A favorite preschool theme is The Five Senses. It’s perfect for all of the sights, sounds, and smells of fall and it’s also a great way to start off the school year. We plan center activities that incorporate multiple senses, that are inviting and of course fun! This Apple Cinnamon Play Dough is a perfect Senses center.
This favorite play dough recipe is very adaptable. It can be magical at the beginning of the year and modified with cocoa powder to it to make pretend ice cream for a dramatic play ice cream parlor. It can be made in any color, switched easily by trading out a few ingredients and it is relatively inexpensive to make. There are infinite possibilities.
The best thing about this dough is that it is very soft and pliable. However, the tricky part is that it is a cooked dough, which means that it needs to be prepared in advance. While cooking with preschoolers is definitely a recommended activity, it does take time to cool. Often at PTL, we do other cooking in class (like this applesauce and this banana bread), so it is perfectly fine to make this a teachers-only prep.
Cream of tartar is essential to making this dough stay so pliable. It is the most expensive ingredient in the dough, so if it is in the plans to make many batches, this huge 2-pound container of it (found HERE) is great to keep on hand at all times!
When teaching young children about the Senses, try to find activities that incorporate multiple senses. Of course students can explore this Apple Cinnamon Play Dough with their sense of touch, but when using this recipe, learners can see the specks of cinnamon and it is also fantastic for the sense of smell. (It is not, however, good for the sense of taste, though. It’s safe, but definitely not delicious!)
To make the dough, mix these ingredients: