Harvest Play Dough

Is there anything better than the sights and smells of Fall? It’s such an exciting time of change — the leaves turn, the weather gets cooler, and our lattes all turn to pumpkin spice! Bring the harvest indoors in your classroom with this Fall Play Dough.Fall Harvest Dough Pin2We love to scent our play dough to add another sensory dimension. We recently made a delectable Apple Cinnamon Play Dough. The preschoolers loved it, and our whole classroom spelled like apple cider.

Our next play dough adventure is Pumpkin Pie Dough. You have to try this! It smells just like pumpkin pie, but the texture is smooth and perfect for young children who are strengthening their hand muscles.Corn PrintsPair the pumpkin pie dough with a variety of natural harvest materials:

  • Indian corn
  • Acorns
  • Leaves
  • Pinecones
  • Small pumpkins
  • Gourds

Acorn PrintsEncourage your children to roll the materials in the dough and make prints. They can explore all of the different ways that the acorns can make impressions. Try pressing the lid in to make circles. Turn it over and see what it looks like upside down.Gourd PrintGourds are fascinating too! At first, our children rolled them around on their sides. The print wasn’t very noticeable. But, when you turn the gourd upside down it makes a beautiful flower-looking impression. How cool!Leaf PrintExplore making leaf prints in the dough. Go outside and collect leaves of various sizes, shapes and textures.Leaf ImprintCompare these dough prints to leaf rubbings. What is the same? What is different? Nature has an amazing way of keep our children’s attention and focus. It’s the perfect prop for your play dough center! See below for the recipe that we use (and love!) in our classroom.Fall Harvest Dough FB

Pumpkin Spice Play Dough Recipe

1 cup flour

1 TBS cream of tartar

½ cup salt

1 cup water

2 TBS oil

2 Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

Orange Food Coloring, as desired

In a medium saucepan: mix together flour, cream of tartar, spice and salt.  Gradually add water, oil and food coloring.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until dough pulls away from the pan sides.  Remove from heat.  Put on the kitchen counter and knead until smooth.

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Jamie is a preschool teacher and mom of 4. She has a masters degree in Reading Education. She shares her passion for play-based learning at Play to Learn Preschool.

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