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How To Handle Playdough In The Classroom?
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Has anyone had to deal with Playdough in the classroom? My son (almost 5 yrs) was diagnosed one month ago with Celiac. We have done really good at home (I think) about avoiding gluten and cross contamination. We are FINALLY starting to see some improvement. I was talking with one of his preschool teachers today about playdough. They don't have this out everyday, but a couple of times a month. I am more than willing to make gluten-free dough for him, and even provide him with his own toys and placemat to avoid cross contamination at the table. I thought I had it all under control..... BUT then one of the teachers pointed out that playdough is a 'free activity' which means that there isn't always an adult at that table. So no way to discourage cross contamination. Also, no way to make sure the kids are washing their hands when they are done, before they go do something else. How worried about this do I need to be? He puts his fingers to his face/mouth frequently which is why I want the 'safe' playdough, but is cross contamination throughout the classroom a concern or am I being over cautious?

Thanks!

Kim

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Has anyone had to deal with Playdough in the classroom? My son (almost 5 yrs) was diagnosed one month ago with Celiac. We have done really good at home (I think) about avoiding gluten and cross contamination. We are FINALLY starting to see some improvement. I was talking with one of his preschool teachers today about playdough. They don't have this out everyday, but a couple of times a month. I am more than willing to make gluten-free dough for him, and even provide him with his own toys and placemat to avoid cross contamination at the table. I thought I had it all under control..... BUT then one of the teachers pointed out that playdough is a 'free activity' which means that there isn't always an adult at that table. So no way to discourage cross contamination. Also, no way to make sure the kids are washing their hands when they are done, before they go do something else. How worried about this do I need to be? He puts his fingers to his face/mouth frequently which is why I want the 'safe' playdough, but is cross contamination throughout the classroom a concern or am I being over cautious?

Thanks!

Kim

Can you order or supply the entire classroom with gluten free play dough? As a donation? I know my sister who has a Celiac 6 year old, she supply substitutes or the entire classroom when needed. I do not think you are being over cautious, it is a medical need. I know if the product is purchased and sealed, the school should be able to accept it. Check out Blue Domino!

Order Online:

Blue Domino

Gluten Free Play Doh 8/09

www.bluedominoes.com

And this awesome list: Scroll down for 2009 updated Supply list

You are not alone, this website may help! Link :)

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We supply each of our children's classrooms with gluten free play-dough and new tools. We have bought our stuff from Discount School Supply: http://www.discountschoolsupply.com/NewDSS/Product/ProductDetail.aspx?product=7566&keyword=gluten%20free&scategoryid=0&CategorySearch=&Brand=&Price= . We still have strict protocols in place when working with the gluten free doughs because all of the "gluten free" play doughs that I tested were positive for gluten. In testing my third brand of "gluten free" dough, I had accepted that I was simply checking to make sure that it was not a "high positive". So, we still make sure that good cleanup protocols are in place, especially that my children wash their hands after playing with it. They also contain the play dough and clean surfaces when done with the activity.

I don't think that it is overly cautious at all. In our consultations with specialists that are trying to help us figure out why we continue to have issues in these shared space environments, play dough has been one of the first questions asked!

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You are not being overly cautious! There is no such thing in this game! I am fortunate enough to also be able to afford to buy a classroom supply for my kid. I bought Model Magic. The teacher had never used it and really liked it. I also supplied her with ziplocks because if it gets put back into a container or ziplock it can be reused over and over again.

Discount School Supply is a great resource!

Good luck!

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Thanks so much for your replies. I am more than willing to supply the classroom, however am struggling since we are in Canada and I can't find any Canadian companies, and shipping from the states almost doubles the cost, if they will even ship here. A friend of mine who has a home based business is checking to see if she can order from aroma dough. I have made a decent playdough at home, but not sure if the school will take home made stuff or not.

Thanks again!

Kim

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Thanks so much for your replies. I am more than willing to supply the classroom, however am struggling since we are in Canada and I can't find any Canadian companies, and shipping from the states almost doubles the cost, if they will even ship here. A friend of mine who has a home based business is checking to see if she can order from aroma dough. I have made a decent playdough at home, but not sure if the school will take home made stuff or not.

Thanks again!

Kim

Can you provide them w/the recipe for the home made dough & have them do it as a class? That way they can see how it's made? That might be an option?

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I have made a decent playdough at home, but not sure if the school will take home made stuff or not.

