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racheltom

Parents Of Pre-Schoolers: Play Dough Question

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Hi everyone, 

My 3 year old was diagnosed one year ago and so far so good.  She is gaining weight and takes pride in telling everyone "I eat gluten free!"   :)   She has had two isolated severe reactions where she vomited  after accidentally eating gluten.  But we are careful with her diet and this hasn't happened since.

 

She is starting preschool soon.  At her current daycare, she occasionally plays with play doh.  I have told her daycare provider that it is okay for her to play with it as long as she is very careful to make sure she doesn't put it in her mouth.  The caregiver also knows it is extremely important that she wash her hands immediately after play doh.  At her new preschool there will be several teachers in and out of the classroom and I'm concerned about whether I should start sending in special gluten-free play doh.  Has anyone had a child have a reaction from playing with play doh?  I'm sure the adults will do everything they can to keep her safe/healthy but you never know what might happen if there is a new teacher or someone is covering someone else's class, etc.  

 

For what its worth, my daughter is not the type to put things in her mouth… she never was even as a young toddler.  I know it could still happen, of course.  

 

Any thoughts or experiences? 

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I wouldn't be comfortable with regular play-doh - too many chances for gluten.  Even just under fingernails.

 

At my daughter's preschool there are two schools of thought:

1. have an all-gluten-free play-doh room

2. have the necessary child use gluten-free play-doh on a separately colored tray

 

I've seen both styles work.  Since my kid is celiac and not intolerant we go with #1.  The school provides the gluten-free play-doh and the gluten-free manipulatives follow her as she ages up.  Plus, since it's a gluten-free room they only use play-doh and tools safe for her all the time so the teachers don't have to worry about switching things out.  It's a pretty awesome system.

 

eta: our preschool is through our school district so she has a 504 plan that they're required to follow.  And this was written in before she even started school.


Angela

Undiagnosed, but I'm positive that I'm the genetic link to celiac for my kids.  Gluten Free in solidarity of my girls!

Kid 1 (9 y/o girl) - DX celiac via blood in 9/2013 (age 7.5).  Negative biopsy in 10/2013.

Kid 2 (5 y/o boy) - DX as "latent celiac" via blood in 9/2013 (age 3.5).  Negative biopsy in 10/2013.

Kid 3 (3 y/o girl) - DX celiac via blood in 8/2013 (age 1.5) and 9/2013. 

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I'm the gluten free one in my house, none of my kids are gluten free, and I still provide gluten free play dough for my kids. So my vote is for gluten free playdough for her. Too many chances for exposure.


~Ruth

Gluten free since 2/14/2010 after suffering a rare and serious complication from my gluten challenge

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I am "playdough mom" at my son's preschool!  I provide a fresh batch of gluten free playdough to his preschool every two weeks. The teachers love the donation of time and supplies, and I don't have to think twice about my son getting glutened via playdough.  I couldn't tolerate gluten playdough in his classroom. All those gluteny little hands touching all the furniture, books, art supplies, my son etc.  I don't see how my son would be able to avoid getting glutened in those conditions. Making a batch of homemade gluten free playdough is just as easy as regular playdough, and once you do it a couple of times you'll have it nailed.

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I am "playdough mom" at my son's preschool! I provide a fresh batch of gluten free playdough to his preschool every two weeks. The teachers love the donation of time and supplies, and I don't have to think twice about my son getting glutened via playdough. I couldn't tolerate gluten playdough in his classroom. All those gluteny little hands touching all the furniture, books, art supplies, my son etc. I don't see how my son would be able to avoid getting glutened in those conditions. Making a batch of homemade gluten free playdough is just as easy as regular playdough, and once you do it a couple of times you'll have it nailed.

I am "playdough mom" at my son's preschool!  I provide a fresh batch of gluten free playdough to his preschool every two weeks. The teachers love the donation of time and supplies, and I don't have to think twice about my son getting glutened via playdough.  I couldn't tolerate gluten playdough in his classroom. All those gluteny little hands touching all the furniture, books, art supplies, my son etc.  I don't see how my son would be able to avoid getting glutened in those conditions. Making a batch of homemade gluten free playdough is just as easy as regular playdough, and once you do it a couple of times you'll have it nailed.

