I’m always looking for new playdough recipes that are simple and don’t have to involve cooking. I don’t always have access to a stove, and I want my kiddos to be involved in all of the steps.
I recently discovered you can make playdough with just two ingredients: icing and powdered sugar. I was pretty skeptical at first–because it doesn’t sound like those two ingredients combined would make anything remotely similar to pliable playdough. But it actually works! And it smells SO good!
The first batch of homemade playdough I made with icing was strawberry-scented and so delicious-smelling. But to go along with my first week of preschool theme, cookies, I wanted a Chocolate Chip Cookie Playdough!
2 ½ Cups Powdered Sugar
1 Cup Vanilla Icing
Mini Chocolate Chips
In a medium sized bowl, stir or use an electric mixer to combine the powdered sugar and vanilla icing. It will feel very sticky at first!
If it’s still too sticky, add another tablespoon of powdered sugar.
Add a handful of mini chocolate chips once it’s well-blended. Add as many or as little as you want. We kept adding more and more to ours!
We used the cookie sheet playdough mats from my First Day of Preschool Activities resource on Teachers Pay Teachers. To make it even more fun, you can add cookie cutters, rolling pins, small cookie sheets, and other playdough toys!
I hope you enjoy making this edible cookie playdough with your students or children! It’s definitely a favorite of mine and I know we’ll be making it again soon.
If you’ve been keeping up with my social media, you know that the past few months of my life have been a little… rocky. Everything that I knew has changed.
First of all, at the beginning of March, I had a major flare-up with my chronic illness, Intracranial Hypertension/Pseudotumor Cerebri. For much of the month of March, I was almost completely blind. I had to have brain surgery to put in a shunt to save my vision. I was out of work for two months because of all of this.
During that time, the church decided to shut the preschool down. It just wasn’t profitable for them–and despite all the good we did for the community, it could no longer continue. I had three weeks of work left when I returned. I was devastated–I’d put so much into that place, and it’s heartbreaking to see it go.
My vision improved after the surgery, but still not well enough to drive. This makes the prospect of finding a new job almost impossible. I was riding in the car with my mom one day when she mentioned how she baby-sat to earn an income when I was preschool age. Um, hello. Light bulb moment.
I can baby-sit.
I don’t have to leave my house–children can come to me! Wa-hoo!
My New Sort-of Daycare
In Indiana, childcare providers are permitted to have 6 children in the home before we must become a licensed in-home daycare. This summer, I plan on starting out slow with just a few school-age children before I take the leap to become licensed. My son’s best friend will be here, along with a few other kiddos, most of whom I’ve worked with in one way or another.
When the church preschool closed, so did our summer day camp. So when I posted online that I was looking for kids to watch this summer, I had my spots filled within 45 minutes, despite being a ten minute drive from town. It helps that I know SO many local kids & their families!
I have lots of fun hands-on activities planned this summer, borrowing ideas from the summer camp and incorporating plenty of nature play, sensory play, and open-ended art activities.
Learning on the Homestead
My family lives in a rural area surrounded by fields and trees. Just 100 feet from my house is my parents’, and my brother lives just down the hill. Beyond that, our closest neighbor is a half mile away. When you wander around our property, you’ll find gardens of flowers and vegetation. There’s so many opportunities to learn from nature here.
I’ve been studying the concept of wildschooling, made popular by Nicolette Sowder. She says, “Wildschooling is a movement designed to honor and support our innate, inexorable bond with nature and lend a voice to our inner wild.” While I’m new to the term itself, the idea of bonding with nature is something near and dear to my heart. I grew up running around barefoot on this farm; I feel truly connected to the earth when I can feel it against my feet. (I know that makes me sound like a hippie. Shut up.) My husband also has a deep respect for nature; he’s fascinated by the wildlife we discover out here. In a tech-obsessed world (our family is no exception, mind you) we are doing our best to strengthen our son Holden’s bond with nature. I’m so excited to bring more children into this environment.
Coming this fall: a nature-based, play-based preschool
What I’m most looking forward to is my new idea for a nature-based, play-based preschool group. My plan is to have four preschoolers in my home, starting in August. I still have some big decisions to make as far as the length of the day–whether it will be part time or full time–but this will be my chance to incorporate some wildschooling and Waldorf concepts. At this age, the environment is their curriculum.
We’ll plant and grow things, we’ll make mud pies, and we’ll learn about the nature that surrounds us in a collaborative way; the very idea of wildschooling is that nature is another member of the family or class. It’s not just the backdrop for our learning.
A blessing in disguise.
My feelings about the preschool closing vary between anguish and relief. I enjoyed most aspects of my job. I’ve never been happier at any other place of employment. However, this gives me a chance to adopt my own curriculum and teach in a way that makes sense to me. The hippie way, I guess. :)
I love, love, love doing a dinosaur theme with my preschoolers. I feel like dinosaurs are universally loved by all four-year-olds. Right? And I’d be lying if I didn’t say I didn’t go through a Dr. Ellie Sattler (Jurassic Park) phase. (Actually, I’m not entirely sure I grew out of it. She kicks butt.)
One of our favorite dinosaur theme process art activities is painting with the toy dinosaurs’ feet! My preschoolers loved dipping the dinosaurs onto paper plates of paint and then making them “walk” across the papers. To prevent any color-mixing confusion, I matched the paint to the dinosaur’s colors. This helped them remember to put them back in the right spot.
They had fun comparing the dinosaur’s different footprints. Some of their footprints just looked like blobs, whereas others had cute little dino toes. I loved watching them use their imaginations, making the dinosaurs come to life.
We also had a lot of fun with these Dinosaur Number puzzles. Before putting them out on the math center table, we did this together as a circle time pocket chart game. I put the numbered cards (1-10) in my pocket chart and passed out a dinosaur card to each student. When I called their number, they came forward and put their dino card in the right slot. They really enjoyed this game; I love playing interactive games like this at circle time because giving them something to hold reminds them to keep their hands on their laps. :)
And here’s a fun dinosaur theme literacy activity! Send you students on a dino hunt in the sensory bin. As they pick out a dino letter card, they take a dry erase marker and trace the letter on the recording sheet. (The recording sheet was printed on cardstock and laminated so students can write on it with dry erase markers and easily erase it when they’re finished.) This resource also comes with numbers 1-10 and a corresponding number recording sheet!
We had a dinosaur shirt day, too. This was after I noticed that he majority of my kids had dinosaur shirts already! I asked all of the parents to send their child in a dinosaur shirt if they had one, but if not, not to worry–everybody would get one of these cool dinosaur necklaces!
In the last week before Christmas break, my preschoolers were getting antsy… and usually when this happens, I know it’s time to pull out some kind of new sensory activity. In the spirit of Christmas, they helped me make this super simple DIY fake snow to play with.
This DIY snow is literally just two ingredients:
3 cups baking soda
1/2 cup WHITE hair conditioner
I emphasize white, because when I made this the first time at home with my son, the conditioner had a yellow tint. And well, you know, no one likes yellow snow. So definitely grab some cheap white conditioner from the dollar store.
My favorite thing about this DIY snow recipe is how it makes our hands so soft, and it makes them smell good, too! It’s really hard to resist joining the kids in playing with it. It’s really easy to mold into different shapes. They had fun making snowballs, snowmen, and more. Later we threw in some cookie cutters and let them make prints in the snow.
DIY snow is perfect for those winter days when it’s too cold to actually go outside!