Nothing evokes a sense of Autumn more than the smell of fresh apples and cinnamon – and this Apple Cinnamon Play Dough brings that into the classroom. It’s perfect for all of the sights, sounds, and smells of fall, and it’s also a great way to start the school year. Teachers want to plan center activities that incorporate multiple senses that are inviting and, of course, fun! This Apple Cinnamon Play Dough is a great addition to a unit on the Five Senses as well!
This favorite play dough recipe is very adaptable. It can be magical at the beginning of the year and modified with cocoa powder or vanilla 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!
Play dough is more than just a fun way to keep young children occupied and entertained. Children playing with the dough can get so much more out of it than just fun! (More about that here!)
The best thing about this apple cinnamon play 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. If necessary, do other cooking in class (like 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 planning 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!)
Apple Cinnamon Play Dough Recipe
To make the dough, mix these ingredients:
- 1Tbsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 1 cup flour
- 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
Mix all ingredients, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. When the dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the pan, remove it from heat. Knead the dough until it’s smooth! Store this Apple Cinnamon Play Dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator when it is not in use.
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More Fall Resources
Here is a bushel of fall-themed resources to help make your classroom as fantastic as the foliage!
- Bring the colors of the season indoors with this Fall Leaves Interactive Bulletin Board
- Storytime is fantastic with these Fabulous Fall Books for Preschoolers.
- Fill up the sensory table with this bountiful harvest of 14 Fall Sensory Bin Ideas.
- Enjoy some apple-themed books from this lovely list!
- 10 days of Fall Lesson Plans are prepared, along with more center ideas, in this Fall Preschool Unit.
Check out this Resource from my Shop!
Fall Preschool Unit$10.00
This Fall Preschool Unit includes 10 days of complete lesson plans with everything done for you. Just print and teach these developmentally appropriate (ages 3-5) fall-themed activities.
Instead of Apple Cider can you use water?
Jamie White, M.Ed.
Yes, of course! We use water in our basic play dough recipe HERE: https://playtolearnpreschool.us/best-play-dough-recipe/
It won’t smell like apples, but you can add the cinnamon to make it a little festive.
Mmmm!! What a great idea. Thank you for sharing this recipe. My classroom is going to smell so good.
Jamie White, M.Ed.
Wau, perfect !! Thank you very much ! I already made it for my toddies and it smells delicous 🙂 Can´t wait for tomorrow 🙂
Jamie White, M.Ed.
Thanks for sharing it! It’s adorable.