Magic Play Dough


I just finished making “Magic Play Dough” for the first day of Kindergarten.  I decided that while it is cooling, it is the perfect time to write my blog.

This is one of my favorite activities to do on the first day of school.  I start off the activity by hiding a ball of dough in our “Mystery Bag.”  To find out what is inside of the bag, the students have to ask me questions that I can only answer yes or no to.  When they guess what is in my bag, I pull out the white play dough that I made and tell them that it is very special play dough!  I become very animated and excited as I tell them that it is magical – just like Kindergarten is a magical place!  I tell them that if they roll their ball of dough and it turns colors, then they are going to have a magical year in school!

I take the ball of dough and dramatically squish it up and voila!  It changes its color!!  Every year gets the same response as they squeal, laugh and clap with joy as they see the dough “magically” change colors.  Then, I give each child their own ball of dough inside of a plastic bag.  I have them squish up the dough inside of the bags so that the “magical liquid” inside doesn’t stain their fingers.  I take pictures throughout the whole activity because their reactions are priceless. I have never had a class that hasn’t loved Magic Play Dough and I cannot wait to see the reaction I get from my newest kids.  I have included the recipe in case you want to make a magical batch of your own!

* 2 cups flour
*2 cups water
*2 tbsp cream of tartar
*1/2 cup salt
*1/4 cup vegetable oil
*food coloring
(This makes a rather small batch – I usually double it to make enough for my entire class.)
Mix together all the ingredients in a 2 quart saucepan.  Cook over low/medium heat, stirring constantly.  Continue stirring until mixture thickens and forms a ball.   Remove dough – it will be very hot!! 
Knead the dough and separate into small balls and let cool. 
Add the food coloring to a hole, hidden in the play dough.  The color will come out after you begin to knead the dough filled with color.


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2 thoughts on “Magic Play Dough

  1. Karen Thomas September 7, 2013 at 9:41 pm Reply

    What a great idea!! I think I am going to do this with my three year old nephew.

    • clairesinclair September 7, 2013 at 9:58 pm Reply

      Definitely! You could even cut the recipe in half if it is for one child. It is so much fun to play with!!

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