Did you know that September 16th is National Play-Doh Day? Yep, an official day dedicated to that age old favorite of kids young and old. So let’s celebrate! How about a Play-Doh Play Date? Whether you invite all of the neighborhood kids over, or spend a relaxing Saturday just playing with the kids, I have some fun ideas for you:
First, let’s make some homemade play-doh! Before your guys glaze over and you skip to the next paragraph, give me just a second because this is really quite easy. Seriously. If you can make a box of macaroni & cheese, you can make play-doh. The picture below was my first ever attempt at making play-doh, so you can do it. And boy is it fun! The boys and I were looking for a fun rainy day activity, so I figured we’d give it a try.
1 cup flour
1 cup warm water
½ cup salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tbsp. cream of tartar
Food coloring (optional)
Simply mix all of your ingredients, expect the food coloring, together in a small pot and cook over low heat, stirring continuously, until a dough forms and the mixture pulls away from the sides. Cooking time ~5-10min.
Your play-doh will naturally be a pretty off white color. If you’d like to get a little more creative, add your favorite color of food coloring. Place your play-doh on the counter, flatten it into a pancake shape and drop a few drops of food coloring in the center and knead the play-doh until the color is evenly dispersed. If you would like a deeper color, just add a few more drops and keep kneading. Don’t forget to divide your play-doh into sections before adding food coloring if you want more than one color :-)
TIP: Store your Play-Doh in an airtight container to keep it fresh for months to come. If it happens to get a bit crusty and the salt crystals begin to show just knead it for a few minutes. Feel free to double, or even triple, the recipe if you are feeling ambitious.
All Natural Play-Doh
If you aren’t up for making your own Play-Doh, but you do want to make sure your little ones are playing only with non-toxic, natural ingredients, all you need is to find a good eco-friendly dough which is a lot easier than it used to be.
TIP: All natural play-doh makes a great stocking suffer for grownups, it is perfect for carefree stress relief at the office. Think of a stress ball, but funner ;-)
Many parents dread the idea of popping open a new tub of Play-Doh for fear that it will end up all over the place. One easy way to keep your Play-Doh contained is with a cookie sheet from the Dollar Store. Yep, a $1.00 investment. These cookie sheets are super lightweight and allow for the Play-Doh to stick just enough to build on but not enough that cleaning isn’t still a breeze! This also helps keep different piles of play-doh separate and avoid those ‘Joey mixed his red play-doh with my white play-doh!” issues.
TIP: Be sure to mark your Play-Doh cookie sheets so you don’t accidentally cook with them. A little paint will do the trick and you can even get super crafty and paint a name on each cookie sheet.