I began today needing something that would ‘kill two birds with one stone’. (Wow, how’s that for a statement that is probably no longer politically correct? Ha! Well, just in case you’re an animal rights activist, please be informed I do not go around killing birds. Often. )
Anyways, today I needed something that would 1) Be special and fun for my kids, and 2) Provide a helpful Make-It-Yourself Monday post.
And here we are. Or here I am. You are there. I am here.
I really shouldn’t write these blog posts at 11:00 at night…
So, here’s what I came up with: Homemade Playdough
I used a simple, non-cook recipe I found on the web, and altered it just slightly:
– 3 cups flour
– 1/3 cup salt
– 1 cup water
– 2 Tbs. cooking oil
– 1 t. cream of tartar (optional to add to elasticity)
– food coloring (optional)
I’ll show you what I did and give you my review of this method at the end of the post.
Mix Dry Ingredients. Then add water and oil.
Knead. Knead. Knead some more.
C’mon, give it some elbow grease.
Separate into balls and…
Add food coloring to the center of the dough balls. You don’t want to get the dye directly on your hands. I’ll talk more about this at the end of the post.
Adding the coloring to the already kneaded doh gives the play doh a more ‘marble’ look. This isn’t what I was going for, but my kids didn’t care.
After they played with it for a while, the color looked smoother, as you can see in the ‘cake’ Maggie’s making here.
Every day is a birthday in her world.
This method is pretty simple, but I think I’ll try a cooking method next to compare. If you have a mixer with a dough hook, I’d put the dough in there to knead – I really had to work with this for a while, but really liked the texture of it when I was done. I didn’t think of using my mixer to do my work until I had already finished. That’s what I get for talking to my Mom on the phone while I was working!
If I use this non-cook recipe again, I will mix the food coloring into the water first, to give a more smooth, all-over color. And I’ll use more dye to make a richer color. But this means I will only have one color of dough, because I will not be making separate batches for every color.
While I wanted more vibrant colors, I did like that no matter how much my girls mixed the colors together, it didn’t turn to an ugly dark brown-purple, like regular play doh does.
Pretty. I sealed it up to play with again another day.
Finally, I liked the texture of this dough. And it was easier to clean up than commercially produced play doh. Plus, you can add essential oils to the mix. I think next time I’ll add lavender… maybe it will have a calming effect on my children. Ha!
This did keep my kids happily occupied for over an hour, which never happens with the other store-bought stuff. I think maybe that’s because they watched me make it, and it was like bread dough I sometimes give them to play with – so it’s more ‘realistic’.
Have any of you made play doh – tell me what you think!
Bless you all – Happy Monday, everyone!