Think Outside the Box

Squishy, sensory fun!  Whether it be a rainy day activity, or a sculpting competition between friends, play dough is always fun!  It’s even more special when you put your own spin on it.  Play Dough recipes range from the basic salt dough, to amazing smelling – even scrumptious tasting – concoctions for little hands to mold and smash and squeeze and just have a ball with.

I’ll start you off easy.   A basic salt dough.  You’ll need:

  • 2 cups plain flour (all purpose)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • Up to 1.5 cups boiling water (adding in increments until it feels just right)
  • food coloring (optional)
  • few drops glycerine (optional- adds more shine!)

Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl.  Add food coloring to the boiling water, then into the dry ingredients.  Stir continuously until it becomes a sticky, combined dough. Add the glycerine (optional).  Allow it to cool down then take it out of the bowl and knead it vigorously for a couple of minutes until all of the stickiness has gone.  (If it remains a little sticky then add a touch more flour until just right.)

That’s just a start.  There are endless possibilities.  Add glitter and make it fairy dough.  Add some extract and make your sensory activity smell amazing!  Hide objects in the dough and make yourself some “discovery dough.”  Throw in some trucks and construction vehicles and make a construction site.  Plastic dinosaurs make a great fossil dig!  Grab some grass, pinecones, rocks, and other outdoor materials and make your own forest or meadow.

If you’re not “play doughed” out by the fun you’ve had with your child after all that, we’ve got a great secret recipe you’re both sure to love.  Just follow the directions below to make some CHOCOLATE play dough!

  • 1/2 cup margarine (butter works too.)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • mixture of 3 tablespoons water and 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder  (Make sure the only ingredient on the container is cocoa.)

Mix both kinds of sugar in with the room temperature margarine.  In a separate bowl, mix together 3 tablespoons of water and two teaspoons of baking soda.  Add this mixture to the sugar mixture.  Mix in the remaining ingredients.  If the dough seems too sticky, add a little extra flour.  Once the dough has been mixed thoroughly, you can spoon some out for the kids to play with.  Grab some cookie cutters and a rolling pin and make your own bakery!

We know you’re sure to have fun with any one or all of these fun ideas – but we’re always eager to hear what YOU came up with!  Please let us hear your ideas!