Home-made Playdough

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Happy New Year Everyone!  Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions?  I’ve never really made New Year’s Resolutions before, I kind of think if you want to change something you are more likely to stick with it if you don’t procrastinate and start straight away.  But this year I did decide to start cooking WITH my children more instead of just FOR them.  This can be tricky with six kids, but my teenager has already started experimenting in the kitchen and likes to make his own Chinese Noodles from scratch.  My other five are a little too young to be left to their own devices in the kitchen, so I’m thinking I will let them take turns helping me with dinner.  Maybe I will give them their own night of the week to be my helper.

I thought I would start the year off with a recipe that the kids can help with and enjoy once they are finished.  It may even give you a little quiet time to yourself once it’s done.  Home-made Playdough!  It has become my best friend this past year, it occupies the kids when I need to get something done and it makes a great birthday gift.  Just buy some of these small take-away containers, make a couple of different colours and fill the containers layering in alternate colours, then cut out a playdough shape (maybe butterfly for girls or planes for boys), add some jewels or glitter from the cheap shop and pop on the lid.  Then grab a gift box, place in a couple of containers of playdough, some pipe cleaners and coloured paddle pop sticks, some wobbly eyes, sparkly pom-poms, jewels and cookie-cutters and you have a gift the birthday child can play with over and over again.

Just look at what my kids got up to when I left them with grandma, some playdough and accessories…….

I also used it as party favours in the party bags for Little Miss 5’s birthday, and quite a few mums commented that it was a great activity for the kids once they got home to help them settle down after the party.  I made the containers at the top of this post for my twins Year 1 classes, and the teachers were very grateful.

My Top Tip for this recipe is to mix the ingredients together in your mixer.  It just seems to turn out extra soft and……I can’t think of a word to describe it, but you will find yourself sitting there squishing it around like a stress ball.  It’s very calming.  If you don’t have a mixer, just mix the ingredients up in the large saucepan you plan cooking it in to save washing up.  The kids can help by measuring and tipping-in the ingredients, and mixing them together if you aren’t using a mixer.  The cooking part however is best left to an adult as it gets very hot and burns when you touch it.  I also suggest you use a wooden spoon.  So when the kids are driving you crazy these holidays (or maybe even today), mix up some playdough and let them at it!

Home-made Playdough

Ingredients:

2 Cups Plain Flour

2 Cups Water

1 Cup Salt

2 Tbl Oil

1 Tbl Cream of Tartar (this helps make it more pliable)

Food Colouring of your choice

Directions:

Place dry ingredients in a large saucepan or the bowl of your mixer.

Add about 1 tsp of  food colouring to your 2 cups of water and add this to your dry ingredients along with the oil.

Stir until all ingredients are thoroughly combined, adding more food colouring until you get the depth of colour you are after.

Place on the stove at medium-low heat.  You don’t want to cook it too quickly or you will find some of it will burn while some of it will be uncooked.

Stir continually until the mixture comes together and when you poke the handle of your wooden spoon into the mixture it comes out clean.

Tip your ball of playdough onto a lightly floured board to cool.  Don’t attempt to knead it or anything…It’s VERY HOT!!!

Once it has cooled, you can knead it a little, and if it seems a bit sticky and a little undercooked, just add a little more flour, but not too much, or you will lose the vibrancy of the colour.

Then hand it to the kids with some plastic cutting boards, cookie cutters, pipe cleaners, a tea set, or whatever you have and let them get creative.

Happy New Year!

Here’s to a Great 2013 and Fun in the Kitchen with The Kids!

Rebekah

 

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