Friday, March 18, 2011

Homemade Play Dough

Even though Spring has sprung around here, we are expecting some rainy days ahead. Now rainy weather means one thing to farmers, while it means another for construction workers and for daddies who like to golf. But you better believe we moms have rain on our radar too. The tease of warmer weather gets us outdoors just long enough to long for it, and then just like that, we're back inside again waiting for things to dry out. How dare Mother Nature mess with us mothers of hyper children like this. So to fight our urges to be outdoors every moment we're awake, we had to break out the neon food coloring (do these colors rock or what?!) and make some homemade play dough to get us through. I have to admit that it's been awhile since we've made this stuff. We go through these stages with the older boys, then we take a break... but just like that, the fun preschool activities rally again with the younger two. It would be sort of like deja vu, except for it's as real as the hundreds of diapers we went through to get us this far. I'll have you know that that Electric Consumer newsletter was not placed as a picture prop for play dough making. I told you I'm a nerd, and now you have hard, cold proof. After making this stuff, it's awfully hard to go back to store-bought Play-Doh. You can seriously leave it out all nap time and it still doesn't dry out. I know these things. And I almost always have the ingredients on hand for a spontaneous activity on a fussy (for the children of course... never me...) - uh, I mean rainy - day. It's as easy as this:

1 cup flour

1 cup water

1/2 cup salt

1 TBS cream of tartar

1 TBS oil

food coloring

Fight your Type A personality and let your kids pour all of the ingredients together in a small saucepan, spilling everywhere as they go. The amounts are forgiving enough (it is only play dough, after all, Whitney)... only freak if something spills on your copy of Electric Consumer. Heat on stove over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens in consistency. Soon you won't be able to stir much at all because it will turn into a ball like the one above. One sticky, warm, neon ball of goodness... Let cool a bit before you let your kids knead it into smoothness and smear it on their naked bodies. And admire the separate colors oh so quickly, my friends, before the whole mess of it turns into one ugly monotone shade of brown. You'll be shocked to know that I don't try to keep the colors separate anymore.

That was so two kids ago.

What fun activities do you have tucked away for a rainy day?


Amanda Jeffries said...

I remember the days of homemade play dough! I always liked it better than the store stuff.

panana said...

Thank Chase for the nipple-print idea. I'll try that the next time I have a play dough afternoon.