Kim

It doesn't hurt to ask. I was a TA in a preschool before I went gluten-free. All the dough, every year was "homemade". As part of my job I made it at home and brought it to school. I made a fresh supply and tossed the old each month because pre-schooler's hygene is not the best, plus cold and allergy season...I changed the color to match the season. Maybe don't use the word "homemade" as that might scare some people off, just offer to "make it for the class" If the teacher seems hesitant maybe bring in a sample. Sometims people are hesitant to embrace things if they can't imagine or don't have experience with something and percieve it as different.

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Thanks so much for all of your replies. I have been trying different recipes to find a good one and would be more than willing to provide it for the classroom (teacher is awesome and willing to do what ever it takes to keep him 'safe'!). I am not thrilled about the results I am getting though. They are either crumbly or like a rubber ball. Anyone have a tried and true recipe? (also I haven't make much playdough- gluteny or otherwise, so any tips are appreciated!)

Kim

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Ok...this is surely a dumb question, but why the major concern over playdough if its not ingested? My daughter was recently diagnosed with celiac, but I've allowed her to use playdough, so long as she washes her hands well afterwards, and certainly before eating. Can anyone answer this for me? Thank you, Emily

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Ok...this is surely a dumb question, but why the major concern over playdough if its not ingested? My daughter was recently diagnosed with celiac, but I've allowed her to use playdough, so long as she washes her hands well afterwards, and certainly before eating. Can anyone answer this for me? Thank you, Emily

unless you have her in a long sleeved smock she will get some on her clothes...and from there it will go anywhere .....and her hands...unless you scrub her nails rather diligently/harshly some will remain, and, while she is playing do you really want to bet she will never touch her face?

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Hi Emily,

My son is pretty bad for having his hands in his mouth. Also, the other kids are also playing with the playdough and may not (likely not) wash their hands after playing with the playdough..... it can get everywhere!

His preschool class room had a table (like a water table) full of different kinds of pasta. I wasn't aware of this until the end of the second day. He had cramps on both days.

We are still new to this. I am not sure what a reaction looks like for him, and am trying hard to eliminate EVERYTHING so that we can be sure his gut his healing, and then pinpoint things he may react to more clearly.

:)

Kim

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Hi. I found this old topic but I was wondering if you were successful in finding any gluten free playdough in Canada or if you found a good home made recipe? Thanks.

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What about another sensory rich alternative to play dough? Could flubber be made gluten free? What about actual clay? Good luck!

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Hello!

We went the 'homemade' playdough route, and I am now the sole supplier of playdough for the classroom. About every 6 weeks I get another request for a few batches. It is fun! For christmas I made a cinnamon/nutmeg scented one. Next they want plain white.

I can post the recipe- but my little one is just waking up and fussing, so will come back later and do it!

Kim

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Thank you, that would be great! I am sure that this will be me in a few weeks :)

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Sorry it took me so long to get back here- completely forgot until I was making playdough yesterday for the kindergarten. Here is my recipe- I find it works great. The teacher says she prefers it to the 'traditional' dough.

Mix dry ingredients:

1/2 cup rice flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup salt

2 tsp cream of tarter

Add 1 cup of water, and 1 T oil, food colouring if desired. Mix well.

Heat a pot with 1 T oil over medium heat (don't get it too hot). Give the wet ingredients a stir and pour into the pot. Stir with a spatula, carefully scraping the bottom of the pot. Should gradually get thicker. After about 3 minutes you should have a lovely bowl of playdough!

_______________________________________________________________________________________

I have never made 'cooked' playdough before, so this was new to me. A few things that I find make it a better playdough- allow the wet ingredients to sit for a minute or two before cooking. Stir just before adding to the pan. If the pan is too hot, it gets really rubbery.

I do find this playdough dries out faster than others. I have added more oil if it is sticky- not sure why sometimes it needs more than others.

Let me know how it works for you. This recipe doubles very well. I send 4 batches to school every 4-6 weeks.

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That's the recipe I am using as well and it works great!!

