Homemade Playdough August 04 2015, 0 Comments

 

So school is fast approaching and I'm really excited!  I love making things with my kids and crafting with them, but being honest, sometimes it's just as nice to whip something up QUICK and with NO MESS... Amen?  We homeschool here so my days of non-stop crafts are right around the corner so while my littles were sleeping/resting in their rooms, I made them a surprise to come down to see.  Bonus:  This playdough keeps them entertains for HOURS which means it's a lifesaver while you're trying to make dinner.  I know my household can't be the only one that seems to meltdown right around 4:45.  Double Bonus:  It includes essential oils!  Which means I can custom make blends to help calm and soothe OR I can make immunity support blends because we all know that's so important once school starts.

 

 

Making playdough is super simple and easy!  I am not a fan of crazy colors.  Of course, my kids love them but I also want them to appreciate that sometimes, pure & natural is even more beautiful.  Plus.. I don't keep food coloring in the house.  So there's that.  To make it interesting, I added tea!  Imparts a great scent whenever it's played with and also adds a neat texture with all the little dots of crushes leaves.   So here's your list, adapted from my homeschool curriculum, the homegrown homeschooler:

  • 4 herbal tea bags
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of flour (I used white whole wheat because again.. it's all I had)
  • 1/2 cup salt (make sure it's fine enough that it will melt quickly in hot water)
  • 4 T cream of tartar
  • 1 T oil (I used coconut because... are you sensing a theme here?)
  • 10 drops of essential oil!  I'll give you some ideas of combos below

 

First, put your water in a pot and bring it to a simmer.  While you're waiting, combine the dry ingredients in the bowl

 

And once the water is simmering, add your tea bags to steep.  But OH!!!!  Don't nearly burn your kitchen down like me.  Turn off the flame first. Sigh  

Oh look!  I made them vintage.  In other words, I did that on purpose.  *wink*

 

Once they have steeped for 10 minutes, pull the tea bags out and set them aside.  Now add your dry ingredients to the tea and start to mix.  And it will look like this... and you might be tempted to get discouraged.  But then remind yourself, "Wait, this is only playdough.  Who cares!?"  Bring it together in a ball as best as you can, and then turn it out on a well floured surface.

Okay now the dough is out and I've been already squishing and kneading it.  Turns out the more you play with it, the more it starts to resemble playdough!  Once you've kneaded a few times, it's time to make a disc and grab your (now cooled) tea bags.  Rip em open and dump the contents out.  Now you get to continue kneading!   I promise, you don't want to stop!

Okay, now it's time to add your oils!  I am a huge fan of sooooothing my children into a mild coma (just me?) so I added my favorite relaxing oils:  Valerian, Frankincense and Lavender.  I added about 5 drops of each and then kneaded again.  If you wanted to add some immunity support, I would use 10 drops of thieves oil blend and 5 drops of frankincense.   

Okay my playdough is gorgeous, but I wanted a bit more interest.  So I rummaged in my cupboards for some loose leaf tea. 

There!  And... you guessed it, knead again.

This is looking a lot more like playdough.  I'm happy with my kid's naptime accomplishment.  

In order to keep them throughly occupied, I knew I was gonna need more than just playdough.  I'm a fan of showing my kids how to play and interact with nature over glossy, shiny (and expensive!) store bought toys.  I also do this by avoiding certain aisles in Target like my cart's on fire.  Turns out, both work pretty well.  I had some cabbage and flowers that I had in a vase that were about to be wilted, so I cut it up as play objects.

If you haven't already been told, muffin tins are the BEST for sorting and presenting play objects!  This is great for sensory and also for sharing (these 6 are YOURS, and these over here are YOUR SISTERS!  No questions asked).

I found some coffee filters, paper straws, mulch from my garden and random clippings from outside.  I promise guys, it's the little things.

And... check it out!  Starting to get creative.  I put them outside (because playdough is notoriously MESSY) and while I love to encourage free play I don't want to spend hours cleaning it up!  I gave them each a cookie sheet for their half of dough.

This is an hour later and they're starting to build little islands.  I love it!

Happy Playing!