Play dough- Science!

My preschoolers love to tell me their favorite activities. Since this is a Kindergarten Prep- many of them attended preschool last year. Everyone was in agreement- we needed play dough!

In Funshine Express Curriculum daily guide book- there is a Play dough recipe. I unfortunately didn't have any Cream of Tartar... so I looked on line for a different play dough recipe.

The result was a very dry and crumbly batch of play dough. (I was disappointed.) But- I like to take advantage of every learning  opportunity- so while we tried to manipulate it- the kids were FULL or ideas of how to make this dough better! Some suggested we store it in the refrigerator while others thought the freezer. Some thought it should be in a baggy while others thought a box would be better.

I said, "Let's experiment!" We took our dry, crumbly play dough and we put two balls in bags, and two balls in plastic containers. One set of bag/and box went into the refrigerator while another set in the freezer.

(This all happened- Wednesday)

I made sure to pick up Cream of Tartar that day- so I could make a batch of nice play dough for our next preschool day.

Today- our new batch was tinted BLUE so we could keep track of the old, crumbly play dough tinted RED.

First we compared the RED play dough. How did the dough do in the FREEZER?
(I had punched out different color circles- and each child had a different color. When they voted- they got to glue their color circle on our graph.)

As you can see- storing dough in the freezer- makes very HARD play dough. Regardless if it is in a bag or plastic container.
Then we compared the dough that was stored in the refrigerator.
More kids thought the dough stored in the plastic bag- was hard and crumbly than dough stored in plastic container.  (The categories are: hard-soft-squishy-crumbly)
THEN we compared the RED dough to the BLUE dough.
Red dough was the dry/crumbly dough day one. (I'll admit, it did improve in consistency after being stored for 2 days.)
But comparing DAY 1 Red dough- to DAY 1 Blue dough .. here were our results.
Blue (Funshine Express) Dough was soft and squishy and easier to play with day one!
I was really pleased how this activity turned out.
We talked about how it is good to never give up!
What if I made the RED play dough- got disappointed it didn't turn out and decided, "I'll never try and make play dough again!"  The kids agreed- that would not be good.
Even storing the dough for 2 days- improved the red dough.
Just wanted to share this kid- directed play dough science experiment.
And if YOU have ever wondered the BEST way to store play dough--
Now you know! In the refrigerator, in a plastic container!


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