This post marks Day 10 of Miss Ginsu's 2008 Advent Calendar. To find other days and other projects, use the calendar page to navigate.
Even if you don't have kids, you may find yourself in the company of little folks around the holidays. And wet, mucky, sleety days mean it's not so fun to go outside and play.
If you're anticipating small guests, (or maybe just playful older guests), you can plan ahead and make some homemade play dough for a nice kitchen-table activity.
To my mind, there's two ways you can go with the homemade play dough. You can make it edible, or you can make it pretty. The pretty stuff isn't toxic... it just doesn't taste very nice. The edible stuff isn't visually exciting.
I've got recipes for both, and they're both easy to make, so you should just make your own decision on the pretty vs. yummy axis.
Snackable Play Dough (Makes 2 cups)
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup honey
2 cups powdered milk
1. Mix peanut butter, honey and powdered milk in a bowl until a soft, pliable dough forms.
2. Form shapes, snacking on the dough if you like.
3. To store, keep the dough, refrigerated in an airtight container.
For this second dough, you can omit the food color until the end of the process, divide the dough in two parts, and color each part separately. If you do this, you may want to use latex gloves to avoid colorful fingers.
Colorful Play Dough (Makes 2 cups)
1/2 cup salt
2 cup warm water
2 cup flour
1 Tbsp cream of tartar
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1. In a small saucepan, blend salt, water, flour, cream of tartar and vegetable oil over medium heat.
2. Whisk until smooth, adding 5 or more drops of food coloring to the mixture.
3. Stir until the mixture begins to thicken and clump. Remove from heat and cool.
4. Knead the dough to achieve a pliable consistency.
5. Form dough into shapes. This dough can also be dried and painted.
I'd advise you to keep both doughs away from the carpeting and pets. You'll also find that cookie cutters, chopsticks and dull butter knives make fun accessories to the play dough playtime repertoire.