This project was a bit of a failure considering what we had intended to create, but evolved into some great pumpkin sensory play instead! My daughter has recently been placed on a gluten free diet so our whole house has been cleaned out of all things gluten. I hadn’t even considered all of our play dough recipes when tossing the bag of flour!! I set out to make pumpkin pie playdough today (the obvious failure) when it hit me that I didn’t have flour!!!! YIKES! I decided that it was better we learn to make gluten free playdough just in case Ava’s floury hands make it to her mouth…it would be a shame that with the hundreds of dollars I just spent on gluten free breads, pastas, pizza dough, bagels, pretzels (the list goes on) that her little belly got upset from licking a salty playdough finger! After quickly browsing Pinterest (my lifesaver/sanity-saver) I read through a few GF recipes and decided to try a combination of cornstarch, canned pumpkin and salt along with some pumpkin pie spice for scent.
Our rolling pins and stampers were intended for playdough but also worked with the goo. So, I think this combination would have been fine had I not GREATLY underestimated just how watery the pumpkin is! I’ve made so many loaves of pumpkin bread in the last ten years, you think I would have noticed that…after using all of the cornstarch I had, we were left with a thick pumpkin goo and nothing near a playdough…my advice? Pour the cornstarch and salt first then add the pumpkin in until it’s the right consistency, lesson learned.
At the very least, the kids got their scooping/stirring practice…just not the measuring.
While it wasn’t playdough, it was fantastic sensory play! It had a fun texture and the scent of nutmeg and cinnamon, and we could mold it into mounds much like very wet sand at the beach.
The kids played for quite some time, and although this made a big mess, the dogs didn’t mind helping with the cleanup on the floor.
I actually appreciated this process for reminding me why I began this blog in the first place. Over the last couple of years I have thoroughly enjoyed working on activities and projects with my kids, watching them learn and explore and imagine. I started to blog about this process because it was so satisfying that I wanted to share it with the world, and inspire other moms to encourage their kids to create, play, and even get messy. As I realized that this play dough was not going to happen, my first thought was “well there goes my blog post for today”. No, it’s not about the blog post, it’s about the process. It’s about watching my little ones’ eyes as they squeeze the product of something they created through their tiny fingers. It’s pretending to make the most delicious pretend pumpkin pies that smell so heavenly they make your mouth water. It’s letting the play open the doors to a conversation about Thanksgiving and family. It’s not about the blog post – so go make some yummy smelling goo, and see what kind of magic your kids can come up with 🙂