Monday, November 2, 2009

Surprise Scent Holiday Play Dough

The theme for this week's Unplugged Project, at the Unplug Your Kids site, was "smell". Thinking of the theme, made me think of all the yummy smells, that have been coming from our kitchen lately, and all of those we're looking forward to smelling soon. I wondered how many of the holiday smells the children could actually identify. So, I decided to test it out with a batch of surprise scent holiday play dough.

I made a double batch of plain play dough.

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 1/4 cup of salt
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 1/2 cup of oil

After mixing the ingredients together, I divided the dough into six bowls, and added extracts and spices, to match certain holiday foods.

  • peppermint extract (candy canes)
  • almond and vanilla extract (sugar cookies)
  • pumpkin pie spice (pumpkin pies)
  • ginger and cinnamon (gingerbread)
  • orange spice tea
  • powdered apple cider mix

I mixed in some food coloring, that did not match up to the flavors, so we had purple peppermint, and blue gingerbread, and so on.

Then, I let the children sniff away, and take their best guesses at the scents. They got them all (even telling the difference between the pumpkin pie, and gingerbread), except for the orange spice, and the sugar cookies. Once I mentioned sugar cookies, I could see the little light bulbs going off above their heads. And, as for the tea, that one was really intended to be a stumper, since they don't really drink a lot of tea.

Of course, once the smelling was done, they spent the next hour making up sweet smelling sculptures, and wishing that their dough tasted as good as it smelled.

Be sure to check out the other "smell" related projects at this week's Unplugged Project page.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Lindsay said...

What a fun project! I've never thought of putting scents in play dough. I really love your blog and all the projects and experiments you have listed here. We plan to unschool so I like to have lots of fun ideas like that to try.

Thanks for the comment over on my blog too. =)

Mom Unplugged said...

This sounds like fun! I like how they tried to identify the scents. Yet another great idea!

Phoenix Berries said...

Hi, I found your blog through Unplug Your Kids. I linked to this post and to your blog because I wound up using your playdough recipe. (But I didn't reproduce it on my blog without asking). Thank you for sharing your ideas with us.

Natalie Meester said...

great ideas for gifts for little nieces and nephews! Thanks!