Exploring Patterns and Stamping with Cinnamon Play Dough

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Four-year-old Lily has really been enjoying exploring textures and patterns with play dough recently! Simple tools like forks and knives make really neat designs, and she loves that she can make a design, squish it, and start all over with a brand new idea!

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This week we made cinnamon play dough, which added a lovely scent as well, perfect for ushering in the holiday season! We doubled this recipe (adapted from my favorite play dough recipe).

Cinnamon Playdough Recipe

1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
1 tsp cream of tartar
cinnamon (more cinnamon = stronger scent and darker color)

1 cup water
1Tbsp oil
Food coloring

Mix the dry ingredients together, then add in the wet ingredients, whisking until smooth. Having the batter smooth is the key to a nice texture with the finished play dough. Then, cook over medium heat until the play dough is nearly set. Remove the play dough from the heat and knead until cool. Store in a ziploc bag or airtight container.

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Lily enjoys using stamps and cookie cutters to make designs in the play dough, and I find that it’s a great way to keep my busy preschooler actively engaged for an hour or so while the baby naps. It’s also a great way for her to explore textures and shapes! She threw in some storytelling, as well, narrating plots for the characters and shapes she stamped into the dough! I love hearing my children’s imaginations at work!

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Using cookie cutters to cut shapes out is fun, too – especially when your play dough smells like cinnamon!

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What play dough or quiet sensory activities do your kids enjoy? Does your preschooler have a favorite activity that you can recommend for us to try? We combine play dough with all sorts of things: beads, small stones, small plastic toys, googly eyes, even paper and kleenex!

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

23 thoughts on “Exploring Patterns and Stamping with Cinnamon Play Dough”

  1. Oh yes, playdoh is so much fun. Anna loves clay, and we still try to figure out the place where she can keep her clay set out at all times. Lily looks so engrossed in her work.

  2. I used to make playdough when my kids were young but Pinterest didn’t exist back then. I wish I knew about sensory, scented playdough like cinnamon playdough. My middle daughter would have especially loved it. She hated commerical playdough because of the smell so I made my own but did not even think about adding a scent!!!

  3. Cinnamon play dough! Now that seems irresistible to me! A baked play dough that smells like cinnamon for making tree ornaments would be great. An edible variety would be even better!

  4. Elisa | blissfulE

    Mmmmm, I’m wishing my computer screen was scratch ‘n’ sniff!! :) Lily is so gorgeous, and engrossed in her play!

  5. Play dough is a favorite here too. I love to make different colors and use different scents. I’ve been meaning to try an edible play dough. Kate likes to put toothpicks in play dough.

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