Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Everlasting Play Dough

I jokingly call this the play dough that just won't die. Because it won't. If keep in an air tight container or zip top bag, this dough will last for months without refrigeration. I only throw it away because its gotten gross from so much play. It is super simple to make and change up to meet your child's play needs. 

4 cups flour (I use bleached because it takes color better in my opinion)

1 cup salt
4 tbsp cream of tartar (mine are usually slightly rounded)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 cups boiling water

I use to make play dough by hand. Then one day on a whim I tried our stand mixer. The heavens opened, angels sang, and I've never looked back. 

Add all the dry ingredients to the bowl and give it a little stir.
Add the oil and another quick stir. 
Pour in the boiling water and mix until a dough ball forms. 

Put the dough ball on a slightly floured surface and knead until smooth. 

That's it! I know, who knew the world's greatest play dough was so simple. 

Here's some tips and tricks I've learned along the way:

  • Use boiling water! Hot tap water will not work. 
  • Add food coloring or a kool aid packet to the boiling water BEFORE adding to dry ingredients. This will help evenly distribute the color. 
  • You need a good amount of food coloring. You shouldn't be able to see through the water. Gel or liquid food coloring work well. 
  • Essential oils or spices can be added to the dry mix before pouring in the water
  • Only use the superfine powdery glitter, the bigger stuff falls out while playing with the dough
Trouble Shooting:
  • If your play dough is sticky, sprinkle with flour then knead through adding more until it is smooth
  • If it feels dry or is cracking, drizzle with oil and knead well
  • If left out, wet your hands with water and knead through to revive. 

We've done all sorts of varieties with this base recipe. One of our favorites was beach play dough for a play date at the park. I kneaded in some sand from the craft store, then supplied the kids with beach glass, seashells, smooth rocks, and decorative glass beads. 

We continued to play with this play dough for months after our park play date. MONTHS.

Another favorite with our outdoor art group was ABC play dough. For this I used packets of frosting creations and kool aid to scent and color, I added some extra food coloring to give it a boost. We had pink bubble gum, blue cotton candy, and purple grape. It smelled AMAZING and the colors swirled together beautifully. 

We had alphabet dough stamps from Lakeshore Learning, letter cookie cutters, and foamy letters from a dollar store puzzle. Baby Rex got a set of alphabet rubber stamps for his birthday which also work really well with play dough.

 Other favorites have included Turkey play dough. Scented with pumpkin pie spice with feathers.

Red cinnamon scented play dough with heart cookie cutters, foamy spots, and black pipe cleaners to make love bugs.

Blue or white peppermint scented dough with jewels and snowflake cookie cutters for Frozen inspired play.

Strawberry frosting creations with pink glitter. Beads and jewels for princess play dough. 

Black lavender scented with silver sparkles for space dough. 

The possibilities are endless! So get out your mixer and have some fun!

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