Friday, May 24, 2013

Homemade Rainbow Play Dough. It's Faster than Going to the Store

(39 Months)

The time 6:05 AM, Little Miss calls, no beckons (loudly), "Mommy, Pink Pants (a soft baby doll that she has loved since she was an infant) fell out of bed and I can't reach her."  Two seconds later, "MOMMY, PINK PANTS FELL OUT OF BED!"  A blink later, "MOMMY, I'M CALLING YOU. PINK PANTS FELL!"  I can't believe her brother slept through all of that.  This is from the little one that we have to keep telling to speak up because we can't hear her.

Together, we went into the playroom.  Little Miss cradling Pink Pants (safe and sound), and I'm cradling my coffee mug.  She immediately went to check on her Big Baby, then she snuggled up to me and asked what I was working on (on the laptop).  I love how they phrase things.  I showed her the Pinterest board that I was looking through.  I was trying to find something new to work on with them that I pinned.  When she saw the rainbow play dough, she excitedly pointed, "that's what I want to do! Can we make those Momma?"  My first reaction, we've made so many batches of play dough (Pinkalicious play dough and Coffee play dough are two that I actually remembered to post about), let's do something NEW.  Really?  Play doh?  We can buy play doh- well, actually by the time I get her dressed, make sure she pees on the potty and we get to the store, find the play doh in the colors that we're looking for, pay for it and get back, I could actually have made two batches of play doh in the exact colors that she wants, empty the dishwasher, make breakfast and put on a second pot of coffee.  Homemade play dough it is then!

We gathered our short list of ingredients- flour, salt, cream of tarter, baby oil, and food dye.  This time we decided to follow Susanna Kate Sews' recommendation and use the gel dye for a more intense color, instead of the liquid dye.  Each batch of play doh makes four small 3" balls.

 1 1/2 cups of bleached all-purpose flour
a scant 3/4 cups (or remove 1 Tbsp of salt from the 3/4 cup) of salt
1 1/2 cups of water
1/2 Tbsp cream of tarter
1 Tbsp baby oil
wax paper
gel or liquid food dye

Mix all of the ingredients, except for the food dye, in a large nonstick pan over medium-low heat.  The solution will come together pretty quickly, and then within a few minutes will turn from a gooey mess to a thicker blob to a a dough-like consistency.  It only takes about five or six minutes.  Once it resembles dough, place it on some wax paper.  Be careful it will be hot for a few minutes.  Once it's warm enough where you can knead it, knead it for a minute or two.  Then form it into a large ball.  Section the ball, with your hand into quarters (like you would slice a delicious chocolate cake).  Roll each section into balls and place each ball onto a sheet of wax paper.  Add a generous amount of food dye to each of the balls and knead until it's completely incorporated.  That's it.  We store ours in snack sized zip top bags.

The kids love measuring and pouring the ingredients.  I mix it on the stove- I'm not ready to have them working by the heat yet.  They also get to add the food dye and knead the coloring into the dough.  Once kneaded this play dough is silky soft, it's much softer than THE Play-Doh (although, I do still prefer the traditional Play-Doh scent).

What once was beautifully vibrant colored balls of play dough are now beautiful multicolored rainbows.  They played with these off and on for the entire day, only pausing to go in the pool, lunch and nap.  They made flowers, multicolored snowmen, faces, cakes, muffins...  The creativity was incredible, and the cooperation was spectacular (can I have some of your brown?  Please, can I have that purple cutter?).  I didn't even get a chance to bring out all of the goodies- straw tips, goggly eyes, gems, glitter, bakeware, the entire bag of Play-Doh gizmos and gadgets.   They were so engrossed in their creations.  It was wonderful to watch and be a part of.  I'm so glad that Little Miss asked to make play dough (again) this morning.

During snack time, they first practiced "feeding" the fish blueberries before eating them.  Great for one-to-one correspondence and fine motor skills.  Also, fantastic for concentration.  Look at those faces.  I love those two so much.

Friday Night is Pasta Night


  1. This looks like so much fun. My kids love playdough too, but they always play with it better when they ask for it, then when I decide it's playdough time. :)

  2. It's amazing, it's the same thing here :) My son will only play with playdough when he wants to, if I set it out and he's not in the mood for playdough there is no enticing him. Although, googly eyes, dried beans and cut straws usually do the trick (he loves adding those to his creations). So silly. Thanks for stopping by.