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Monday, December 07, 2009

Depression Gift; Play Dough

Children giving gifts to other children can be frustrating, especially when your recipient doesn’t live the same lifestyle as your own child. We have had a rule here for the past 3 years, nothing electronic for Christmas. And I mean nothing. This of course has caused my children to get very creative with their wants, and grandparents calling to tell me they found this gift, and they remember having so much fun with it as a kid. . . well, this makes grandparents very happy. They don’t have to figure out what’s cool and what isn’t, and they get to give things that they have special memories with. I digress, we are talking about giving gifts between our homestead kids and non-homestead kids, something that is super frustrating. Have no fear, Phelan is here!

Play Dough

I know, it is cheap to buy at the stores. But this is something easy to make. My kids love doing it, even my 12 year old, and so far no other child has complained about the gift. Plus this is a great way to rid yourself of stale or freezer burnt flour.

You will need;

2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup salt
1 tablespoon cream of tarter
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
2 cups of boiling water
various colors, you can use food coloring or make your own (carrots, beets, spinach)

mix the dry ingredients together then add the wet. Mix well. Once it is cooled off enough to handle, parents this will be your job, knead the dough for 3 minutes.
Picture 367

Break off balls as many as you want, and call in the kids. Give them the color and one of the balls, and let them go to town. Make sure they get the color through and through, this takes about 3 minutes. The little ones will tire of it after a bit, just step in before they get too grumpy.
homemade playdough

This is completely edible, but because of the amount of salt, one taste will do them.
Picture 361

If the dough is too sticky when kneading, add more flour. Too dry, a bit of water. We keep these in 1/2 pint canning jars. This rarely drys out, if it does, add water and knead.

Firing Dough

This is a very personalized item. Having your children make ornaments or plaques that reminds them of their friend. If they met at a baseball game, or that time when the city friend thought he could catch a calf and ended up with a mouthful of mud. What ever the memory or just something the child likes, firing dough is a great child to child present.

You will need;

3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup salt
2 cups unbleached flour
food coloring or paints

Dissolve the salt in the boiling water. Stir to cool, then add all the flour at once. Mix until it forms a ball. Allow to cool to the touch, then knead for 6 minutes. If you are using food coloring, knead only 3 minutes, break into sections, and add the color, kneading each one for 3 minutes.

Cover what you aren’t using with a damp towel, and work your pieces into the shape you want. Add water or flour as needed. If you are hanging your art, make sure you add something to hold it up, paper clips work well.

Heat your oven to 225F for 15 minutes. Lay the dough shape on a foiled covered cookie sheet. Depending on the thickness, bake for 30-90 minutes. Cool and paint. Water colors are great for this. Once they are painted, place back into the oven at 150F for 30 minutes to remove moisture. Because this contains salt, you will need to preserve it so that it doesn’t draw in moisture, do this by covering it with a few coats of clear acrylic paint.
Picture 366


HermitJim said...

This post brought back a LOT of memories for me...!

We were just talking the other day about how much kids seem to like the basic, down home type gifts! Doesn't matter where they are from...sometimes the simple things are great for having a good time!

Aimee said...

yay thanks! I didn't know how to make firing dough and now I do!

Judy T said...

My son and I just made some play dough last week for a class he is taking for school. They were supposed to make an age appropriate activity for a toddler. We used the recipe I got from my Mom. It looks exactly like yours.

FancyHorse said...

I used to make play dough for my kids. They liked it better than the store-bought kind, and I did, too. Guess I can make some for my granddaughter! Thanks for reminding me.

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