Oatmeal Play Dough Recipe
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 cup water
Our purpose in making and playing with the oatmeal playdough is to decrease Ava's tactile sensitivity by having her use her hands with a messy activity. So we began by putting a half cup of oatmeal into a mixing bowl and letting her explore the dry oatmeal with her hands. She enjoyed the oatmeal and took several tastes of the oatmeal.
Then we added the cup of flour into the bowl. Again, Ava explored the flour with her hands and tasted it. Then she thoroughly mixed the two dry ingredients with her hand (one hand is in a cast, so we were doing this activity one-handed).
Next we poured in the half cup of water. At first we just observed it. We watched the water pool on top for a few minutes and some oatmeal float on the top like tiny boats. We talked about how they would be perfect boats for ants. Then the water was slowly absorbed into the dry ingredients and we began to mix with our fingers. The mix was extremely sticky. This is part of why it makes such a great occupational therapy activity for children who are ready (if your child is still demonstrating extreme tactile defensiveness this isn't the right activity). Once the mixture seemed evenly sticky we removed it from the bowl and started to work with it/play with it on the table. (Note: Over the next 10-15 minutes, the oatmeal continued to absorb the excess water and the texture became much less sticky.)
To extend the activity and continue to keep Ava's hand engaged in the dough we played a buried treasure game with the ball of play dough. I took several glass marbles and gems and a penny and hid them inside the play dough. Then Ava would dig around in the play dough to find the treasures.
Overall, the activity went extremely well. The oatmeal play dough has several advantages.
- It is a no-cook recipe.
- It is made with a small number of inexpensive, easy to find ingredients.
- It goes through a variety of textures (dry, wet and sticky, traditional play-dough like).
- The end product is pretty stiff making it a great medium for increasing hand strength as a bonus.