Sunday, June 29, 2008

Rainbow Play Dough: A Tutorial

As the girls get older, they tend to get themselves invited to some snazzy birthday parties. I've got a go-to list of birthday presents--on the super high end, you get a handmade quilt, if I'm on my way to your party right now, you get two blank puzzles at a pitstop at Learning Treasures, and if I was sick as a dog the day before (I'm as sanitary as the next person, but I seem to get the stomach bug A LOT--faulty gene? Lousy immune system? Seriously, I got the stomach bug when not even my breastfeeding toddler did. Weird.) but I have a little time right now, you get my personal favorite, handmade play dough. Let the party begin.

Handmade Play Dough

1. Make your stove and counter top look nice and pretty-ish:

Eh. Good enough.

2. In a small pot, mix together 1 cup flour (the bleached white stuff--I buy cheap flour only for this), 1/2 cup salt, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, one cup water, 1 tablespoon oil, and your food coloring. The cheap food coloring works, but you can get some amazing colors with professional-grade food coloring.

3. Heat slowly while stirring continually.

4. When the dough becomes solid rather than liquid and tends to ball up in the pot, remove it from heat and pop it on a plate to cool off. While it's cooling, you can wash the pot out to cook up another batch in another color, but while your back is turned, I warn you, the baby might get into the professional-grade food coloring: Hello, yellow poop for the next three days!

5. When the dough is cool enough to handle, knead it some to finish mixing it and to get the right elastic consistency. You can also knead in some glitter, if you'd like, or an essential oil to scent it.

When you're finished, you should have enough play dough both for this--
--and this: Happy Birthday, Phillip!

And so how was the party, you ask? It went like this:
Um, yeah, it was awesome.


Tina said...

I finally made some of this play dough. We don't have the fancy food colors (yet) but I did have some blue Kool-aid that made some awesome blue dough- and it smells yummy too! I also made a batch of light purple that I scented with the only essential oils I have in the house. Lavender. We will probably make more tomorrow once the kiddo realizes I made some without her.

julie said...

I'm going to make some more this weekend, too! It makes a great Christmas present for all the girls' little cousins and the younger siblings of their friends.

I've heard that if you blend in just a couple of extra drops of baby oil into the dough that it gets even silky softer, but not owning baby oil, I've never tried it.