Saturday, August 1, 2009

Play Dough from Scratch

There's less than a month left before school starts. And at this point I'm digging deep -- really deep -- for activities that keep the Sparkly Girls engaged longer than 2.5 seconds. All summer long, I've managed to not plug them in to Cinderella, The Little Einsteins or Charlotte's Web until after 5 pm. And I'm determined to not break that cycle.

After pulling out Mod Podge for a decoupage craft and spending 5 times as much time prepping and cleaning as actually crafting, I decided I was over-thinking this.

So I returned to the basics. The tried and true. Play dough.

The old batch was now all one color - grey. And crusty. It was time to whip up a new batch. After a quick search on the internet, I found this recipe at Creative Kids at Home.

All you need are the following items:

1 1/2 cups of flour
3/4 cup table salt
1 1/2 cups of water
1 tablespoon cream of tarter
1.5 tablespoons of oil
food coloring

[I made half a batch since I didn't have enough salt]

First, mix the salt and the water until salt dissolves. For me, it never really did. I'm not very patient.

Then add all the ingredients, except for the food coloring, into a large pot and heat over medium.

Mix it with a wooden spoon until it's stiff and looks like mashed potatoes.

Then dumped it out onto the counter, let it cool till you can knead it a few times until it comes together and is smooth.

Then roll it into a log and cut it into equal pieces. I chose six.

Then get your food coloring out and start playing around with how much you need to make the colors you want. I found that I needed at least 8 - 10 drops per section to get enough color.

Now bring in the hired help to knead the dough until the food coloring is absorbed and evenly distributed.

And if you are Sparkly Girl #2, make sure you sniff each color combo and declare that it smells, "So yummy, Mama!!". Then remind Sparkly Girl #2 that play dough isn't for eating.

And off they go!

A family of cookie cut outs.

Make sure you store the finished product in zippy bags or some other airtight container. And then remember to bring it out on a daily basis, with plenty of cookie cutters, rollers and the like and hope that it does the trick for 3 1/2 more weeks!

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