Friday, October 2, 2009

PlayDough = Hours of Non Screaming Fun

I love play dough.

I love making play dough. I love playing with play dough. I really love it when The Princess and The Monkey are playing with play dough.

Ah. The quiet while they create.

Of course, The Princess would have to make something with flowers. I think it's the law.

Yes. Those are rocks in The Monkey's creation. I'm pretty sure it's the law that anything she does requires rocks.

Although I love the real deal, I do find that I'm way too lazy to rework single drops of warm water into the name brand stuff that has dried out because some child who may or may not live in this establishment left the lid off the tub.

Plus, my anal retentive gene wants to stand around and freak out every time a child lets two name brand play dough colours touch.

Enter home made play dough.

I actually went to college to learn how to make play dough. You can't hold an Early Childhood Education Certification in your hands and not know how to make play dough. Again. It's the law.

But I have to say, I paid good money to learn how to make really crappy play dough. I learned what I really needed to know just like every other highly qualified Early Childhood Educator does; on the job.

Here's the recipe I learned. Easy. Inexpensive. Safe for anal retentive people who worry about colour smooshing. Plus, the kids can help with measuring and stirring until it's time to cook the dough.

The Best Play Dough Ever

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup water
food colouring
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

Mix dry ingredients together in a cooking pot. The thicker the bottom, the better.
Mix wet ingredients together.
Slowly pour wet into dry while stirring with a whisk.
Cook on stove over low/medium heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until dough loses stickiness and comes together in a ball.
Turn out onto counter.
Knead until smooth.
Store in zip lock baggy or air tight container to keep fresh.

This recipe is very easy to double, triple, etc. I usually triple it. This makes the perfect amount for kids to share and still have a good chunk each. The most expensive part of the recipe is the cream of tartar. But it is a must! I always purchase cream of tartar in the bulk food section. Much much cheaper than buying a box in the baking aisle and it works just as well for the play dough.

I love play dough. Creativity, fine motor skills (it's how all my kids first learned to use scissors.....huh.....maybe not such a good idea to have taught that skill to The Monkey), mixing colours, sharing toys....the possibilities are endless. Sometimes we add glitter to our play dough. Other times I might put out a handful of birthday candles for them to use. Chop sticks? Toothpicks? Tongs? I love opening up the kitchen drawers and pulling some stuff out for them to experiment with.

Do you like play dough as much as I do?


Bullwinkle said...

/sigh I'm always on the look out for neighbor kids to make snowmen and play with play dough. I've lots of volunteers to make cookies. Go figure.

Genny said...

Hours of non-screaming fun are always a good thing!

My kids used to love playdough, but they don't play with it as much anymore. :)

Thanks for entering your link over at my blog for Mom-Monday! :)

bridget {bake at 350} said...

I feel the same way about the REAL play-doh mixing! Last week, my nephew (2) was here and I bought fresh new play-doh for us to play with. I turned my back for all of two seconds and my son (10) starts in a panicked voice, "MOM! He's MIXING the colors!!!"

Homemade it is! I'm doing this next time he visits. Thanks!

MahoneyMusings said...

I can't tell you how wonderful it is to read of other people with the same issues :)