Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Leave-Behind, No-Waste Playdough

I love Playdough but it doesn't love me back.  Here's another simple compromise a working mom needed to make.

After going a little crazy with buying playdough when it was safe for Ladybug Girl to play with, all I ended up coming home to were mixed colors and hardened clay.  I'm sure every mom will relate to that, (like OC Mom in Manila's post here).  What a waste!

So we just ended up using the hardened playdough in projects like this:
our first volcano using hardened playdough, baking powder + vinegar with with red food coloring
I envy moms who can leave playdough readily available with the rest of the toys.  Or those who can supervise creative things that leave playdough out in the open like this:
Playdough activity area from above blog I follow
I even tried to do a leave-behind tray with playdough, copied from another site (which ended up being too much work than it was worth):
The point was to stick the playdough "apples" on top of each family member, just like the book
I went through two cans of playdough for the duration of the tray and just felt it was such a waste (though fun).  Playdough is definitely not leave-behind friendly for the DIY Corporate Mom!

So now it's pretty much a supervised activity for floor time with me.  Which means I pre-prepare it (does that make sense?), and use it for playful learning like these instead:
Mixing colors to make green and varying hues of it (a sensorial activity)
Practicing fine motor skills work like rolling and slicing
Making collages (which I confess I dismantle and return in proper cans afterwards)

So what is a friendly leave-behind alternative for the working mom?  Moon dough!  I use it with Ladybug Girl's Play-doh letters and numbers (but it doesn't work with the fancier mold sets, I tried).
Ladybug girl stamps the words, following the flashcard, on moon dough.  We also use it to stamp her name.
The best part is it never dries out, and I just smudge away the stamp dents with my fingers - and it's ready for a new word instantly!

We also use it as a pretend clay tablet like the ancient students during the Egyptian days.  I make her do lines and pictures to practice her writing without her knowing.  Since she's still developing her fine motor skills, this encourages her to focus on making words without the struggle of writing.

So now this DIY Corporate Momma can have the best of both worlds. 


  1. I feel you, play dough is definitely not a "leave it out for the kids to play when they want" activity at our house either. :-)


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