Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Homemade Fun

I think I take homemade play dough for granted because I've made it for longer than I've had children. But as I made a batch today, it struck me that it is a creative endeavour in which my children and I engage often enough to make it worth blogging about. After all, someone out there might just have the urge to make some once they see how easy it is.

You'll need:
1 cup white flour
1/4 cup salt
2 Tbsp cream of tartar
1 cup water
food colouring (2 or more tsp.)
1 Tbsp oil
Essential oil of your choice or a favourite spice (optional)

So, we made a double batch, starting with these ingredients:

First, mix the flour, cream of tartar, and salt together in a pot. Mix the water and oil together and add it to the dry ingredients in the pot. You can add your food colouring now -- unless you're wanting to split the batch and make more than one colour. Once everything is mixed, you'll have a nice, smooth mixture.

Now start cooking it over medium heat. It will start to form lumps, like this:

Then the lumps will get bigger, and it will get harder to stir. When you have a glob like this, you're pretty much done the "cooking" part:

Plop your goopy ball on the counter (I always use a cutting board lest the food colouring stain the counter top):

Then, pick your colours. Because we made a double batch, we picked two colours. We also like to add some essential oils or spices to make the dough smell nice. Today, DD8 wanted to use lavender -- a family favourite.

Dent the dough and put several drops of food colouring and essential oil in the dent.

Then mix-a, mix-a, mix-a by kneading the dough throroughly:

You'll end up with lovely balls of dough like this:

Pull out a bin of cookie cutters and toys like this:

And you're good to go for hours of frugal fun!

Do you have any favourite recipes for homemade fun? What are some creative activities that you take for granted and don't even think about them being "creative"? I'll bet you're more creative than you realize!

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