Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Enough playdough to feed a salt-starved army.

So I finally assembled all of the ingredients to make homemade playdough. I got the recipe from the book First Art. There's some great ideas on toddler art activities in the book (although some like the aluminum foil "activity" are a bit lame).

The recipe was easy enough:
5 cups of water
2.5 cups of salt
3 tbsp of cream of tartar (that was the d'oh dough ingredient I had to go back to the grocery store for)
You put the ingredients together and warm them up in a pot on low heat. (The book doesn't tell you how warm to make it, not to the point of boiling but not lukewarm I gather)
Then add 10 tbsp of  vegetable cooking oil (don't use olive oil unless you like the smell of a nice salad dressing on your toddler)
At this point you can add some food colouring to the water to colour the dough which I did (to make it slightly less like food)
Then add 5 cups of flour.
It goes from a liquid to holy cow this is goopy and solid very quickly. The author states that when the mixture is no longer sticky then it's done.
I thought I had done something wrong because it looked this:

I started kneading the dough and then it came together nicely to form this:

Very nice consistency, very close to the real thing.

Still nice and soft after being out for about an hour. I'm impressed!

Action shot!

The first day I made it, Alex just kept putting tiny little pieces of it in his mouth, but refused to play with it. I guess he needs to be shown how to use it, just like anything else. The second day he really got into it, using the rolling pin handle to poke holes in it. I know you're supposed to save it and reuse it, but when he dropped into a pile of cat hair, I tossed it. I seriously have enough of the playdough that we could make dozens of wickedly salty cookies for everyone in the building.