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Monday, June 14, 2010

Keeping the Kids Busy! < Part 1 >

Since summer vacation is quickly creeping up on us I have been thinking a lot about what I can do to keep my girls occupied. Aside from the usual trips to the splash pad, library, grocery store, and visits to friends and family it would be great to have a "go to" list for those times when the weather is not so great or when you just don't feel like packing up and going somewhere.

So, as Part 1 of "Keeping the Kids Busy" I want to share with you a fantastic recipe for Play Dough. There are a lot of recipes out there, but I have made this one NUMEROUS times for both my children at home and the children I teach at school (I'll be headed back to work this fall - but that's another story! *sniff, sniff*).

Cooked Play Dough

1 C. salt
2 C. flour
1 tbsp. cream of tartar
2 tbsp. cooking oil
2 C. water
*optional food coloring or Kool-Aid drink mix (half package) for color (the drink mix makes it smell so yummy!)

1. Mix ingredients in a pot. Add the food coloring or drink mix.
2. Cook on medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring CONSTANTLY until the dough becomes stiff.
*Note: The dough will become extremely difficult to stir and you may need another person to hold the pot. Also, I prefer a hefty wooden spoon for this job.*
3. Let the dough cool.
4. Store dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The dough will last for quite a while and it has the consistency of commercially prepared play dough

Reference: Children's Arts and Crafts, pg 64

Have fun and don't worry about buying 'special' rollers and cookie cutters. Around here we use everything - plastic spatula, plastic cups, cans for rolling, plates, coins for impressions...

To address a comment below (sorry you didn't leave me a contact email)... the food coloring/drink mix does NOT stain the children's hands. If you choose food coloring only a few drops are necessary and once the dough has been well mixed there is no chance of transfer. The same is true with the drink mix!


Donda said...

That is a fab idea! But doesn't the food coloring or kool-aid dye the kids hands while they are playing with it?

Tracy said...

That is so cool! Thanks for the recipe. I want to make this one for sure. With food allergies in my house, this is safe for them in case they eat it!

mommymommymommy said...

We also do paper mache in the summer! Great outdoor activity because it is messy!