Hi Annie, thanks for your reply. I have another question... I Know I probably sound like a cheapskate but I feel like the school should provide the play doh. It is so generous of you to provide it! We pay an arm and a leg for full day pre school so I feel like I shouldn't have to also provide play doh. I realize its not that much money to make it at home but I guess it's just the idea of it. By the way can you share your recipe?

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Is the recipe the same, just with gluten-free flour?  I teach Kindergarten and make my own playdough for them.  My 8 year old was just diagnosed Celiac, so I figure next time I'll ask a parent to make it for me (I don't want to use regular flour in my house).  But she enjoys playing with it at home.

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I know what you mean, we pay a lot too. But I guess I feel like I'm asking the teachers to go a little out of their way to protect my son, so I'll go a little out of my way too. Not to mention, my son loves playdough so this keeps a fresh supply going in our house as well. I just buy the ingredients in bulk on vitacost. And even though we pay a lot for his school, they still hold a lot of fundraisers that parents are supposed to be involved in, so in a way this gets me out of a lot of that! ;)

 

Here is the recipe! (from celiacfamily.com)
 

Easiest Gluten-Free Play Dough Recipe

Ingredients:

1 Cup White Rice Flour
1/2 Cup Cornstarch
1/2 Cup Salt
1 Tbsp Cream of Tartar
1-1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1 Cup Water, hot but not boiling
Food Coloring, as desired

Directions:

  1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a medium pot.
  2. Add the vegetable oil, then the water, and continue to mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Heat the pot on the stove over low heat for about 3 minutes. I like to stir frequently with a silicone spatula.
  4. When the dough starts to pull away from the sides easily, turn out the dough onto parchment paper. Let it cool briefly until you can work it with your hands.
  5. Knead food coloring into the dough until you get the color you desire.

Additional Notes:

  • Don’t overcook the dough. It shouldn’t need more than five minutes.
  • To add food coloring, I use the method I’ve used since I was a kid: Using your thumbs, make a well in the middle of the ball of dough and drop the food coloring into the well. Close up the well with the outside dough, keeping the food coloring in the middle of the ball. Then, carefully begin kneading it until the color is evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  • You don’t have to use the parchment paper. The dough shouldn’t be sticky. I use the parchment paper to simply keep residue and food coloring off my counter top. Wax paper or a plate would work just as well.
  • If needed, adjust the texture with small amounts of water (for dry, crumbly dough) or cornstarch (for sticky dough).
  • Makes about 2 cups of play dough, or about 2 baseball-size balls of dough.
  • Store in tightly sealed plastic bags or containers.

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Oh, and I'll also add that the mistake I made the first couple of times was taking "low heat" very literally and only turning my stove on "low."  This resulted in a sticky mess.  Once I started cranking up the heat a little I started getting perfect playdough every time.  Another benefit of playdough with white rice flour is that the playdough comes out pure white, and colors very nice and brightly with food coloring.

As to your question Missdiamondbc, I don't know for sure if you can just swap rice flour for the wheat flour in your usual recipe.  But the recipe I posted is probably not too far off from your own?  It seems like the ingredients are not too far off from the standard wheat playdough.

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Just logged on to update a playdough recipe that I put on here about a year ago and found this thread!

 

In answer to your question, can they get sick from playdough? I don't know but I have my suspicions. My daughter played with gluten playdough two weeks ago on her first day of kindy. There was a crossed wire and I though they were going to make gluten free playdough, but they had come to an executive decision, without telling me, that it would be 'better for her development' to 'learn to manage herself around gluten' and that they would watch her wash her hands carefully after playing. She played with it all day (she thought it was gluten free, she would never have touched it otherwise). For the next week she became constipated, complained of a sore tummy, and started wetting the bed every night which she hasn't done in ages. I don't know if this was a glutening, it could have just been that she was at her first day at preschool and forgot to drink all day. Who knows. She's fine now.

 

I ended up insisting my daughter have gluten free playdough at her preschool. She would never put it in her mouth but she touches her face and her lips all the time and I couldn't trust her to wash all that sticky gluten off properly before lunch. The compromise is that I provide it, a new batch, equivalent to 6 cups of flour worth each week, for everyone to play with. I did some experimenting and wanted to share what I found as it is very easy and quick and makes a huge batch of nice, soft non sticky playdough. 

