Monday, October 26, 2009

The BEST Play Dough recipe EVER...

So I KNOW what you are thinking...."I HATE play dough!" I've heard it from almost everyone. If you buy it your spending money on something that won't last. If you make it, it stinks and feels weird. Plus it's just a big fat MESS right? Well it is a mess...I'll give you that, but kids LOVE it (see how focused they are above) and it will provide hours of entertainment for them. Plus this recipe is awesome! The texture is really nice and smooth, you can do any color you want and it smells good thanks to a secret ingredient.

In addition kids can actually learn a lot by playing with it. Playing with Play Dough increases hand strength, motor skills and dexterity. With a little help from mom or dad kids can learn a lot about colors, shapes and smells (with recipes like this one!) Play Dough is a great spring board for all sorts of imaginative play. At the daycare a favorite of the kids is making cooking and muffins, but they can also make their own characters for a show or bug collection. Find objects of various textures and let the kids make impressions in the dough. Play dough is also excellent for letting little ones learn to use scissors

Older kids will love to help you make it. The recipe would be great for the scientific method. Ask the kids questions about what they think will happen as you complete various steps in the dough making process. Make a hypothesis and chart the results. Experiment with adding different scents, colors or textural elements.

Play Dough haters...I would encourage you to give this recipe a try. Yes, it's a mess...but your kids will love it and you might just find it enjoyable as well. Good luck!

I actually got this recipe from my local Child Care Resource and Referral. They are a great resource for me always providing TONS of ideas and support, but they have a lot of resources for parents as well. The Southern Utah office has their site HERE.

Child Care Resource and Referral Favorite Playdough

Mix together the following in a medium sauce pan: 1 C flour, 1/2 C salt and 2 teaspoons cream of tarter. (These pictures show a double if you make this version yours will look like half as much!) Add 1 Tablespoon of oil, 1 C water and 1 package of Koolaid.

I like to mix the water and Koolaid together first and then add it. The Koolaid is what gives it your color and your yummy smell. If you want and even stronger scent I would add two packages. Color can be enhanced by more Koolaid, or by adding some food coloring. For this particular batch I didn't have green Koolaid so I used Lemonade and added blue food coloring to make green. (Can you see the potential with kids here...teach them to love science like this when their little and they will excel in it later!)

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. It will look like useless goop for a minute...don't worry! It will thicken up and it doesn't take long.
For this batch I wanted more of a "ghoulish green" (versus the mint green that I had) for Halloween so I adjusted the color as I was cooking it with food coloring.
After a few minutes it will get thicken, harder to stir and start to form a soft dough. Don't let it get too dry, but it should be fairly thick. It might take a few times of making it to get it right.
I then let it cool for a few minutes and knead it out on the counter in a *little* flour to get the consistency and texture just right.

And that's it folks! I'm a big fan of doing colors to go with the season or theme we are talking about. For Halloween we have a pumpkin orange, ghoulish green and wicked witch purple. For an ocean theme you might do a big batch of ocean blue. Christmas could be green and red.

Store it in a plastic baggie in the fridge. I usually keep mine around for a week or so until the kids get bored of it or it gets too dry. Good luck with this and let me know in the comments if you try it and like it!

No comments: