At the risk of inundating you with posts about my love of play-dough, here are some ideas on how I bring our favorite activity into the fall season! Read on for pumpkin spice, apple pie and even an Horchata inspired fall playdough because here in San Jose it’s likely to be 80 degrees in the fall and an icy glass of horchata goes great with this vanilla cinnamon playdough!
To start with, keep it simple and natural with un-dyed dough and raid your spice shelf for whatever you have on hand! Toss in a few cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, vanilla beans, acorns or other fall materials for added fall playdough fun. Fun is definitely better than perfect for these activities, your toddler will love playing with these scented doughs even if you don’t have all the ingredients! For all of the recipes in this post start with our Simple Playdough Recipe below, everyone tells me this is the softest play-dough they’ve ever felt and it lasts sooo long!
SIMPLE PLAYDOUGH RECIPE:
- 2 Cups Cheap White Flour
- 1/2 C Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Cream Of Tartar
- 2 Tablespoons Cheap Vegetable Oil
- 2 Teaspoons Glycerine
- 1.5 Cups Boiling Water
- Gel food coloring (I’ve found the gel food colors to be more vibrant)
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Bring the water to a boil, turn off heat and add vegetable oil and glycerine. Add essential oil and food coloring to water if desired. Pour liquid mixture into dry ingredients and stir. After stirring till mostly mixed and cool enough, I let my little knead with her hands with me. Knead for a little while until the mixture is no longer sticky. If it seems dry add more glycerine as needed. Simple playdough!
So now that you have your basic recipe, check out the fall playdough ideas below and add some instant cozy to your autumn play! The recipes below are sufficient to scent 1/3 of a batch of dough each. Adjust accordingly if you want to just one kind of dough (or leave the other 2/3’s plain!)
- Simple Playdough Recipe
- 2 Vanilla Beans OR
- 1tbsp Vanilla Extract
- 1tsp Almond Extract
- 3tbsp Cinnamon (ground)
- A few extra Tbsp of flour as needed to reduce stickiness
This is our new favorite fall playdough, so yummy smelling! If you are feeling fancy and happen to have some vanilla beans on hand, I totally recommend using them. Just scrape out the beans and then soak them in the water as you bring the water to a boil. They add a nice speckled look and feel to the dough. For those of us who don’t have any beans on hand, vanilla extract works just as well though! Simply add the dry spices in with the flour mixture and voila! To extend the activity you can also make a batch of horchata to share while you play, just make it the day before so that it has time to get extra delicious! A perfect icy fall treat for those of us still trying to beat the heat:) Recipe here.
Apple Pie Playdough:
- 4 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1tsp allspice (I left this out last time and it still smelled great!)
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp red gel food coloring
- Or skip all the above and just add premixed Apple Spice;)
Apple picking and pie making are some of our favorite fall activities, and this fall playdough is great for pretend play! The cinnamon leaves it a nice warm brown color, so when adding the red gel food coloring it created a beautiful rich red like a Macintosh apple:) I’m working on an apple picking/counting game for my little inspired by the game Hi Ho Cherry Oh! that we saw at a thrift shop the other weekend (missing half the pieces lol so we didn’t get it;) Sign up for my newsletter and be the first to get the tutorial when it’s finished! We used our Melissa and Dough rolling pins and some thrift shop baking pans for our tiny pies, aren’t they the cutest?! I like a good quiet time activity where my little can amuse herself while I get things done, but for this one we had such a fun and peaceful time together making our pies side by side:)
Once you’re done baking apple pies, check out my tutorial on this fun Apple Picking Game you can make yourself! Using the apple pie playdough just makes it the perfect fall activity for a rainy day inside.
Pumpkin Spice Playdough:
- 3 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp clove
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp orange gel food coloring
- OR skip all these and just add premixed Pumpkin Spice;)
This one is scrumptious and fun for so many pumpkin inspired play ideas! We’ve done pies, decorated ‘pumpkins’ and made a pumpkin patch. I love that the brown cinnamon gives this orange fall playdough a warmer color than plain dyed dough! (The picture below is plain dyed dough, above is with the added cinnamon, so much better!)
More Fall Playdough Fun
Now that you have a batch of the most delicious fall playdough, here are a few ways to extend your child’s play!
- Make a cardboard oven for extending your baking pretend play!
- Collect some leaves on a nature hike and make fall leaf imprints in the dough
- Set out an open ended invitation to play with playdough, Iron corn, acorns and mini pumpkins and see what they come up with!
- Let them decorate a playdough pumpkin with googley eyes, green pipe cleaner for a stem and various beans or other loose parts to create a face!
For more fall inspired activities with kids check out my last post on Simple Fall Toddler Ativities! Do you have any favorite fall materials? Activities for welcoming new seasons? I’d love to hear in the comments!
Now go enjoy the coziest season with your delicious smelling fall playdough!