Play Dough + Toddler = Disaster?

One of the benefits of using a good home made play dough recipe is that it doesn't matter if kids put it in their mouth, which is what the younger ones are almost certainly going to do.

I found this cute clip on YouTube of a toddler playing with play doh (the shop bought stuff), trying to eat it whilst poor dad is standing by trying to stop her (and not doing a very good job of it I might add!)

There's a couple of ways to approach this which depends on your child's age and how you are using the play dough. If your child is very young and you are introducing them to play dough to allow them to get used to the texture, colours etc then they are not likely to make anything particularly creative with it so you might want to just let them explore on their own.

By using the traditional play dough recipe which is very salty, if the child does put it in their mouth they are likely to spit it straight back out again. This can teach them that play dough is not something to be eaten.

On the other hand, take somebody like my son. He's two and a half, he still puts things in his mouth when we're not looking but he's old enough to know what food is. For him I would probably be more inclined to try one of the edible play dough recipe ideas because then I can tell him that its ok to eat it and that can be part of the fun for him.

As he gets to an age where he might be able to actually make something out of the play dough rather than just throwing it around the room, I would start using the traditional recipe, and try to explain to him the difference between the edible and non-edible versions.

With older children, the real fun comes when you can start to make really interestings things out of the play dough such as animals, faces and so on. If you want some ideas to inspire your kids then have a look at this little e-book: Creative Playdough Ideas for Kids.

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