It Not "Just Recess" Anymore!

Teachers often heave a sigh of relief when they take their students out to recess. Finally! The children can burn off the pent up energy they had been accruing for the past few hours indoors. But what if we change our outlook on outdoor play time? What if we create an outdoor environment that offered all of the learning opportunities that one would typically find indoors? What if children could run out to a well-planned play yard to find experiences in math, science, nature, dramatic play, water, building and construction, sensory activities, physical development, art and music? What if they play yard developed critical thinking, discovery, problem solving, and cooperative skills? The result would be that we wouldn't have "just recess" anymore. We would have The Outdoor Classroom!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Perfect Playdough Recipe for Outdoor Use

We use playdough in the Outdoor Classroom a lot. There are always several children at the station and it is enjoyed by all the ages we serve.

Since the dough sits outside ALL morning (from 7:00am until past noon), we need a super soft and long lasting playdough.

To be honest, I thought all playdough recipes were 'created equal', but after several disastrous 

"Googled" recipe attempts, I finally asked the teachers at my school which recipe they use. 

Here is the one they recommend and we use it VERY successfully outdoors. It will last over a week or so under the outdoor conditions mentioned above and it will last for several weeks in the classroom!

5 cups flour
5 cups water
3 tablespoons cream of tartar
1 cup salt
1/2 cup oil
Add food coloring, spices, or extracts as desired to enhance color and smell. You can also add glitter, fairy dust, or other mediums such as sand to add texture.

Mix all ingredients in a large pot. Heat on medium, stirring until a soft dough forms. Remove from heat and let cool.


  1. Perfect Playdough Recipe which you share above. I impressed by that. It such a great recipe. I want to make it.
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  2. thanks for this recipe Kristin, I am having trouble with my play dough at the moment because of our heating inside - it dries out afteran hour or so! So I will trying this one out - keep you posted :)

  3. I love this! I've been in a play-dough making craze for the past month, and I've been anxious to try bringing it outdoors. I will definitely try this recipe. Thanks!

  4. Trust me, you'll love this one! I accidentally left out three play dough stars that the children made one evening and they were still soft in the morning!!!

  5. Thanks for linking up this week too, Kristin - wow if it stays soft when out all night it must be good!

  6. Thanks for sharing the recipe! I need to make a bunch of playdough to take to a workshop that I have coming up so this will be perfect.
    Great to have you linking up in the outdoor play party too! Thanks.

  7. This is very different types of recipe as well as its looks excellent. This is perfect recipe for me. I will try to make it. I think it is very testy for eat.

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