The first is the simplest: Pumpkin Cloud Dough. I learned last year from Growing a Jeweled Rose that boxed cake mix has almost the same texture as cloud dough... That is, it is soft and powdery but also moldable. This has become one of my favorite go-to sensory play activities since the only preparation required is dumping out a bag of cake mix! Therefore, cake mix is one of the things I always check for in clearance aisles or dollar stores. Honestly, when I bought these particular boxes, cloud dough was the only thing on my mind. Monkey is still not quite ready for this particular experience (all he wants to do is empty the dough out of it's container which is a bit too messy even for me!) but Munchkin loves it! This time I added some plastic gourds to set the "autumn" mood as well as various kitchen tools including a whisk and a mini bundt pan.
While Munchkin was playing, I decided to experiment a bit. We loved the foam dough we made for Halloween and I wondered whether I could substitute cake mix for the corn starch and baking soda. I combined 1 part shaving cream with 2 parts cake mix.... And it WORKED!!! Presenting... Cake Mix Foam Dough! The shaving cream smell completely disappeared, leaving only the yummy pumpkin spice smell of the cake mix. The dough was moldable and cut well with cookie cutters. The downside? After a bit of play, it got somewhat sticky... enough that my sensory snob Munchkin no longer wanted to play. Monkey, however, enjoyed it even on the sticky side!
My last experiment is what I am most excited about, however... I successfully tried another crazy substitution: cake mix in place of flour in a play dough recipe to make Cake Mix Play Dough! The exact recipe we used: 1 cup cake mix, 1/2 cup salt, 2 tablespoons cream of tartar, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 cup water. The dough is slightly softer and "wetter" feeling than traditional play dough but it is super smooth and not sticky at all - even to Sensory Snob Munchkin! The best part, though is that the color and amazing scent are already built in!
I can't wait to try these new tricks with different flavored cake mixes... I'm thinking that strawberry play dough sounds delightful! Or maybe gingerbread for Christmas? Yummm....