Sunshine Playdough

It’s been a little on the cold end of the spectrum for summer.  We are officially into July today and it just seems like we have had an extended spring, not true summer yet.  It has been thunder-storming here frequently and I don’t think the lakes have warmed up too terribly much to the point where it would be refreshing to swim in one on a hot day.

Since we all need a little more sunshine, this morning we made Sunshine Playdough at our house.  Bright yellow with lemon essential oil in it.   Perfect to get in the mood for warm summer days, hopefully coming over the 4th of July weekend.

Playdough is one of those ubber-classic kid’s toys.  It is never going to be out of style.  There is so much versatility with it and kids young and old enjoy it.  From using cookie cutters and rolling pins, to rolling out snakes, to making letters to spell your name; the options are endless to you and your kids’ imagination.  You can build a castle, a snowman, a pirate ship… you can use it to teach addition and subtraction with little balls, you can play tic-tac-toe, you can make mini-monsters or even pretend ice cream cones.    Seriously, this stuff is the bees knees in terms of what you can do with it!

playdough1

playdough4

Sunshine Playdough
Ingredients:
2 cups almost boiling water
2 cups flour (with maybe another 1/4- 1/2 a cup later)
1 cup salt
2 T. oil
2 T. alum
food coloring
(optional) lemon essential oil

Directions:
1. In a medium pot, add water and food coloring.  (I did 20 drops of yellow food coloring and 3 drops of the lime green color from the neon food coloring box).  Stir well and heat on stove top until very warm.  *You do not need to get the water boiling.
2.  Add salt and stir well.  Add remaining ingredients: flour, oil, alum.  Stir until starting to form a ball.  Remove from heat.
3. Add several drops of lemon (or other essential oil) to the playdough.
4.  Stir the playdough well until ingredients are thoroughly combined and there are no “lumps.”  I like to kneed the playdough out, using my hands.  To do this, I  place the dough on a cookie sheet, making sure the temp is not to hot before starting.  You do not need to use a cookie sheet to kneed the dough out.  I do it to help with clean up later.  Add additional (1/4- 1/2 cup) flour if the dough is too sticky.
5. Allow dough to cool to a kid-safe temp before you let them play with it.
6. Between playtimes, store in an airtight container.  (Ziplock bag or plastic container with a lid).  I had these containers from lunch meat and they work perfectly!  RECYCLING WIN!

playdough2