As regular readers of this blog will know, I’m always pursuing family work balance. So when I’m on my family time, I am always looking for ideas of what to do with the girls. Thought I’d share a simple but favourite activity in 10 very easy steps from start to finish…
1. Grab a recipe. You can google and find an abundance of Play Dough recipes. Mine is from the McKenzie’s Cream of Tatar pack with my own personal amendments learnt from experience below!
Firstly, I spent several play dough making sessions stirring for ages over a stove and waiting it to congeal – then it was really hard to stir when it did and I ended up with a sore arm. Then I figured out from seeing a no cook version online that it works just fine by not doing it over the stove at all, but instead using 1 cup of boiling water and 1 cup of cold, and is no trouble to stir at all.
I also use around half to three-quarters of a cup of salt instead of a cup. I did this the first time as I ran out but then when it still turned out fine I have continued to use this amount! When I do this, I use slightly less water. This time I actually used a mix of flours from the pantry I wanted to use up, so had about half a cup of self raising, half a cup of plain wholemeal and one cup of plain flour.
Got to LOVE a recipe that I can mess with this much and still have it turn out fine every time. Probably as it’s not something to eat!
2. Gather all your ingredients…with a 2 and 4 year old helping me, I have learnt to make sure I have everything I need all at hand rather than needing to leave them alone with anything for even a matter of seconds…flour is not fun to clean off the floor!
3. Get ready to mix…and get the kids involved. With my first daughter, mainly as I was mixing it on a stove, I made the Play Dough then gave it to her to play with. With this no-cook version, my youngest loves being there for the whole process. Of course be very careful with the boiling water part. For this I take the bowl away from her to put this in, mix it all a bit, then give it back once there is no danger of burns (a matter of seconds).
4. Mix and mix, adding slightly more water or flour until you get a nice dough consistency and it comes together in a ball.
5. Roll it out, sprinkling more flour on the dough and table if it gets sticky.
6. Add food dye after separating the dough into a few smaller balls. Best to keep little hands away in this step too, though as you may have noticed in the previous picture, my daughter already got stuck into using an ink stamp & water on her hands before we made the play dough.
7. Carefully knead the colour through. I love this step, watching the colours swirl and can be fun experimenting with several drops of primary colours, or making pastel or stronger colours.
8. Play! Isabella is thrilled with her colour palate of dough, and it’s a great educational experience as she’s learning colours at the moment.
9. Get creative: my 4 year old and I created world globes and made and named our own countries! She then decided she wanted a world with yellow water and pink land. I love how children don’t have set parameters.
10. Pack away in the fridge: it will last at least several weeks in the fridge.