We could all use some therapy play dough

People, I am an adult. In a few short months, I will be 21 and there will be nothing–short of running for office and AARP membership–barred from me based on my age. But here’s a secret.

Lean in close.


Whew, glad to get that off my chest. So, here’s what I did today:
Play Dough and dinosaurs 005

RAAAAAAAAAAAAWR! Oh, my, excuse me! I didn’t see you there. My name is Timmy. Play Dough and dinosaurs 007

Timmy the mutherfracking PINK DINOSAUR. Allow me to show you around my play dough world.

Play Dough and dinosaurs 003

This is my mother. Timmolina.

Play Dough and dinosaurs 001A rare fossil of the love monster, kept in our house for generationsPlay Dough and dinosaurs 016


Ummm, ahem, excuse Timmy. What he meant to say is that play dough is easy to make. Combine:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • a few drops of food coloring
  • bonus points: aromatic oils to make it delicious smelling therapy play dough

Cook over medium high heat until it comes off the sides of the pan. Knead for a few minutes. Enjoy the magic of childhood. If you wrap it up when it’s not in use, or store it in a ziplock, it will keep for months and months, maybe a year or longer.

Believe it or not, Timmy is a therapy dinosaur. He and his play dough brethren can help you connect with your residents.

My sophomore year, I remember visiting one of the other AD’s with a couple of RA friends. This particular AD had a very small office, but she had a table with all sorts of little toys and trinkets on it. In the small white little room, the toys immediately drew my attention. I found myself playing with them in spite of myself, and I asked her why they were there. She told me that she likes to have little things for students to play around with while they’re talking to her. Usually people are coming to her to talk about emotionally charged things, or because something is not going well. The toys help to make a serious environment more relaxing, and gives people something to fidget with while they talk. It also makes the conversation feel less contrived–it makes it feel like you’re there to spend time with each other, and not “okay, I’m going to spill my guts because you’re the person I’m supposed to spill my guts to.”

A few months later, I found myself in her office, dealing with my own emotionally painful situation. I felt wretched, embarrassed to be breaking down in front of someone I respected, and I was trying hard to keep it together. I remember being extremely grateful for having those little toys to play around with in between talking. Those little toys reminded me that it is okay not to be professional and impressive all the time. I felt that I was in a place where I would be taken care of.

Because Timmy the dinosaur eats bad feelings for lunch.

Play Dough and dinosaurs 015

Too cool for fossil fuel


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s