Monday, July 4, 2011

Summer Fun & Homemade Play Dough

School's out and we've been busy doing some fun summer activities. Amy has started summer day camp now so I will start making some fun lunches again and hopefully posting about them. 
I haven't managed to take my camera most times we are out and about, so not too many pictures. Here's a few from a family beach outing on Father's Day. We really are spoiled living in such a beautiful island with beaches all around. There was a bit of cloud about that day which was kind of nice as it toned down the beating sun.

 I never knew how truly easy it is to make your own play dough. I've seen it online lots of times and finally I decided to try it at home. My chief kitchen helper, Rose, measured the ingredients and mixed it all up and I cooked & kneaded it. It took hardly any time at all!
A few blogs that I like to read seemed to all be using this recipe from My Montessori Journey,  so I didn't even look any further and just chose to try it out myself. Since it's our first time I didn't do anything fancy - no glitter or scents - just wanted to try out the basic recipe and see how it works. Next time I will definitely make scented dough as that just sounds fun.
So here's a picture of our first batch of homemade play dough.

I added some gel food colouring to the white dough as I was first kneading it after taking it off the stove.  The directions didn't really say if you should colour it first or after - so I went with after. It was very easy to tint the dough. I put on gloves to avoid getting food colouring all over my hands and I was glad I did. I am sure that I could do it without the gloves with a little practice but I just didn't know how it would go that first time. It's really only the first couple of kneads where you could get food colouring on your hands but I can see it would be minimal if you put the colouring in the middle and kind of fold the dough over and go from there.
It made a decent amount of dough, definitely enough for all 3 girls to play with together. They aren't creating large masterpieces though. Mostly the littlest ones like to squish it and cut it and stamp it so really it's the perfect amount for us. I read on My  Montessori Journey that the best amount to give a child is a ball slightly larger than the size of their fist as it's probably the easiest to manage. Using that method I could get enough for 4 small children - at one point today my older nephew was here and there was enough to go around without complaint.

It's really fabulous to work with - feels so soft and nice in our hands, I can't imagine ever buying play dough from the store again! This idea is a keeper.

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