Each fall I have a problem. Most of the time I see the glass as half full and am pretty happy, but not this time of year. This time of year is tough. You see, I have fall envy. It’s a common occurrence for us Floridians, especially for those of us who grew up elsewhere. I grew up in upstate NY and fall is the time the northern states shine. Beautiful leaves, homemade cider, crisp boot-wearing weather…I can almost smell it.
Luckily there is one thing that can help ease the pain–the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte!
For me it’s more than just the taste or the trendiness, I love the total sensory experience. My kids are lovers of all things pumpkin too, and while I won’t let them drink a pumpkin spice latte, I thought they could enjoy the sensory experience of playing with one. So last week instead of drinking a PSL we made Pumpkin Spice Latte Play Dough!
Pumpkin Spice Latte Play Dough
- 2 1/4 cups of water
- 1 to 2 tablespoons instant dark roast coffee
- 3 cups white flour
- 3/4 cups of table salt
- 3 tablespoons cream of tartar
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
This pumpkin spice latte play dough recipe is basically just a modified version of my favorite white play dough recipe. Begin by mixing all of the dry ingredients except for the instant coffee together in a bowl. Then heat the water in a pot on the stove and add the instant coffee. One tablespoon of coffee was enough to give it a yummy coffee smell, but I really love the smell of coffee so went for two tablespoons.
Once it begins to boil and the coffee is dissolved turn off the heat. Add the oil to the dry mixture and stir together. Then add the dry mixture to the coffee water. Mix it all together with a large spoon. Once it’s combined put the dough on a large cutting board or similar surface and knead it until smooth. You’ll find that as you are mixing and kneading the entire room will be filling with the scents of pumpkin spice and coffee deliciousness.
Once your Pumpkin Spice Latte Play Dough is ready it’s time to play! Add in mugs and cinnamon sticks and whole coffee beans and you are ready for hours of sensory-filled play. Kids can pretend to run a coffee shop or bakery or even just play house with their own “lattes” to drink.
You can also encourage fine motor development by setting out stirrers, scissors, cookie cutters and other things around the house that get little fingers moving and working. There really is no end to the goodness of this play recipe!
I can feel my fall envy subsiding a little more each time we play. Even those of use who have to settle for “fake fall” can still pumpkin (and Pumpkin Spice Latte) all the things!
Keep the fun going with these kid-approved fall pumpkin activities.