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Autumnal Scavenger Hunt Playdough

Do you bring things home from the woods? Not squirels or foxes obviously (though I am tempted) but little things. Acorns. Leaves. Pine cones. I don’t think I’ve ever made it home without a pocket full of treasures that we’ve found. To be honest, I came home laden with stuff just after a visit to our local park today, turns out I’m a bit of a magpie for autumnal goodies. What do you do with these goodies though? No matter if you’ve been picking up bits from your wanders or have been on a full blown scavenger hunt it seems wrong to just chuck them out. Well you make this autumnal scavenger playdough of course! Sounds simple? Oh yes, but I had to eventually physically remove my kids from it, such was it’s popularity here.

Scavenger Hunt Playdough

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You will need

2 Cups Plain Flour


1/2 Cup of Salt

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons Cream of Tartar

1 Cup Boiled Water

Food Colouring

Acorns and Conkers

How to make your autumnal scavenger hunt playdough

Mix the flour, salt, oil and cream of tartar in a bowl. Add food coloring, we use the old school liquid ones. It was meant to be an autumnal red colour but we kind of ran out so it was a bit pink? Oops. Add the boiled water a bit at a time, stirring and kneading it until it forms a dough. It it’s too dry, add some mare water. Too wet, add some more flour. Add conkers and acorns to your dough, of course there are other things you could add but obviously just be aware that things like leaves or sycamore seeds may well get broken up in it. Also, and I know that you are smart enough to know this but this contains one heck of a lot of salt. My one year old has only just stopped trying to eat playdough and I still don’t trust her at all. If you are doing this activity with little ones do keep an eye on them and don’t let them eat it.

autumn sensory play dough

I did this activity with my four year old and nearly two year old and thought they would probably grow bored with it after a little bit, how wrong I was! Both of them loved hunting for the little ‘treasures’ in it, poking their fingers into the dough, hiding the conkers again. My son loved making little playdough acorns to go in the acorn cups and my daughter loved pulling the playdough apart to see what was hidden it it. Both had to be forcibly removed from it to have lunch and my one year old demanded to play with it again in the afternoon! A perfect way to use up the materials from scavenger hunts!

If your kids enjoyed this craft make sure you check out my new book 30 Halloween Crafts for Kids which is full of fun, achievable and cool ideas!

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1 Comment

  1. 15th September 2015 / 8:50 am

    I love this. It is great to give the kids simple stuff to do, as it is often the simplest that is the best. I love the addition of the autumn nature stuff

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