In my quest to find more messy play stuff that isn’t so messy, I happened upon Fluffy playdough. We named it this because it looks a little like Fluff, the American marshmallowy stuff that you can get from a few shops over here. It’s like the stuff inside Tunnocks teacakes. Light, whippy and moreish. What I didn’t know when I made Fluffy playdough, was just how interesting a material it would be, and how many learning opportunties it would bring! We went from an enjoyable sensory experience, to mark making and even painting!
How to make Fluffy Playdough
It’s so easy to make. You need:
- shaving foam (supermarket own brand won’t cost more than 30p)
- cornflour (again own brand, which is less than £1)
- a bowl and spoon
Mixing the Fluffy playdough was a little trial and error and depends on your child. More foam makes a wetter substance, more cornflour makes a firmer dough. Keep mixing little bits and when it starts to form a ball of dough, you can add more or less wet/ dry ingredients according to the texture you want. I went for a drier consistency, which turned out to have some added benefits…
Once the dough was ready, we:
- used rolling pins to roll the dough flat
- talked about the texture as we pressed our fingers into the dough
- talked about the smell- it was like flowers
- used cutters to make shapes
- used our fingers to make numbers and letters
- practised letter recognition- the preschooler helped me to make his name out of the dough and then pointed out random letters as I said the sound that they made
- used a dough press to push small pieces of the dough into a pie tin
After a short while we noticed that the Fluffy playdough was becoming more and more dry. This was more than likely due to the shaving foam evaporating and it turned out to be an extension of our messy play. We discovered that we could crumble the dough and let the crumbs fall to the Tuff Spot like snow.
When we had covered the Tuff Spot with our Fluffy snow, the preschooler wasted no time it getting his hands in to feel the new texture. He noted that it was dry, cold and soft. I showed him how to make marks with his finger tips and without prompting he drew a letter L. I siezed the chance to see if he could write his name for me and asked what letter came next. He wasn’t sure so we talked about the letters in his name and I showed him how to write it. Then I wiped my letters away and asked him to try again. I reminded him of each letter that he needed and he made his first attempt to write his name! He managed the L, and U and made very good attempts at the K and A. This was the first time he had wanted to even try and I was so impressed with his efforts!
The preschooler spent a long time transferring the powdery Fluff from one hand to another and spreading it around the tray. He filled the cutters and he spent some time creating little scenrios with the spoons and rolling pin as characters.
Once he’d finished, we were left with lots of dry fluffy playdough, so I decided to experiment with some glue and paint. The next Tuff Spot play post will show you what happened!
Fluffy Playdough is a short lived material to use in messy/ sensory play but we got so much out of it and it was so cheap and easy to do that I will certainly be doing it again. This is a good one for children who aren’t too keen on getting very messy and one that needs supervision for younger infants as the shaving foam makes it inedible.