Rainy days have an interesting rhythm to them -- slow and quiet and thoughtful. A rainy day is a welcome change from the frenetic pace we usually keep. As the drops drum gently on our windowpanes, we watch the birds hopping around the bird feeder, trying to stay dry. Rainy days, like today, are days for board games and reading books, for puzzles and building blocks. They are days we just feel grateful our home is warm and dry -- our little haven.
I like to set aside a few special activities for days like this. Homemade Play Dough is one we love. We got the recipe a few years ago from our favorite Kindergarten teacher.
I help the children to make it, allowing them to measure the ingredients and carefully stir the pot on the stove. Once the mixture needs to be kneaded, many hands make light work.
Here is what you'll need:
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
2 tsp Cream of Tartar
2 cups water
2 Tbs oil
3 tsp food coloring -- blue, red, green, or yellow
And here's what you do:
Mix together the first three ingredients in a medium-size saucepan. Add wet ingredients (water, oil, and coloring) and mix together. Stir and stir over low heat on the stove -- don't stop! The mixture should thicken until it becomes like mashed potatoes. When it does, turn off the heat and dump the mixture out on a floured board to knead it.
I knead the first few turns, until the mixture cools a bit and becomes easier to handle. I fold the dough toward myself and press the heel of my hand into it. Then, I turn it a quarter-turn. Again, I fold the top down toward me and press. Then, I let the kids try their hands at it.
When the dough is the right consistency, they can play with it right away or you can store it in an airtight container. As long as it is put away after playing, it stays pliable for a nice long time.
Maybe even until the next rainy day.
- Midwest Mom