I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for sweaters and cooler weather! And with cooler weather comes Pumpkin Season! Although your little one might not be enjoying a Pumpkin Spice Latte, they can still get into the spirit of Fall with this 3-ingredient pumpkin play-doh activity!
First off, I love working on sensory activities with babies and toddlers in my private practice, but when I do, I know one thing’s for sure… something is going into their mouth! Am I right? So let’s prepare for the inevitable with this safe, easy, allergy-friendly, and edible pumpkin play-doh!
What You Will Need
- (1) 16 oz can of pumpkin
- (2) cups of cornstarch (+additional if your dough is too sticky)
- (1) tbsp of pumpkin pie spice
- Mix pumpkin and cinnamon in a medium/large bowl.
- Gradually add cornstarch until the mixture is doughy (but not sticky).
- Place it on a flat surface sprinkled with cornstarch.
(I like to use the ezpz Play Mat):
This edible play-doh recipe is a great sensory experience for babies (and picky eaters). Here are a few sensory benefits.
Your child needs to be exposed to a variety of colors when it comes to food or food play. Picky eaters tend to gravitate towards white, beige, or brown foods, so vibrant orange play-doh is a perfect sensory activity!
Our sense of smell comes from a part of our brain, where cells continue to regenerate from infancy to adulthood. Making mealtime and playtime memories that include odors associated with seasons and family time (like pumpkin) are vital to raising an adventurous eater! This simple play-doh activity will have your child’s hands smelling like pumpkin pie! Score!
The tactile sensation you get from this dough starts-off liquidy then becomes smooth, gooey, sticky, and squishy. So it’s a perfect exercise for teaching kids about texture!
Believe it or not, I’ve worked with many toddlers who developed sensitivities to the sounds of foods. Examples include not liking crunchy sounds (biting into an apple) or slurpy sounds (sipping soup off a spoon). Sensory activities (like play-doh) can help a child with auditory feeding aversions because there are some gooey, slurpy sounds happening while they play!
Most of the parents and medical professionals I work with think that food refusals and rigid feeding behaviors are due to a baby or toddler not liking the food’s taste. More often than not, a child needs time to explore the flavor in various ways before they consume it. Having fun opportunities like edible play-doh can help the child “play” with the food, then “taste” the food. Notice I didn’t say “eat 4 ounces of it”. Children need to learn to trust a food if they are nervous about it. That’s why sensory food play is so critical for learning.
This edible pumpkin play-doh is an excellent way to expose your little one to a new smell, taste, and texture! And includes one huge bonus for busy parents and therapists… it’s ready in minutes with minimal ingredients. A perfect fall sensory activity!
Let me know how your play-doh turns out by tagging me @MsDawnSLP and #MsDawnSLP! Can’t wait to see your gooey pics!
P.S For more crafting and sensory food play ideas, head to my Amazon Store (see “Sensory Food Play”).
P.P.S. To get your own ezpz Play Mat, go to ezpzfun.com (use code: ALLIE10 for 10% off) or buy one from my Amazon Store.
xo, Ms. Dawn.