My son is newly diagnosed and I am now providing the play dough for his classroom. Before this his teacher used to make a batch every month. It's not much work for me and I am sure that his teacher is so busy that she doesn't mind someone else making the playdough :)

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i cant believe play dough cant be played with! this is really serious! my son has gluten sensitivity but is getting biopsy this week.... CAN SOMEONE PLEASE SHOW ME WHERE IT SHOWS SYMPTOMS OF GLUTEN SENSITIVITY FOR BOTH ADULT AND CHILDREN? thank you

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i cant believe play dough cant be played with! this is really serious! my son has gluten sensitivity but is getting biopsy this week.... CAN SOMEONE PLEASE SHOW ME WHERE IT SHOWS SYMPTOMS OF GLUTEN SENSITIVITY FOR BOTH ADULT AND CHILDREN? thank you

On the girl Scout thread, I posted the ingredients straight from the Hasbro's website. It clearly stated that it is made with flour. If he were to get some in his mouth, he would be eating wheat flour, which contains gluten. It is very hard to keep it out of his mouth. Watch him play. He probably puts his fingers in his mouth, or rubs his lips or gets it under his nails & can't wash it out. Then it falls out on his food he is eating with his fingers.

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This is from Hasbro's website

Play-Doh is primarily a mixture of water, salt and flour. It does NOT contain peanuts, peanut oil or any milk byproducts. Play-Doh does not contain latex. Play-Doh is non-toxic. However,children or adults who are allergic to wheat gluten or specific food dyes may have an allergic reaction to this product.

Furthermore, if a dog ingests Play-Doh, due to its salt content, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

Because Play-Doh is non-toxic, non-flammable and non-reactive, no Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is required for Play-Doh.

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I'm just figuring out that I have gluten intolerance or celiac (tests negative, but have family history of celiac and have one of the genes). As a teacher of 4s and 5s, how much do I need to worry about playdough? Obviously I need to avoid MAKING the gluten kind so that I'm not inhaling the flour. But is it OK for me to have it in the classroom and work with it to demonstrate different activities or do I need to make it all gluten free? I kind of feel like there are a million ways I can encounter cross contamination since they eat in the classroom as well, so cleaning the tables regularly and washing my hands is about the best I can do. Do I need to be more concerned?

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I don't think I would worry about it if I were in your shoes, as long as do all the hand washing and table cleaning you mentioned.

I do worry about my 5 year old handling gluten-play dough, because he might stick his fingers in his mouth or not wash his hands very well.

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I'm just figuring out that I have gluten intolerance or celiac (tests negative, but have family history of celiac and have one of the genes). As a teacher of 4s and 5s, how much do I need to worry about playdough?

I work in a preschool as well (2 and 3 year olds) . . . can't tell you how many times a day I say "don't put that in your mouth".

So, I will only tell you this once . . . Don't put the playdoh in your mouth!! :P:lol:

As an adult, you have the advantage of knowing AND remembering to wash your hands before you eat. With gluten foods (in addition to the playdoh) in your classroom, you will just have to do your best to keep surfaces clean, but the real prevention will be to always wash up before eating.

Also just an FYI to the general public . . . Crayola's modeling clay and air-dry clay contain no gluten ingredients (they do share a production line which is cleaned with a gluten containing dough, though). Depending on the project, the modeling clay is cheaper than the model magic. It's what I provided for my daughter's classroom when they had a playdoh project.

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I work in a preschool as well (2 and 3 year olds) . . . can't tell you how many times a day I say "don't put that in your mouth".

So, I will only tell you this once . . . Don't put the playdoh in your mouth!! :P:lol:

As an adult, you have the advantage of knowing AND remembering to wash your hands before you eat. With gluten foods (in addition to the playdoh) in your classroom, you will just have to do your best to keep surfaces clean, but the real prevention will be to always wash up before eating.

Also just an FYI to the general public . . . Crayola's modeling clay and air-dry clay contain no gluten ingredients (they do share a production line which is cleaned with a gluten containing dough, though). Depending on the project, the modeling clay is cheaper than the model magic. It's what I provided for my daughter's classroom when they had a playdoh project.

Maybe Cait can get some just for her. Tell the kids she is allergic to regular PLay dough.

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I work in a preschool as well (2 and 3 year olds) . . . can't tell you how many times a day I say "don't put that in your mouth".

So, I will only tell you this once . . . Don't put the playdoh in your mouth!! :P:lol:

I still have to say this to 4s and 5s (and at this time of year, even some 6s moving toward first grade) on a surprisingly regular basis. Less frequent, and more directed at specific kids, but still...

I will do my best not to eat the playdough. :P And I'll just use the regular stuff unless I seem to have issues in it. I figured it was a bigger issue for kids than for me, but it's nice to have the reassurance. Still figuring a lot of this stuff out. I keep finding new ways to make myself feel lousy, so I'm trying to be proactive without being paranoid.

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