Wednesday, January 30, 2013

When You Need a Fun Day

To those of you who homeschool, you know that some days just don't start well, and go downhill from there.  This has been one of those days.  Sooo, we need some fun to do today.

The three kiddos from next door (also grandchildren whom I help homeschool) are here with the three that live here.  A little noisy!  But they are breaking up into a three groups and working on some puzzles and playing some games they got for Christmas.  That got me to thinking about something else I needed to do, and that is make play dough.

Many of you already have this recipe but I thought I'd put it here.  My own children (who are adults) were talking about it the other day, and how much they actually like the homemade play dough as compared to the commercial play dough.  Some children like to build things with the play dough. My grandchildren like to use the cookie cutters and cut out all kinds of things.  

Here are two recipes.  One is cooked and that is the one we use for just about everything.  The other is not cooked, so you can let the children help you make it.

Play Dough #1

1 cup flour                                            
½ cup salt
1 cup water
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 tablespoon oil

     Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan.  Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken and change consistency.  It will begin to pull together in a ball.  Remove from pan.  Let cool enough to handle, then knead well.

Food coloring can be added with rest of ingredients.  It will get darker as it cooks.  After dough has cooled completely, put in covered bowl or plastic bag.  This is almost like commercially produced play dough.

This can be dried in the oven on very low temperature, or allowed to air dry several days.  If it is painted, watercolors tend to soften and make it “mushy”.  Therefore, if you want it colored, add the color to the mixture when it is in the pan, or use very thick tempera paint.

Play Dough #2

Equal amounts of flour and salt.  Blend thoroughly.  Moisten enough to model.  Add coloring or paint later.  May be used for maps, bases, cut with cookie cutters, etc.

Gluten Free Play Dough

If  you and/or your children are on a gluten-free diet, you also have to watch other things that come in contact with your skin, or you breathe in.  My grandchildren do not seem to suffer any ill effects from the play dough, but some may.  Especially if you have a toddler who may decide to sample the play dough.
So all you need to do is substitute rice flour and cornstarch or arrowroot flour  in equal amounts to equal the  amount of wheat flour.  That's it.  One recipe suggests cornflour too.

Get out the cookie cutters and let them "bake" some gingerbread men.

If you have recipes of things you use with your children--finger paints, other play dough recipes, beads, sculpturing dough, please share it with us.

As always, I'd love your input.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Anita,

    I've never heard of making playdoh by cooking it. If I remember right, I used to make something with peanut butter. And also flour, salt, and oil I think. Been so long ago, I don't remember too well ;-)

    I used to make stuff for finger painting too, but no clue how I made that. It's always fun to make your own and a great money saver as well.

    Thanks for sharing your recipes!