Friday, February 5, 2016

Making Play-dough For Park Day

Play-dough is SO much fun! I have tried a few recipes and I have seen a couple of recipes with a cooked version of play-dough. I was not sure I wanted to fool with heating the dough since I have a tendency of burning myself on the stove but I thought I would try some for a meet up we were having the next day in the park with some homeschoolers.

I doubled the batch.  It was harder to cook because of that but I have three kids so I wanted to make
sure I was taking enough to the park. I suggest halving the recipe.
Here is the recipe I used.  I am sorry fellow blogger but I don't remember where I saw this recipe or I would give you credit!
  • 5 cups of water
  • 2 1/2 cups of salt (basically a whole container)
  • 3 Tbsp of cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup PLUS 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 5 cups of flour

I took the first four ingredients and placed them in a large stainless steel pot. I started the heat on the burner at medium.  I wanted the liquid mixture come to a simmer.  I stirred the pot occasionally. When the liquid began to bubble I cut the heat since I had the salt dissolved into the mixture completely. I added all the flour and started to mix.  Once the flour absorbed the water I put the heat on low.  I would stir, mix, cut mixture and flip.  I tried to keep it moving until the flour was a bit dry. Again, I moved the pot on and off the heat, as needed, to make sure I did not burn anything. I would keep testing the batch by pinching off the dough and squishing it in my fingers.  The test: Does it feel like Play-Do? 

Once the flour mixture had the feel of Play-Do (maybe 5 minutes of cooking) I turned off the heat and let it sit for a bit.  I covered my cutting board with plastic wrap to keep the food color from dying anything but my hands.  Should I mention my right hand was purple at the end of this project and my left was orange?  ROFL!  Pick one hand to mix dark colors and the other hand to mix light colors or your colors for the play-dough will look muddled! You could use gloves but what fun would that be???

Basically you just made a version of salt dough.  It hurts like you wouldn't believe if you get the dough on your skin while still piping hot!  I know folks!  As I said, I tend to burn myself!  LOL

Once the mixture cooled but was still warm (basically I handled it as soon as I could) I divided the batch in half.  Then I took one half and made a large log out of it about 4 inches thick and about a foot long. I cut that into four equal pieces with my board scraper

Each disc I colored a different color using a combination of gel and liquid food colorings. I also found some gel food coloring I had that contained glitter.  It was a nice subtle effect.  In the pink color I added orange flavoring to create one with a scent.  I am glad that was all I did for park day because I did not think about the scents attracting bees.  Please keep that in mind if you play with the play-dough outdoors!

The second batch of dough was also four inches around when I rolled it out but it was longer so there were more chances to make other colors.  I was trying to keep most of the colors in a nature theme since we were going to the park. Once all the play-dough was colored I formed them into balls and wrapped them in plastic wrap.  They were still warm and water was starting to form in the plastic wrap so I placed them in the refrigerator overnight. That kept everything dry.

When we went to the park the next day the kids had a blast!  One of the moms asked what recipe I used since it was the most realist homemade play-dough she had ever felt. Success!  

In the end, all the play-dough came together in one huge pile.  I knew all my hard work would be obliterated.  LOL   The kids had a ton of fun and that was the most important thing!

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