The EFL Playhouse: A Resource for ESL/EFL Teachers of Young Learners

Edible Shapes

Objective: Students follow directions to create edible play-dough, then form dough into prescribed shapes.
Group Size: 1-20
Prep Time: ~ 5 minutes
Activity Time: 10 minutes if dough is premade; 20-30 minutes if dough is made in class
Interest Level: ages 3 to 12
Ability Level: beginning

Preparation/Materials Needed: Choose an edible playdough recipe based upon product availability in your area. Assemble all necessary ingredients as well as measuring cups and mixing bowls if dough is to be made in class. Disposable plates or waxed paper is also necessary.

Directions: Begin by directing all students wash their hands using soap and water. Better yet, escort children to washroom to ensure that all have clean hands before beginning this project. (Remember, you may get to eat whatever they fail to wash off.)

If facilities permit, bring ingredients to class and allow students to make dough. (This is a good opportunity to review basic units of measurement.) If in-class preparation is not feasible, distribute pre-made dough equally among students. Each child should have a clean disposable plate or a sheet of waxed paper upon which to work. Direct students to make various shapes. After all shapes have been made and approved, students may eat the final product.

Peanut Butter Playdough (Recipe One)

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup honey (corn syrup or rice syrup may be substituted if necessary)
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup dry milk or unsweetened soy milk powder

Mix all ingredients until smooth.

Peanut Butter Playdough (Recipe Two)

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup corn syrup or rice syrup (honey may be substituted if necessary)
1 cup powdered sugar
3 cups dry milk or unsweetened soy milk powder OR 1 1/2 cups dry milk or unsweetened soy milk powder plus 1 1/2 cups flour

Mix thoroughly peanut butter, syrup, and sugar. Add milk or milk/flour until mixture is smooth. (More than three cups total may be used if necessary.)
Note: To increase the language used, you may wish to bring in materials in which students can roll the final product. Suggested materials include crushed cookies, miniature or crushed M & M's, nuts, coconut, oatmeal, red bean powder, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, currants, and/or raisins. With items such as these, you may also direct students to "Roll the ball in something white," "Roll the triangle in something red, brown, yellow, and green," and "Leave the square plain," etc.

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