|Big Brother on his third birthday.|
I wanted to further encourage this play by creating some kind of way for him to actually make the cake. We both love chocolate cake, and what we both request for our birthdays, so I decided to search the internet to see if there was a good recipe for chocolate scented playdough. I quickly came across this recipe at I Can Teach My Child. I wanted to make sure we liked it, so I decided to halve the recipe in case it wasn't a hit. It made plenty for the play we had in mind.
Chocolate Scented Playdough
(with the amounts we used)
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/4 cups salt
1 1/2 tablespoons cream of tartar
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1. In a large pot mix all the dry ingredients.
|Big Brother came in from playing outside and decided to help for this step.|
2. Add in the wet ingredients and mix.
3. Cook over low heat on the stove, stirring continuously.
4. When it has cooked long enough to be smooth and not sticky, knead for several minutes.
|I turned it out onto the counter and kneaded it for about five minutes. At this point it felt like typical playdough, but warm, and smelled AMAZING.|
5. Let cool either on the counter or in an open ziploc bag.
(I did both, leaving the bag open so that moisture didn't gather and make the playdough sticky. )
Now For the Party Fun . . .
As the playdough cooled I gathered some different "cake" making materials. I used items from both our real kitchen and Big Brother's play kitchen.
|Materials included a plastic pan, a mini-muffin tin, paper plates, |
birthday candles, a medium mixing bowl,
some small utensils, a plastic mat, and shiny beads.
Big Brother was immediately drawn to making cupcakes.
He added in the candles as he worked, sang me happy birthday, and had me pretend to blow them out.
Then there was also some cake making,
more singing, some pretend licking of the candles,
and birthday cakes for everyone, including the dog.
This activity was a big hit. I often gage things by how long he sticks with something and he was engaged with this play for an hour. He requested it again in the afternoon.
Age Note: I should add that this playdough smells incredibly good, good enough to eat! It reminds me of the scent of fresh brownies. Even Daddy, who usually never wants anything chocolate, took one whiff and asked if I was going to make some real chocolate baked goods. For that reason, I wouldn't do this playdough activity with littler kiddos. I would stick with kids who are old enough to understand that even though it smells good, it's really just for playing. Although it wouldn't be harmful if sampled, it definitely would taste yucky. And for those of us adults who are trying to wean ourselves off a daily chocolate habit, it can be almost maddening . . .