I use rice flour from the asian grocer which is $1.55 for 500g and supermarket home-brand cornstarch which is $1.50 for 300g. 

 

No cook amazingly quick gluten free play-dough!

 

In a food processor mill 1 1/2 cup cheapest cooking salt until it is very fine. Add 500g rice flour, 300g cornstarch, 6 teaspoons cream of tartar and blend until nicely combined. Tip out into large pot (I use an 8L stock pot) - doesn't need to be on the stove. You don't cook this mixture!

 

Measure out 3 cups (750ml) boiling water and add 2 teaspoons of oil and a big squirt of food colouring. 

pour boiling water mix into pot and mix mix mix. 

 

It will come together quite quickly and once it really thickens you can start to knead it in the pot. It will be pretty hot still but I like the warmth on my hands. Knead for a bit until it is mixed smoothly and all the flour is incorporated. cover pot with some plastic wrap and the lid and once it cools down you will have a mega preschool class sized playdough batch that has taken about 5 minutes to make. 

 

Hope that helps. I would be curious to know if anyone has had a kid have an actual definite glutening from playdough. We are obsessive so my daughter has never been knowingly glutened since she was diagnosed over two years ago so we aren't even sure what to look out for as signs.

 

To her preschool teacher's credit, they have now checked all the paints and glues to make sure they are gluten free too, which is nice, but doesn't bother me as much as playdough which is basically pure gluten, guaranteed to cause a reaction if given half a chance, which is why I bothered to make a fuss. (I hate making a fuss)

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Hi everyone, 

My 3 year old was diagnosed one year ago and so far so good.  She is gaining weight and takes pride in telling everyone "I eat gluten free!"   :)   She has had two isolated severe reactions where she vomited  after accidentally eating gluten.  But we are careful with her diet and this hasn't happened since.

 

She is starting preschool soon.  At her current daycare, she occasionally plays with play doh.  I have told her daycare provider that it is okay for her to play with it as long as she is very careful to make sure she doesn't put it in her mouth.  The caregiver also knows it is extremely important that she wash her hands immediately after play doh.  At her new preschool there will be several teachers in and out of the classroom and I'm concerned about whether I should start sending in special gluten-free play doh.  Has anyone had a child have a reaction from playing with play doh?  I'm sure the adults will do everything they can to keep her safe/healthy but you never know what might happen if there is a new teacher or someone is covering someone else's class, etc.  

 

For what its worth, my daughter is not the type to put things in her mouth… she never was even as a young toddler.  I know it could still happen, of course.  

 

Any thoughts or experiences? 

 

My celiac child "Z" is 4, and we don't do Play-Doh at all, period.  I am too paranoid that it will get under his nails.  His preschool teachers know not to give it to him to play with.  (They are really awesome about the whole gluten-free diet thing, actually.) At home, we do use oil-based modeling clay, and have also experimented witih "air-dry clay" (which is true clay, not a "modeling compound"). Here are some thoughts:

 

If you send a gluten-free alternative to Play-Doh to the preschool, how will cross-contamination with regular Play-Doh be prevented?  My experience is that these products usually end up all mixed together (our multicolored modeling clay was all a uniform gray after just one or two sessions).  Will your daughter use the same surfaces and tools as the Play-Doh? I personally would be uneasy about it if it were my kid, although you could go "all-or-nothing" and provide gluten-free stuff for the whole class, along with new tools and so forth to go with it. (Sounds pricey, unless you make your own. gluten-free modeling compound isn't cheap.)

 

Other preschool things to watch out for:  making cookies, making ice cream sundaes (all toppings need to be gluten-free), bird feeders, pasta necklaces, papier mache (even mixing it in the same room is dangerous because the flour gets airborne), baking soda volcanoes (I've heard that flour is an ingredient in some "lava" recipes). When Z's class made bird feeders out of bread, peanut butter, and birdseed, his teachers had him wear vinyl gloves AND wash his hands afterward. (Like I said, they are awesome!)


Robyn

ds b. 7/2004, adopted 2/2005, ADHD dx 6/2009

ds b. 12/2007, no dx

ds b. 4/2010, celiac dx 5/2011

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