Every week (or every other week depending on how busy we are!) we try to do a different play dough theme that fits in either with something we are studying in social studies or science, or with a holiday or seasonal theme.
This week we are learning about cows and milk in science, so a farm themed play dough tray was the perfect match.
This week our play dough includes homemade play dough using recipe number one from this post. While this recipe does require stovetop cooking and cream of tarter, the texture is just like “real” play dough and doesn’t mold or get weird after a few months. I always make a double batch so that we have plenty to share in case we have a friend over. I use gel food coloring from the baking section at the craft store (Wilton 601-5580 1/2-Ounce Certified-Kosher Icing Colors, Set of 12), mainly because that is what I have on hand (rather than liquid food coloring). The amount of gel I use varies based on how saturated I want the color to be. One time I made black play dough and it took almost the whole container of black gel to get a nice dark black, but with other colors you don’t need to use nearly as much.
For accessories, I included animals from the Safari Ltd Down On The Farm TOOB and Safari Ltd Farm Babies TOOB. I also included rocks, drift wood, faux plants/flowers, fence sections (similar here 18 X2 IN. NAT. PICKET FENCE) , and plastic leaves from the craft store (these are from Hobby Lobby but most craft stores should carry similar items). I also added a few trees from the Safari Ltd Trees TOOB. The tray is from a dollar store. I’ve also seen similar ones at party supply stores.
My boys had a great time building their farms with animals and fences.
The textured rollers in the front are Center Enterprise CE6665 READY2LEARN Paint and Clay Textured Rollers (Pack of 4). The blue and red palm rollers are also fun for making texture on play dough (Center Enterprise CE6671 READY2LEARN Set 1 Palm Dough Rollers (Pack of 3)).
While both of my boys enjoyed this farm play dough try and played with it for more than half and hour, my youngest always enjoys them the most and comes back to play with it several times during the week.
We generally stick with one color of play dough so we can reuse that color for future play dough trays (aka no other colors get mixed in!), but this set would also be great with some brown play dough to represent dirt.
Have you tried play dough trays? What themes have you used?