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Mary's Modern Homemaking
Have Fun with Play Dough
Since I started working in retail I have learned a lot about the products consumers buy. Sometimes foreign manufacturers cut corners and the toys they produce for children to play with are substandard and even dangerous. For example, because it is easier and less expensive to leave the lead in paint, some inexpensive children's toys are contaminated.
So it got me thinking: why would parents put the lives of their children at risk just to save a penny? The only way to really know what goes into some products is to make them yourself. So I found recipes for things like play dough, finger paints, homemade bubbles, and much more, all made with items easily found in your home and for less cost than buying them in the store.
This month I would like to share with you an easy, fun recipe for play dough. What a wonderful way to spend the day with your kids having fun. This recipe is edible, adaptable, and can be made to fit into a gluten-free diet. I use flour from Bob's Red Mill. If you need flour for a gluten-free diet, there are lots to choose from. Be sure to check them out.
To make the play dough, you will need a saucepan, a sturdy spoon such as stainless steel, disposable gloves, and a very strong arm. Plus:
4 cups flour
1. Mix all ingredients in a large saucepan. At first it will look like ugly soup. Cook over low to medium heat, stirring, until the dough is completely formed and no longer sticky. This will take between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on the heat. I like low heat to avoid burning it. Mine takes 15 minutes and lots of stirring of very thick dough.
2. Soon the ingredients will start to stick together, forming a ball. Remove from heat and let cool.
3. As soon as it is cool enough to touch, divide dough into four or more balls, each of which will be about the size of a grapefruit. I really, really recommend using gloves to mix in the coloring. The first time I made this I used my bare hands, and until the coloring was completely mixed in, it stained them. I went to work for a week or so with the prettiest rainbow-colored hands anyone has ever seen. Not recommended.
4. To avoid color contamination, change gloves after each color. Do not worry about the color coming off when your child plays with the dough; once the color is worked in, the color stays in the dough.
5. To store, place the dough in an airtight container or plastic baggie, or wrap in plastic wrap. The dough will keep for a long time.
There are so many things to love about this recipe.
Makes a great gift
I love gifts in a jar. For something different, put all the dry ingredients for play dough in a jar and add a recipe card and, for fun, some cookie cutters. Or make up a batch, shape it into balls, and wrap nicely for a wonderful gift.
Mary Frances lives in Ravensdale, Washington, and loves finding healthy ways to keep her castle clean. She believes that what we clean with can be just as important to our health as what we eat. When she's not cleaning, Mary Frances battles the blackberry vines in her yard. Also enjoy Mary Frances's blog, All American Gal.
Mary's Modern Homemaking copyright 2013.