Ella is such a little chef. The girl eats, breathes, and sleeps all things food and cooking. She is constantly reminding me that when she is 16 years old she will be packing up and leaving for Montreal to work as a chef.
Shhh, that’s 12 short years away. I can’t handle that thought.
If we were to actually bake as often as this little chef would like, we’d have to open a bakery. Luckily, play recipes and invitations like this Vanilla Buttercream Play Dough have saved me from complete cupcake burnout.
We used our Moisturizer + Cornstarch play dough recipe but left the texture a little bit flakier than usual by adding in a little less moisturizer to better imitate the consistency of our favourite buttercream frosting recipe. (You could alternatively use conditioner.)
We also added in a package of nearing-expiry vanilla pudding mix which gave the play dough an amazing and complex vanilla smell and a rich buttery colour.
This recipe was made completely spur of the moment with Ella literally making it on the floor in the hallway while I supervised from the play room, so I let her take the reigns when it came to designing the play invitation. We decided to make play dough cupcakes, so she set to work gathering supplies from her baking cupboard.
Because she was going to be sharing the vanilla buttercream play dough with a friend, she gathered two of everything (I often only offer one of certain items to encourage waiting and sharing, but that probably just looks like poor planning to a three year old):
- two sets of measuring spoons
- two rolling pins
- two plastic knives
- four silicone muffin cups
If I had planned this set-up, I would have also made some chocolate play dough for the cupcakes, or at least set out these wooden ones from our Melissa and Doug cupcake set.
The kids loved this play invitation, and I have to say, it smelled so good that I would have absolutely said yes if the kids asked to make real cupcakes and buttercream icing right then!
I love that the recipe is easy and safe enough for kids to make completely independently with appropriate supervision, and I really enjoyed the thought and excitement that went into planning her own play invitation, similar to when the preschoolers designed a sensory bin for the toddlers.
It is so wonderful to give children the freedom to design their own play, even if it’s bound to get messy!
What has been your favourite play dough experience with your kids?