Make Cherry Playdough Hearts
In this science activity, kids will explore liquids, solids and their sense of smell.
The playdough recipe here is a simple combination of liquids (water and oil, which flow and take the shape of their container) and solids (flour, salt and Kool-aid, which keep their shape regardless of container). The oil makes the playdough pliable; the salt helps make the dough more stable when it dries into a solid.
There are a zillion play dough recipes online. We think this one is great because it doesn't involve any heating, and it smells great! But once you've made this one, experiment with others or make up your own. Who knows -- maybe you'll stumble across the super-secret formula scientists use to make the Play-Doh you buy in stores!
A note about scents: When you smell something, your nose is picking up molecules floating around in the air called “odorants”. Odorants stimulate sensory nerve cells (neurons) at the top of the nasal cavity, which respond by sending messages to the brain. These neurons are very small - there are at least 10 million of them in your nose! There are hundreds of different odor receptors, each with the ability to sense certain odor molecules. Research has shown that an odor can stimulate several different kinds of receptors. The brain interprets the combination of receptors to recognize any one of about 10,000 different smells.
- Flour - 1/3 cup total
- Salt - 1 tablespoon total
- Vegetable Oil - 2 teaspoon total
- Water - 3 tablespoon total
- Unsweetened Cherry Jello or Kool-Aid - packet - 1 of this item total
This activity makes a ball of play dough about the size of a tennis ball.
Combine the flour, salt and oil in a bowl.
Combine the water and the Jello/Koolaid.
Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and stir until the liquids are absorbed.
Use your hands to knead into dough. If too sticky, add flour by the teaspoon until the proper consistency is achieved. If too dry, add water by the teaspoon until the proper consistency is achieved. Store in an airtight container.