Do-it-yourself playdough

HOMEMADE PLAYDOUGH — Mix 1 cup salt, 1 cup flour, and ½ cup water.  If necessary, add more flour to make it a doughy consistency.  If you’d like to color it, add some dry tempera paint and mix it in well.

     Once the playdough is mixed, it’s nice to just let the kids play with it as they want to.  If they’d like to make a project, one of the easiest ones is to make ornaments using cookie cutters.  You can make ornaments for holidays (there are even Halloween cookie cutters!) or just make ornaments that the kids can hang in their rooms. 

     Have the children use their hands to roll and flatten the dough until it is about ½ inch thick.  (You may need to help with this.)  Then let them use cookie cutters to cut ornaments out of the playdough.  Put the ornaments on newspaper and poke holes in the tops with the eraser end of a pencil.  Let them dry for 24 hours, turn them over and let them dry for another 24 hours.  (Allow more drying time if needed.)  Children can jazz up the ornaments by applying white glue, sprinkling on a little glitter, and shaking off the excess sparkles.  Tie yarn through the holes to make hangers.  (These make nice holiday gifts for parents or grandparents.)

     If you have very small children who are still exploring things by putting them in their mouths, you can make an edible playdough that they can enjoy on many levels – through touch, smell, and taste. (This is not for children who are allergic to nuts.)  Here’s how.

     PEANUT BUTTER PLAYDOUGH – Mix equal amounts of peanut butter and nonfat DRY milk to the consistency of playdough, adding more peanut butter or dry milk as needed.  Invite the kids to feel, smell, taste, and create with this different kind of mixture.  Be sure the table surface and playing utensils are clean, because kids can eat this stuff! 

     Another playdough project – NOT edible – is made with shredded wheat, white glue, and small margarine lids. 

     SHREDDED WHEAT PLAYDOUGH — For each child, crumble one large shredded wheat biscuit into a bowl.  Mix 5 drops of green food coloring with ¼ cup white glue (Elmer’s school glue or similar) and add to the cereal.  Have the child mix the glue and shredded wheat together until the cereal is completely coated.  Help the child pile the mixture on a small margarine lid and shape it into a wreath.  They can decorate the wreath by pushing red hots or small beads into the green mixture.  Leave the wreath on the lid to dry.  While it’s still slightly wet, make a hole in the top with a pencil point and use a needle to insert ribbon or yarn for hanging.  The wreath will dry in about 24 hours.  They can use the wreath to decorate their room, or save it for hanging on the Christmas tree!

     If you don’t have little kids, there’s no reason you can’t try these recipes yourself.  There is no age limit on having fun and being creative with household items.

Published by on April 2013. Filed under Art-to-Art Palette Journal, Bugle Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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