Play dough is a basic toy and craft item for all pre-schoolers. How many of us spend hard-earned pounds buying the badly spelt version in cute little plastic tubs? You know the bright yellow tubs with an impossible lid to remove? The stuff that gets stuck into carpets, clothes, hair, eyes, etc. and dries out within half an hour if not replaced to the safety of the tub? And that you then curse because you'll need to find another fiver to replace?
Two years ago I discovered that play dough can be made easily and cheaply, and the version that I use from The Imagination Tree lasts for ages in the fridge (my last batch lasted for eight months!). The Imagination Tree has a variety of recipes available but I prefer this no-cook play dough recipe, and so does my husband who does the washing up!
Winter Play Dough
- 2 cups plain flour (I use the value range)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ cup salt
- 2 tbsp cream of tartar (a powder which comes in pots like baking powder)
- 1 cup of boiling water (you made need to add more. Anna recommends up to 2, but I always need to add more flour, so start with less)
- few drops glycerine (optional adds more shine!)
- white glitter
- silver glitter
- silver star confetti
- white foil confetti
- peppermint essence
- snowflake, snowmen and star cutters
- Winter-coloured beads and string
- magnifying glass
- bubble wrap
- sequins and beads
- stampers, moulds
- cake cases and birthday candles
I gave The Boy a tray full of goodies and the mound of play dough and waited to see what would happen; it wasn't long before he was exploring the texture and shapes with the bubble wrap and the magnifying glass.
It wasn't long before he was doing his James Martin impression though and baking me cookies and a cake, glad to see I've trained him well. And of course, no Winter Play Dough activities would be complete without the obligatory snowman!
I'd seen some play dough mats on the Internet, but most of those designed for Winter also encompass Christmas or Thanksgiving, so I decided to make my own with invitations to play and design on them.
You can download a copy of these winter playdough mats here.