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Play dough is a favorite activity for preschoolers and something that can be used in a variety of ways. Adding food colors and flavorings will provide opportunities to talk about how the play dough looks and smells. Naming the play dough Candy Cane Play Dough adds interest and makes a connection to the Christmas season. A child can enjoy using his hands to roll and shape the play dough. A teacher can say, “God gives us things to enjoy.” (1 Timothy 6:17)


Supplies for Candy Cane Play Dough

  • Ingredients and supplies for play dough recipe (see below)
  • 1 Bottle of red food coloring
  • Peppermint flavoring, if desired

Note: Prepare copies of the recipe  to give to parents.


Basic Play Dough Recipe:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 cup water

Mix the flour, salt, and cream of tartar together. Mix the cooking oil in the water and add to the dry ingredients. Stir with wooden spoon and pour mixture in a nonstick pan. (Ingredients may be mixed in the pan.) Stir constantly until dough pulls away from the sides of pan. This process takes about 3 minutes. Empty dough onto waxed paper. Knead until smooth and cool. Store in a zip-lock bag.

1. Make one recipe of Basic Play Dough for “white” play dough. Mix ingredients and prepare according to directions for cooking and storing.

2.    Prepare another recipe of Basic Play Dough and add: 1 bottle red food color. Add peppermint flavoring, if desired. Mix ingredients and prepare according to directions for cooking and storing.

Roll the dough into long “rope” shapes. Use one roll of “white” play dough and one roll of red play dough to twist and shape into a candy cane. Show a child how to use a ball of play dough to start making the “rope.” When guiding a child to shape the play dough, refer to the rolls as “ropes” rather than “snakes.” Talk about seeing real candy canes at Christmas time. Listen as the child tells aboutother things he sees at this time of the year.

 Printable Version

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