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Sensory Explorations


Winter is officially here in the mitten and nothing says winter like hot chocolate. It’s a winter staple at our house just like homemade play dough, so naturally I was looking for some winter play dough recipes.

So when I found a hot Chocolate Play Dough recipe on Pinterest, I just HAD to try it out. I followed Play Dough to Plato’s recipe from their blog and it didn’t take long to fill the kitchen with that hot chocolate smell. Yum yum!

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Hot chocolate play dough

Did I mention it looks like chocolate ice cream?

I don’t recommend following your temptation to eat it though. You can just ask our little Scout who has taste tested it on several occasions. Oh the joys of toddlerhood.

I love using homemade play dough for the kiddos because of the reason above. When you have a 17 month old everything and I mean EVERYTHING ends up in their mouths. With homemade dough, I don’t worry so much about her taste testing because it’s all edible ingredients. It just doesn’t taste the greatest.

We love exploring play dough for many reasons. First, the kiddos love it because it’s fun. This mama loves it because it builds hand strengthen which will be useful for pencil grips and other writing skills. It boosts creativity. Seriously, the kids can build whatever they desire. It helps improve fine motor skills which again will help with writing. Most of all, it keeps the kiddos engaged in play for long periods of time because they love it.

Did I mention when we make winter play dough recipes we are also using our math skills? Measuring and pouring helps us learn math in a natural environment.

It doesn’t take long to set up with the kiddos, so it makes for an easy activity to pull out for the kids when they get “bored” or mama needs them to be engaged in something in order to get something done. However, clean up can be a bit of a chore. This gives the kiddos a chance to work on life skills by cleaning up the play dough, sweeping the floor, and putting everything away. This doesn’t always go perfectly, but for the most part the kids love helping when they get to use the broom.

Get  the recipe for Hot Chocolate Play Dough from Play Dough to Platos here. 

 *Mixing and kneading dough is a great opportunity to build hand and arm strength for the kiddos.

I recommend storing the dough in an air tight container and keeping the dough in the refrigerator after each use. It really has made the difference for keeping our dough longer. Ours has lasted several months in the refrigerator.

I also recommend purchasing a larger container of Cream of Tarter if you plan on making homemade winter play dough recipes regularly. A small container at the store is pretty pricey. You can find a 2lb container on Amazon here.


Play dough

Cookie cutters

Nature loose parts

Rolling pin

Anything that can be used with Play Dough


Toddlers and Up

Useful for:

Family Explorations, Homeschool, Classroom Environments, Daycare, and Preschool

What’s your favorite homemade play dough recipe? 

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