Conversation Heart Play dough

I love creating play dough that fits a homeschool theme or holiday too, so this Conversation Heart Play Dough is perfect for Valentine's Day and just plain fun all the way around. It's also a sneaky way to work in some handwriting practice! Hot Cocoa Playdough is also a big hit with the kids!

Conversation Heart Playdough

Play dough is already an amazing tool for building up small hand muscles to strengthen fine motor skills for writing, to create a base for imaginative and small world play, and  of course the fabulous sensory factor- sight, smell, and feel.  But it is useful even beyond that, sometimes it is hard to get children to want to practice sight, or spelling words, and even the alphabet  for letter recognition.  Turn it into a fun sensory activity and it isn't so hard to get a little cooperation.

Let's start with a good, soft, basic play dough recipe (scroll down for the printable version):

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable, canola, or coconut oil
  • 1/2  cup salt
  • 1 Tbsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • food coloring
  • Vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture begins to pull away from pan and form a ball in center.
  2. Remove from heat, flip dough out onto floured counter, allow to cool to the touch.
  3. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces, knead until smooth.
  4. Add 3-4 drops of food coloring to each ball to create a pastel color.
  5. Wrap in plastic wrap if you want to save your hands from a semi-permanent dye job (did not listen to my own advice here, regretted it when color was still there nearly 24 hours later). Knead color into dough to distribute evenly.

conversation heart dough cook

That's it,  ready to go! Now here are a few ways to use your dough to reinforce literacy skills learned at school or as part of your homeschool day.

Store your dough in an airtight container when not in use, ours usually lasts for 1-2 months when stored well. We use inexpensive plastic containers.

conversation heart dough storage

Provide your child with large heart cookie cutters, a rolling pin, and rubber  alphabet stamps.

We started by rolling out our dough and cutting out hearts to resemble the Conversation Heart's Valentines Day candy.

valentine dough cut out

There are several ways you can go from here:

Write letters/words to practice on index cards, then have them use rubber stamps to “rewrite” them in the dough.

Call out spelling/sight words and have them  spell  them out using the rubber stamps pressed into dough.

Spelling with Valentine's Day Playdough

Spell out 3 similar words in each heart, call out the sight/spelling word and have them identify the  correct one.

Don't forget to include some free play when using the doughmaking it more enjoyable will help the lessons stick better.

Conversation Heart Playdough

Conversation Heart Play dough
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable, canola, or coconut oil
  • ½  cup salt
  • 1 Tbsp. cream of tartar
  • 1½ cups water
  • food coloring
  • Vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture begins to pull away from pan and form a ball in center.
  2. Remove from heat, flip dough out onto floured counter, allow to cool to the touch.
  3. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces, knead until smooth.
  4. Add 3-4 drops of food coloring to each ball to create a pastel color.
  5. Wrap in plastic wrap if you want to save your hands from a semi-permanent dye job (did not listen to my own advice here, regretted it when color was still there nearly 24 hours later). Knead color into dough to distribute evenly.

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About Jody Leduc Smith

Jodi is a homeschooling, gardening, coffee drinking, diy'ing, recipe fiddling, Jesus loving, sometimes crunchy momma who could use a nap. You can see more of her adventures at asipofsouthernsunshine.com

Comments

  1. What a cute idea! I love the spelling practice by writing the messages on the hearts! #ThoughtfulSpot

    • Thanks! I love sneaking in learning opportunities whenever I can. I popped over and checked out your process art post. Love the emphasis on enjoying the activity instead of focusing on the end result!

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