Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Over the Raindough

This past Saturday, the weather was not-so-great, and my husband was out of town. As a result, I had to quickly come up with an activity to keep my 4 and 6-year-old girls entertained in our tiny apartment while their baby brother took his afternoon nap.

I decided to go back to my roots, and whip up a batch of homemade playdough. As a child, I was never privy to the lavish store bought Play-doh brand. My mom (who is amazing) would always find a do-it-yourself version of everything. I grew up playing with batches of playdough--of the homemade monochromatic variety. These are some great memories. Especially the memory of my sister Carol eating her newly sculpted creation (I believe it was a hot dog)- and watching it come back up a few minutes later. Yum.

Hoping to provide them with some equally memorable experiences we set out to make our first batch of the homemade dough. The girls loved helping to measure out all of the ingredients, helping to stir the pot a few times while it heated up, and playing in the flour bin when I wasn't looking.
In all, a fun experience that we will definitely attempt again.
Here is the recipe we followed (courtesy of greenmomfinds.com)

Homemade Play Dough
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups water with several drops of food coloring added
4 teaspoons cream of tartar

Mix ingredients together in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and turn dough onto a plate to cool. Store in a covered container or plastic bag.

I doubled the recipe, and added several drops of grapefruit essential oil to my batch. A small warning: it gets very, very thick near the end of the cooking process, you will definitely get a good bicep workout.

If you aren't too keen on concocting your own playdough on your kitchen stove, you can purchase a chemical-free variety from "Over the Raindough"- a company that specializes in making organic modeling dough. "Over the Raindough" products are made with organic ingredients and no artificial colors. The ingredients of their products are listed here. I have tried out the Purpley Grape, and the Lemony Yellow varieties and am very impressed. This is the best smelling playdough I have experienced, and the texture of this dough is less "gritty" than the average homemade batch-it comes very close to the Play-doh brand (whose ingredients are proprietary- so comforting:). You can purchase "Over the Raindough" from a link on their website. A 6-pack is $29.


imme said...

This looks like a good recipe - I'll have to try it for my nursery class.

Just FYI - here is a fun recipe I got from an education booth at a recent Columbus Reading Festival, which uses Kool-aid.

2.5 cups flour
2 packages unsweetened Kool-Aid
2 cups water
1 cup salt
3 tsp vegetable oil

In mixing bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. In saucepan, bring two cups of water to a boil. Turn off heat and add oil. Pour oil and water mixture into bowl, blend and knead. The dough will last for months when stored in an airtight plastic container. It lasts even longer when the container is refrigerated.

The dough comes out a little grainy, but I like the recipe because it is fast, easy, inexpensive, and it smells good. You also don't have to use food coloring because the coloring is included in the kool-aid.

Theresa said...

Awesome, thanks! I like the kool-aid idea.

Taylor and Justina said...

I am going to have to make some for Aiden. He loves play-doh. He got some for Christmas from my mom and it has dried out and I don't want to spend the money to replace it! Thanks for the recipe!