My sister decided that this year she was going to give all homemade gifts for Christmas. I really admire her for this, and think that I might do the same thing next year. I already have found lots of fun projects for fun gifts that will be more meaningful than just something I ran out and bought. Not to mention it is more eco-friendly.
The gift that she gave to Jonah was homemade play dough. I love this stuff. We used to make it all the time when we were kids, but Christi always did better than me. When I make it, my colors are rather dull and muted, but she gets beautiful vibrant colors every time.
I was wondering if Jonah is ready for play dough. He likes to throw things. A lot. I just imagined bits of red and blue being ground into the white carpet. I wasn't concerned about him eating it, because this stuff is completely safe to eat. It tastes really bad, but it's harmless to ingest.
I have a plastic table cloth that I use for major art activities, like when we painted the pumpkin for Halloween (which I completely meant to blog about, but I had forgotten) or when I am feeling really brave and let him "body" paint. I spread that out underneath his chair, and tried to get all carpet within his throwing radius covered. I presented him with the four colorful tubs. I only allow him to play with one color at a time, but he gets to choose the color. He immediately pulled the blue tub towards him.
He really enjoyed the playdough. He thought it was hillarious to squish it in his fists and to dig his fingers into it. He especially liked putting his thumb into it.
He also soon figured out how to break it up into smaller globs. These globs were inevitably flung to the floor.
Because of the throwing, I thought I should mix it up a bit to keep his interest for a bit longer. I let him choose a different color (he chose red) and I added a tool into the mix. I showed him how to use the rolling pin to press the dough flat, but he had other ideas for what it should be used for. The handles are perfect for poking holes!
The activity lasted for almost a half hour. I was extremely impressed by how long he was attentive to it! Play dough has most certainly been added to our list of quick and easy activities that get us through long days!
Here is the recipe for the dough, although I am not sure what my sister's secret is to getting such bright colors.
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups salt
3 cups water
2 Tbl vegetable oil
1 Tbl Cream of Tartar
drops of food coloring
Combine ingredients in a saucepan and put over medium heat. Stir the mixture until it becomes dough-y and it is hard to move the spoon. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Place on wax paper and knead for one minute. Place into a plastic zip top bag or a tupperware container.