This homemade play dough invitation came about on “one of those days.”
You know the type, where the kids are just off, and you’re just feeling unprepared for life in general and you could all use a “boost.” Between the dyed barley for the spooning exercise being flung all over the floor, and teething babies, and testing preschoolers, we were having A DAY.
The preschool girls finished their lunch before everyone else and were wandering away from the kitchen when inspiration struck. I had them whip up a batch of our no-cook 2-ingredient play dough while everyone else finished eating and then, when they were all napping, I put together this quick ice cream play dough invitation.
Hair Conditioner Play Dough Recipe
I love setting up play invitations for the kids with scented play dough, like our pink lemonade play dough and our hot chocolate play dough with play dough marshmallows. It doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to be fun and engaging!
This simple play dough has a different consistency than regular flour-based doughs — it’s thick and very soft, perfect for an ice cream play dough. The girls had dyed a portion of the play dough brown, so I decided to take inspiration from our recent mini-layer cake and turn the dough into a Neopolitan Ice Cream Play Dough Invitation!
Check out our quick video to see just how easy it is to make our cornstarch play dough and just how soft it is to play with – and then don’t forget to scroll down to grab your free printable recipe:
To make Neopolitan Ice Cream Play Dough, mix:
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
I know it would be better to give you an exact measurement, but the quantity of body lotion is really going to depend on so many factors. You want the dough to be cohesive and stick together, without being too wet or sticky on your hands. (Ours didn’t stick to our hands at all, but everyone has different comfort levels and preferences.)
Manipulatives We Added to Our Ice Cream Play Dough Set Up
- Pink Bouncy Balls as “Cherries” <– can use pom poms
- Dyed Barley as “Sprinkles” <– from our Rainbow Barley Sensory Bin
I used a simple food container as the “ice cream container” though if you had this Melissa & Doug Ice Cream Set, that would be a fun twist.
I added some child-sized tongs to grab the cherries, an ice cream scoop for the dough, a spoon for the sprinkles, and two types of cones — wooden ones from a play set, and real ones that I had purchased for decorating a cake but never ended up using… The real cones might not have been the best idea given the day we were having.
The girls were so excited when they came down to see the ice cream play dough invitation! They immediately set to work scooping and sprinkling. They loved being able to choose which ice cream “flavour” they were going to serve, and eventually had fun mixing the colours together and rolling the bouncy balls in the dough to create patterns.
The scoops, tongs, and spoon were used interchangeably and they were able to experiment with which tool was best for which task.
We used this dough for a week, as an ice cream dough and then as a milkshake play dough, a cookie play dough, and for just rolling out and stamping with letter stamps. Now that I run the home daycare, I throw all play dough out at the end of the week, but this dough was a bit crumbly by then anyways. A bit of water might have revived it — or at least may have turned it into oobleck!
Grab the recipe for our hair conditioner play dough recipe:
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 2-4 Tablespoons scented hair conditioner or body lotion
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Place the cornstarch in a mixing bowl and add two tablespoons hair conditioner.
- Stir together, adding more hair conditioner until it forms a cohesive dough.
- Add more cornstarch if it gets sticky.
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Today, I’m also sharing with you some other awesome scented sensory dough ideas from around the web:
Lemon Lime Scented Cloud Dough | Lemon Lime Adventures
Taste Safe Chocolate Cinnamon Scented Sensory Dough | Bare Feet on the Dashboard
Peaches & Cream Coconut Oil Playdough | Powerful Mothering
Lemonade Playdough | Preschool Inspirations
Invitation to create Jasmine Tea Playdough | Squiggles and Bubbles
Green Nature Scented Dough | Peakle Pie
Edible Scented Salt-Free Rainbow Play Dough | Preschool Powol Packets
Citrus Orchard Play Dough with printable | Therapy Fun Zone
Epsom Salt Rose Dough Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tail
Green Tea Scented Play Dough Still Playing School
Grape Kool-Aid Scented Play Dough from Stir the Wonder
Body Wash Scented Play Dough | Sugar Aunts
Pink Lemonade Play Dough | The Pleasantest Thing