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Recipes that foster creative arts and crafts. (Classroom Idea-Sparkers).

Essential components of learning experiences for children include the opportunity to imagine, explore, discover, and create. The Classroom Idea-Sparkers for this issue feature a variety of simple recipes that can be used by children, of all ages, to experience the joy of imagining, exploring, discovering, and creating endless arts and crafts products. The ideas were submitted by Monique White, Science Specialist, Carrboro Elementary School, Carrboro, North Carolina.

Brilliant Easel Paint
2 quarts water
1/2 cup soap powder
1 cup powder Bentonite
1 pound powdered tempera
3 cups liquid starch
8 teaspoons soap flakes


In a small container, mix 2 quarts of water, 1/2 cup of soap powder, and 1 cup of powder Bentonite. In a medium size container, add about 8 teaspoons of soap flakes and a little water. Mix the ingredients thoroughly, using an eggbeater or blender. Put mixture in a plastic container and stir at least once each day for three days. Place in tightly covered containers. Pour and use amounts as needed.

Play Dough
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup hot water
2 tablespoons cooking oil
4 teaspoons cream of tartar
 food coloring (optional)


Mix all of the ingredients well. Knead the mixture until it reaches a smooth consistency. Add more flour if mixture gets sticky. Store play dough in a plastic container with a tight lid.

Suggestion: To make different colors of play dough, add food coloring. Mix well.

Scented Play Dough

Prepare play dough (see recipe above), and add a few drops of desired flavoring to separated portions of the play dough mixture. You could use lemon, vanilla, almond, cherry, orange, or coconut. Mix well.

Oatmeal Dough
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 cup water


Mix oatmeal flour and water in a container. Knead well to make a soft, textured dough. Use mixture to make arts and crafts products. Apply paint to product, and varnish if desired.

Peanut Butter Play Dough
2-1/2 cups peanut butter (smooth)
2 tablespoons honey
2 cups powdered milk


Mix all main ingredients well. Add powdered milk until dough feels soft, smooth, and not sticky. Children can eat this dough, if desired. Add other edible objects for decorative purposes, such as raisins, M&Ms, small marshmallows, and sunflower seeds.

Puffy Paint
1 cup flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water
mixing bowl
spoon
selected tempera paint
Styrofoam plate
plastic squeeze bottles


In a small bowl, mix flour, salt, and water. Include liquid tempera paint if color is desired. Pour mixture into plastic squeeze bottles. Squeeze mixture onto a Styrofoam plate. Mixture will solidify into a puffy shape.

Finger Paint
1 cup dry laundry starch
1/2 cup cold water
1-1/2 cups boiling water
3/4 cup powdered detergent


Put the dry starch in a saucepan. Gradually add the cold water, stirring until smooth. Add boiling water, stirring rapidly and continually. Add the detergent, and stir again until smooth.

Suggestion: Provide children the opportunity to select food coloring or liquid tempera paint to be added to each mixture.

Colorful Floating Bubbles
2 cups liquid detergent
3/4 cup sugar
6 cups water


Mix all ingredients together. Add liquid food coloring to mixture to create colorful designs. Let stand for about 4 hours at room temperature.

Suggestion: Children can enjoy using twisted wire coat hangers to blow bubbles.

Rose C. Merenda, Early Childhood Consultant, Warwick, Rhode Island.

Sharon White-Williams, Department of Education, Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Association for Childhood Education International
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:White-Williams, Sharon
Publication:Childhood Education
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2002
Words:571
Previous Article:Helping teacher candidates become reflective about their practice. (Teacher Educator/Professional Standards).
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