Ingenious Mom Powers: DIY Playdough

For a while I’ve dabbled with the idea to make my own playdough for the boys to play with.  I mean, not that I have anything against store bought Play Doh.  It’s both nostalgic and lovely all around.  But every now and then I like to use my Ingenious Mom Powers and wow my kids with cool stuff that is made by my own hands.  Plus, ever since the Hubs and I attended Eli’s parent/teacher conference and found that our son’s fine motor skills needed a little fine-tuning, I thought playdough would be the perfect thing for Eli to help build strength in his fingers, and to also have fun playing with.

I’ve looked at a few sites for how-to’s, and finally decided on the recipe found hereI have to say that I’m glad I settled on this one because the results turned out great!  And of course, what’s a Jolly Blogger post without plenty of pictures! Enjoy!:-)

DIY Playdough Ingredients

1) This particular recipe is super easy!  All you need to do is mix the following in a medium saucepan: 1/2 cup flour, 1 tbsp. salt, 1 tbsp. cream of tarter, 1/2 box Jello mix (1.5 oz), 1 tbsp. cooking oil,  and 1/2 cup warm water. *FYI: of the recipe listed on the website, I cut all my ingredients in half to make a smaller batch. 2) The recipe on my trusty iPad.:-) 3) You can experiment with different flavors to make certain colors, but I chose the same ones listed on the website.  Added bonus: yummy fruit smell! Score!

Eager Helpers

It’s always a good thing to consider finding willing and enthusiastic helpers!  The boys loved pouring and mixing all the ingredients together.  Plus, it makes them feel special and “grown up” so it’s worth the mess.  :-)

the heating process

The heating process: Once all the ingredients are mixed (I used a whisk to mix out any lumps first), turn on the burner to medium heat and stir constantly until the mix starts to thicken.  Keep on stirring until you get a lump of playdough.  Immediately place hot playdough onto a floured surface, like a Silpat or a cutting board.  Wait at least 20 min. or until the dough is cool enough to be handled comfortably before kneading the dough with your hands and incorporating the flour until the Playdough no longer feels sticky.

Knead the Dough!

Again, I’ve got these great little helpers working for me. :-) Make sure the dough is cool enough before you allow the kiddos to help you!  This part was also good for Eli to develop some fine motor skills.  Kneading sure takes some strong fingers and hands!

After helping with one batch each, the boys lost interest and ran off to play with their toys, so I was left to do the rest–which was really fine with me, because I was able to work much faster.  After using all the different flavors of jello, here are the results:

DIY Playdough

In Rainbow order: Red (Strawberry), Orange (Orange), Yellow (Pineapple), Green (Lime), Blue (Berry Blue), Purple (Grape), and Pink (Watermelon).  Easy enough, eh? And so pretty too!  The Playdough did smell yummy as well, although it didn’t seem that way to Zekie, who announced that the “Orange smells like old trash.  It is not good.”  To each his own, I guess.

playdough storage

By cutting the original recipe in half, you still get a sizeable amount of Playdough.  I found that the half-recipe fits nicely in these small size Ziploc containers.  I got these for $1.98 for 7 at Walmart.  But any kind of air-tight container will do nicely for storage.  The website said you can store the dough for at least a few weeks by refrigerating them.  I’m not sure how long they’ll last without refrigeration, but I’ll take their advice.

But the best part of course, is being able to PLAY with your homemade Playdough.  As expected, the boys had a blast!  Ingenious Mom Powers, indeed!:-)

Playdough Playtime

Happy Thursday, folks!:-)

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