Thursday, August 9, 2012

Homemade Play Dough

The kids have a sitter that comes twice a week while I run around to vendor meetings and such for the new house. I try to leave them activities to do each time their sitter comes, both so she can keep them occupied and so they have some fun while mama's away.

This week I made them up a bunch of play dough and had Joe swing by Wally World on his way home from work to pick up a cookie cutter set for the monkeys. He scored this 101-piece set for ten bucks. I'm so proud of him.

I sorted out all of the pieces so I can break them out at different times of the year (letters, numbers, Valentine's Day, Christmas, Halloween, etc.) and left a bag of the random shapes and animals out for the kids this week.

I surfed Pinterest for a few recipes and went along with the most common cooktop method. The dough came out great and I'm hoping the kids get a kick out of playing with it. I'm also hoping that it's nice outside so they can keep their mess contained to the spaces I can clean with a hose. Repeat after me: "fun does not have to equal mess". (At least that's what I keep telling myself.)

Play Dough Recipe

  • 1 cup flour 
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1/4 cup salt 
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar 
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil 
  • food coloring 
Dump all the ingredients into a pot and whisk them together.

Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to form a ball. Do not panic when it seems to start forming lumps, this is what happens right before it turns into a ball.

I kept the food coloring out of the pot so I only had to make one batch to get multiple colors. Once the dough was formed, I threw it in my KitchenAid stand mixer with the dough horn and some food coloring to "knead" the dough and mix in the color. But I didn't have enough dough to actually make the KitchenAid do any kneading, so I ended up working in the dye with my hands which are a little pink and green after the fact. Sweet. Note to self: next time cook in two different pots and add dye in while dough is still in liquid form.

Once it forms a ball, let it cool and knead it with your hands until it's soft. Then store it in a sealed container or ziploc bag. Supposedly the dough will last for up to six months. I'll be happy if it lasts for six weeks.

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