at all times.
1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cream of tartar, salt, 3 tablespoons of oil, and the food colouring.
2. Add in the boiling water and mix well until all combined.
3. Add the 1 teaspoon of oil and knead the playdough for 1-2 minutes.
4. Press out small pieces of the dough and press different bugs into it to make your own fossils.
This playdough activity is ready for play. Enjoy!
Using This Playdough Activity to Teach Kids
So what can this activity teach young children? You might be surprised. Let’s take a look!
Not only is this a great sensory activity and teaching opportunity, playing with playdough can give children the opportunity to get creative, use their imagination and develop those cognitive thinking skills.
Whilst the children play, in particular in a group setting, there will be an opportunity to chat and talk about fossils and insects, maybe even dinosaurs. This helps kids to build their social and speaking skills.
Playing with the insects can be a great way to teach colour. You could ask the children to name the colours of the Grasshopper, Centipede and other insects.
You might want to add some maths into the activity and count the insects, maybe even count the spiders legs in the fossil remains that you have printed into the playdough.
There are plenty of fun ways to use this activity as a teaching tool both in preschool, kindergarten and the home.
Why not try making your own batch of the best playdough and see what happens? I’m sure your child will love it.
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About Angela Milnes
Angela Milnes is a Qualified Early Years Teacher who has specialised in Preschool and Kindergarten teaching. She has a wealth of experience teaching young children and is passionate about kids crafts and having fun as a family. Angela has also taught cooking skills and loves to share both family recipes and easy instant pot recipes here on The Inspiration Edit. Follow her on Pinterest!