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Early Intervention Speech Therapy

Peanut Butter PlayDough

Published May 18, 2012 10:34 AM by Stephanie Bruno-Dowling

This week at school the letter of the week was "Q." Now of course, we could honor the letter Q with a homemade quiche or by sampling a succulent quince; however, the occupational therapist I often co-treat with had an exciting idea that involved actually making the letter Q. She suggested we prepare no-cook edible dough that the children could shape into a "Q."

Here are the 3 ingredients we used for our lesson this week:

  • 2 cups of creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar

This recipe makes enough to give approximately 10 children a golf-ball sized lump of peanut butter dough.

Recipe Steps:

1. Measure each ingredient and place into a medium mixing bowl. (The students loved scooping the peanut butter, squeezing out the honey and shaking out the powdered sugar. We took time to measure each ingredient and pour them into the bowl).

2. Mix everything together in the bowl until it is a soft play-dough consistency. (If it is too soft or greasy, add extra powdered sugar).

3. Next, give each student a golf-ball sized piece of dough and instruct them to shape a "Q" on their plate for "Q" week! (I modeled how to do this for the students. Our OT, using small paper plates, drew a "Q" in black permanent marker on each plate so that the students had a model for which to shape their letter).

4. When everyone is done making their "Q", practice thinking of and saying "Q" words, like "quiet", "quilt" and "queen."

5. Finally, enjoy tasting your yummy peanut butter treat!

Recipe and Therapy Tips:

  • Ask the children to name each ingredient. Have them look at, hold and smell the peanut butter, honey and powdered sugar. Talk about color and texture and the differences between each food. Maybe even offer a sample taste to get their palates curious!
  • Have "Q" picture cards handy and a large tablet of paper to write "Q" words and even draw "Q" pictures.
  • This is a wonderfully easy recipe to try at home! You may want to cut the ingredients in half if you do not need as much as we did for our whole class!


Cynthia, can you tell me which schools in GA are peanut free? Why not just use playdoh?  A lot of children that have peanut allergies also have other nut allergies.  Then you risk the chance of the peanut protein (which is invisible and hard to remove from environmental surfaces) being contaminated onto other surfaces.  I never will understand our society's need to incorporate food every little thing we do... even playing.

j c September 11, 2012 1:39 PM

When choosing what to write on this blog, I do my best to offer a wide variety of recipes and food suggestions. Over the summer I will be addressing food allergies once again as I did in several posts during the Spring of 2011. Not every recipe or post is appropriate for every child, therapist or parent.  

stephanie bruno dowling, blog author May 28, 2012 11:30 AM

I like the idea of using dough, but there are hundreds of recipies out in the world that don't involve any nut butters of any kind. Most children that are allergic to peanut, are allergic or have an intolerance to other tree nuts.  As a parent of a life-threatening peanut/tree nut/soy allergic child and a special ed teacher with peanut/tree nut allergic students, I would never risk any child's safety.  Until you have to administer an epipen, it is easy to be a bit complacent.  

Sharon, , Special Educator Elementary school May 24, 2012 11:17 AM
Andover MA

Very true and thank you for the reminder. Most likely the peanut butter could be substituted successfully with a creamy almond butter. Also, safe for parents to try at home if they know of course that they are allergy free!

stephanie bruno dowling, blog author May 24, 2012 6:51 AM

Better be careful about peanut allergy!!  Some schools here (in Georgia) are peanut-free because of the severe reaction it can cause.  Some kids can't even be in a room with an open jar of p. butter.

Cynthia, pediatrics - OT, public school May 22, 2012 12:22 AM

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About this Blog

    Stephanie Bruno Dowling, M.S. CCC-SLP
    Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist
    Setting: Early Intervention in Delaware County, PA
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