Candy Heart season is almost here, and this week we discovered a fun new Valentine’s Day Playdough activity for kids. It happened, as so many great activities do, out of boredom. My poor 2-year-old feels exceptionally out of play ideas while her big bother is at preschool, and I was desperate for an activity that she could enjoy aside from hanging onto my leg.
Playdough is always a great go to activity for kids. It does seem helpful though to switch it up every once in a while with new colors or cutting tools to keep it fresh. Valentine’s Day won out as the theme of the day, and it was a huge hit.
Playdough Coloring Tip
We chose pink, purple, white, and blue for our playdough colors. I didn’t want food coloring all over my hands, so after cutting the dough into 4 sections, I placed each section in a zip lock bag. I added the food coloring. Then I needed the color into the dough while it was in the bag. It was easy, mess free, and my hands are their normal color.
Once the dough was ready for play, we rolled it, cut in, and made pretend cupcakes. My toddler’s favorite part of the activity was the candy hearts. I can’t stand to eat them myself, but they are great fun to play with. She decorate cupcakes with them, and smashed them into her dough. It was fantastic sensory play and fine motor practice at the same time.
We learned that if you leave candy hearts in the playdough long term, they start to melt. The dough gets sticky with wet sugar. For short term play though, they were perfect.
There are so many fun playdough recipes on the internet, but here’s the one we used for our Valentine’s Day playdough activity for kids.
Valentine’s Day Playdough Recipe
- 2.5 cups water
- 1 1/4 c. salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp. cream of tartar
- 5 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2.5 cups flour
- Wilton Gel Food Coloring – This is my favorite food coloring. It creates beautiful, deep colors without changing the texture of your playdough or frosting.
- *Optional – 2 Drops of Lavender or Cinnamon Essential Oil (The smell adds to the sensory experience, and can be a lot of fun.)
- Candy Hearts
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a pan. Cook and stir over medium heat for just a couple of minutes until the lumps are gone, and the dough is no longer sticky.
Remove from heat, and kneed the dough until it is completely smooth. (Wait until it cools a bit so you don’t burn your hands.) You can add the essential oils at this point, if you are using them, and kneed them into the dough.
Split the dough into 4 sections. Place the sections into bags, and add your desired food coloring. Kneed the dough in the bags as described above.
Then play with your dough. Use the candy hearts as decor and toppings. Remove them as soon as you are done playing to keep your playdough’s normal texture.
Thank you for checking out our fun Valentine’s Day playdough activity for kids. If you have candy hearts and a bored toddler or preschooler, this is the activity for you. My older kids actually enjoyed it as well, so it was a total mom win.
Happy Playdough Making!