Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Return of the World's Greatest Play Dough

I had put it off long enough, so I finally caved to their demands for a new batch of play dough.

I kind of owed it to them, after that batch of gluten free play dough I made that will be forever remembered as the worst activity of all time. (FYI: If you see the words "gluten free" and "play dough" together, run screaming. It crumbled. It stuck. And worst of all, it got moldy in storage. That's unforgivable. From now on, we'll just commit to making sure the less gluten-tolerant among us washes his hands when we're done.)

So I whipped up a batch of the The World's Greatest Play Dough, and suddenly remembered why it is wonderful.

For a solid two hours, all four of my children sat (mostly peaceably) at the table, poking and rolling and shaping balls of dough into whatever they could dream up. And while they were at it, we knocked out a history and a science lesson, since they were all seated and quiet and able to hear me read aloud.

You know you want to make some now. Look no further. I'm totally willing to share my secrets.

The World's Greatest Play Dough

Mix together in a fairly large saucepan:
2 cups flour
1 cup salt (put in blender for 1-2 minutes and blend to fine powder)
4 tsp cream of tartar

In a separate bowl, mix together:
2 cups water
2 tbsp cooking oil

Pour liquids over dry ingredients and mix well. Stir constantly for about three minutes over medium heat.

The mixture will be ready when it pulls away from the side of the pan. It will still be lumpy (like mashed potatoes before liquid is added) but will look dry. Allow to cool for about five minutes.

Knead by hand until smooth. Add food coloring while kneading if desired. Store in sealed containers or ziploc bags. Will keep for a long, long time if kept properly sealed, or can be left out to dry for a project.

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