Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Fresh Batch of Playdough

Inspired by a post over at Whatknot, I decided to mix up a fresh batch of playdough Friday afternoon for my littles. Dieter is pretty darned into playdough all the time, and Rainer had his first introduction to it. It was a hit!
I was going to guide them to make imprints of various things (as Melissa did on her blog) but my boys preferred to stick to animal footprints. I was surprised at how detailed some of the Schleich animal feet really are. It turned out to be a delightful project.
By the way, when Jacob went to Germany a couple summers ago, he brought Dieter a Schleich horse that is actually made in Germany. Nice! Since then, we've bought him more animals, but mostly they are made in China. Rats. More recently, though, he's been getting the dinosaurs and those are more often from Germany. Go figure.

I've been using the same playdough recipe for years (since my teens were little). It comes from this book. The book is old, but I still love it; the subtitle is "200 instant crafts and activities for preschoolers" and it lives up to its name--all the crafts are instant and just very down to earth and fun. Folded paper hats, dropping food coloring into water and watching it swirl down, making a tea set from an egg carton, games to play in the car, cute, simple recipes, an indoor tent--that sort of thing. I have notes in the margins from when Jacob and Faith were little, so I guess that is why I feel so sentimental about the book. Here's the playdough recipe:

Play Dough
[I love this recipe because the dough is so soft and pliable and holds cookie cutter shapes wonderfully. It never goes "off" so you don't have to worry about refrigerating it ever. Eventually it will get sticky, though, and that is when you will want to make a fresh batch].

1 c. flour
1 c. water
2 t. cream of tartar
1/4 c. salt
1 T. vegetable oil
food coloring (omit to make white dough)

Put all ingredients in pot. Let child decide color of play dough. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly. Dough will eventually become harder to stir and will gather on spoon. At this point, dump the dough onto waxed paper, allow to cool somewhat, and knead it until it is smooth (about 30 seconds).

One of the things I love about this recipe is that it requires the adult to knead the warm dough before giving it to the child. A simple pleasure for sure!


crunchy peas said...

This is the same recipe that I use, it works great. Rainer has a smile that is just so sweet! Cool chair that he sits in too!

crunchy peas said...

ps. I just ordered that book off of Amazon for 1 cent! Thought it might be good for the long days of summer.

Amy said...

I am sure that is the same recipe I have used before. hmmmmm, I need to make some with Zoe...she would get a kick out of it....thanks for the reminder!

MoziEsmé said...

How very cool! My 12-mo-old had a great time putting doll hand and foot prints into playdough last week.

I'm not telling said...

Love the animals.

tam said...

Love your blog. All things you mention are things that I want to do with my boys. Thanks!

MamaBlogger said...

I love the footprint idea! And with rain in our forecast for the next 10 days, I'm going to check out that book too!