Foam Dough with Literacy | Still Playing School

Foam Dough with Literacy

By Devany LeDrew | Labels:

We've joined up with fellow KBN bloggers to co-host 12 Months of Sensory Dough.  Here at Still Playing School, we'll be loading the sensory dough experiences with literacy!  Each month you can read about our spin on the dough as we incorporate letters, words, reading, and writing into our messy, fine motor packed fun.

January is foam dough!  We've made sparkle dough in the past using similar ingredients, but I wanted to experiment with adding color this time.

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We started with two trays of shaving cream.  I didn't measure, but I would estimate that I used a cup and a half for each color.  We used raspberry scented shaving cream from the Dollar Store which makes the dough smell divine!

For the color we used Wilton gel food coloring.  E picked pink and purple because of course she did!  We used 1/8 teaspoon of gel food coloring in each color.  It made the purple a bit too dark and the pink just right!

We added about a cup of corn starch to each tray.  We like our foam dough to be slightly more shaving cream than corn starch.  This was a one part corn starch to one and a half part shaving cream ratio.

I mixed in the pans with a spoon first, then transferred the moldable dough to a pan for E to keep kneading. THIS WILL SLIGHTLY STAIN HANDS, but we didn't let that deter us.  Those who see us in our every day lives will expect nothing less from us! 

Once the dough was formed, we added our plastic letter (and number) magnets.  E jumped right in with a E and a 4 since she just turned four years old!

We were planning to focus on literacy, but with those numbers in there we just had to work on numerical order!  

We had free exploration play where we discussed the numbers and letters we could add to our creations.

I practiced some uppercase and lowercase letter matching so E wanted to join right in!

The most fun we had was playing a game where one of us would hide a letter.  We would give clues to the other person before they dug into the dough to discover the letter!  For example, I hid Mr. SPS's first initial and told E that the letter inside was the initial of someone she loved.  She guessed it had to be an an X or a D because her boyfriends' (yes, plural) names start with those letters!!!  Sorry, Mr. SPS!

I hid a Valentine's Day message for her: XO!  Uncovering those letters was the perfect activity for fine motor practice!

Her clues when she hid letters for me were hilarious.  "It starts with a D and it's a baby and you love him and he has red hair!"  Yep, it was the letter D!

For the grand finale, I hid several letters in the foam dough.  When she found them all she could spell something.  Her face lit up when she realized what letters she had and arranged them correctly: COWIE!  

I stored the dough in an air tight container for future play.  E already asked to get it back out again in the very same day!

Even cleaning those magnets turned into a sensory, fine motor experience!  Join us on February 12th for Cloud Dough!

If you have a recipe for foam dough, feel free to link up below!

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  1. Fantastic! And I love the picture of your daughter! My husband wanted to know if she as actually mad or just a cute picture?

    1. I didn't even notice her face as I was taking the picture, but she was just being silly! While editing for the post I called her over to show her and ask what it was all about. She laughed!

  2. Fun idea to hide the letters in the dough! And it's great that you added the warning about staining your fingers. I didn't notice this as much with the paint I used, but I used black food coloring and wowsa does it stain.

  3. Incorporating the magnets was such a great idea!

  4. Next time we need shaving cream I have to look for a nice scented one! Love the letters idea, almost went that way myself but Nico runs from school like things, lol. Your dough looks very different from ours, that's neat :)

  5. Oh my, that picture of your daughter is so funny! Such a cutie! The magnets was such an awesome idea! My daughter loves those so I can't wait to try this with her, especially since we are working on number and letter recognition right now.