Saturday, June 29, 2013

Awesome Homemade Playdough

We're back! I intended to get one post in before we went out of town last week, but in the chaos of packing and realizing we needed a hotel since the A/C in the house in Orlando is broken, that didn't happen. I apologize! But we had a great week at Disney and the kids and I feel very refreshed and cured of our massive cabin fever that we were suffering from before.

So today is quite a rainy day; hubs is at work and my girls are away on a church youth group beach trip so it's just me and my boys at home. We've already snuggled on the couch in our jammies and watched Dumbo and The Aristocats, and by the time Veggie Tales was loaded, the boys had had enough! They started the routine of tackling, wrestling, tickling, running in circles and yelling and screaming. Our great room consists of our living room, study, kitchen and dining room and all of these are laid out around a central brick fireplace so we have this wonderful circular pattern in our house that kids just LOVE to run laps around like it's the Olympics and a Gold Medal is at stake. I knew that it was time to find a better activity and fast! Yesterday we made Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip cookies (our number one favorite by far!) so I knew this time we needed to make something fun to play with instead of fun to eat. One thing about living in Florida, it rains pretty much every single day during the summer, so I always have quite a list of fun indoor activities to keep the minions busy and their minds active. Today, we decided to whip up a few batches of our favorite homemade playdough. Easy, cheap and it provides hours of fun after it cools. Can't beat it!

In honor of one of our most anticipated sequels of the summer (second only to Despicable Me 2!!), Monsters University, we chose to make blue and green. We made two batches and used berry blue jello and lemon lime jello to make these colors. Each batch makes one big ball--enough to split into halves for my two boys so they each got one of each color. 

Awesome Homemade Playdough

1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 3oz package of dry jello mix


Gently mix flour, salt, cream of tarter, water and oil in a large nonstick skillet pan with a stiff rubber scraper. Slowly stir in jello mix and stir until smooth. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes, until dough forms and begins to pull away from the sides. Once all the wet spots are gone and a thick dough is formed and can stand in the middle of the pan, tilt out onto a folded piece of wax paper at least two layers thick that has been sprinkled with a half cup of flour. Let dough cool to the touch, at least 10 minutes, then knead all the flour in until well incorporated. If it's still too sticky, you can knead in another half cup of flour. Let cool completely before play. It will further solidify upon standing.

This recipe makes a really fragrant, smooth dough perfect for playing. Since it uses so little salt, it leaves hands nice and smooth instead of crusty and dry. If you've never made playdough before, don't freak out when it starts separating and looking like a giant mess of liquid and sticky lumps. It won't be a FAIL, I promise! Just keep stirring, just keep stirring! Let the tune of our friend Dory keep reminding you to just keep cooking and stirring until it comes together and gets nice and smooth. If it turns out too sticky, cook another few minutes before kneading in the flour. The cook time combined with cooling off helps give it that nice smooth texture we're looking for. 

And as you can see, it was a huge hit in our household today! It saved an otherwise super boring, rainy Saturday. Yay!

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