Homemade play-dough to the rescue

March 24, 2020


Easy Homemade Playdough - leslieannetarabella.com

With schools being dismissed for the Covid19 Pandemic, parents are scrambling to teach and entertain the little ones at home.

Easy Homemade Playdough - leslieannetarabella.com

I know some children who need a little bit of extra entertainment and distraction while their mom isn’t feeling well and dad has to work outside the home.

Later today, I’ll make a little bag of fun things for them and leave it on their doorstep – and run! In addition to crayons, coloring books, markers, yarn, scissors, stickers and whatever else I can find, I’m going to include a batch of homemade play-dough. My mother made it for me all the time when I was a little girl and I loved it, especially when it was still warm, right off the stovetop.

My mom would also add a splash of peppermint extract to make it smell good, but that’s totally optional. To keep the food coloring off your hands, you can put the warm dough into ziplock bags and let the children knead the color into the dough while their hands are protected.

Easy Homemade Playdough - leslieannetarabella.com Wilton food coloring.

I used Wilton paste colorings, so I smeared it on the dough with a toothpick that could be tossed out.

If you store this dough in plastic zippy bags, it lasts a long time and stays very soft.

Don’t have cream of tartar? Call your neighbor and see if they’ll toss you some over the fence.

I remembered my old church cookbook – “At the Table” from the First Presbyterian Church in Marietta, GA. My friend Judie and I, both teachers who were at home with our new babies, submitted recipes for craft projects.

The air dry clay often needs to be put into a low-heat oven to help it dry, depending upon the humidity levels that day. We would make little beads, poke holes in them, and when dry, paint them to string on necklaces. We also made Christmas ornaments. Judie’s finger paint recipe is a good one to try as well.

Easy Homemade Playdough - leslieannetarabella.com Wilton icing colors

I hope you are all safe and feeling well. I guarantee if you make a batch of homemade play-dough, even if you don’t have any children to share it with, you’ll feel better. Something about “play” is essential to our lives. Keep moving around, call friends and find joy in little silly things . . . like play-dough!

  • Karyn Tunks says:

    I can SMELL the salt in the homemade play-dough. Does that make me weird?

    • Not as weird as I was as a little girl when I would lick it when my Mom wasn’t watching. I still love salty things. I’d always give my dachshund a little taste too. We were friends. I preferred homemade playdough to the store-bought variety. Weirdos have high standards.

  • Okay, here’s my comment. You are so innovative, and keep coming up with fun things! I’m also happy that you continue to advertise “Where to eat in Fairhope!” One of these days I plan to try more of them, but during this period of sheltering in place, twice I’ve taken advantage of Panini Pete’s take out/curb side delivery service and had their delicious turkey paninos on Boccaccio bread. Nice lunch, and half of the panino is in the fridge for my supper! The fruit cup, gone! And I’m might very well go back there tomorrow!

    • Panini Pete’s gets a very loyal following and I’m sure you are their favorite. I hope it wasn’t too stressful to comment, if in fact this really is the George I’m thinking of! Haha! I made a big four-bean salad last night and there’s so much of it I’m making Bob eat it again tonight. I’ll grill some chicken to go with it to shake things up. No leftovers going to waste when the grocery stores are still bare. I’ll give Panini Pete’s a spin soon. – Along with Bill-E’s and Tamara’s!

  • This is such a thoughtful way to help out for those needing to entertain little ones. Got a good chuckle when you said leave it and run! Take care and be safe……sending hugs.

    • Thanks Emily – I just returned from making the “drop” and really did run! I’m in isolation, and going stir crazy, so it was good to get out and drive, even if it was only about 7 minutes away. I dropped the bag on the steps and didn’t even go up on the porch, then ran back to the car. I don’t know what they have, probably just a bad cold, but . . . No germs for me!

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