Monday, January 11, 2010

Play Dough

We periodically need to "refresh" our play dough supply because the previous batch has become so overrun with dog fur, or the colors have been so mashed into one another that the entire thing is one gob of putty colored muck. Today we decided to choose one color for a change, (pink, of course) to see if we could avoid the dingy camo look for a while. The recipe we used was:

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
3 tsp cream of tarter
2 tbsp oil (we used apricot oil b/c it is good for the skin and we had some in the cabinet anyway, but olive oil works just as well)
2 cups water

Mix in a pot over moderate heat. You probably should add in the food coloring while the dough is still liquid-ey and easy to mix, but since we sometimes separate it out into smaller batches to color I wait until it is done and then let the kids knead the color (powder or paste) into the dough, which is a fun activity in and of itself. Until everything homogenizes you get a pretty marbled effect. I have used wilton cake icing dye in the past (I keep it handy for dying wool) but this time we used powdered food coloring which I have no idea when or how I aquired. I assume it is ancient and not good for eating (does eating anything that brightly artificial ever seem like a good idea?) but very efficient at coloring paste, dough, wool, etc. I keep kool-aid packets around for wool dying as well, (maybe we post about that one day) and suspect they would work for play dough, but the fruity smell can be a bit overwhelming even with wool that has been rinsed repeatedly so I would use a very very small amount to start.