December 17, 2011

12 Days of Creating Fun: Homemade Playdough and Fingerpaint

I finished up my final photo obligations this week & my "spare time" is at last much more free & clear.  Between having that freedom, and needing a pick-me-up while the rest of the family left to go far away, I told Johnathan, Lilly & Beau we could make or do something fun together every evening until Christmas.  (With twelve days to go.)
We've had some messy & late school nights so far, but our goal has been accomplished:  We've been very productive in creating, and the thing we've made the most of is fun & memories together.

Night 1:
 
We whipped up a couple of batches of homemade play-dough.  Playdoughrecipe.org has all kinds of great recipes.  We used the jello version.  Because I had some really, really old mystery jello in the cupboard to dispose of.  And because it's supposed to make great play-dough that lasts well.   I'm pretty sure the mystery jello we used was sparkling white grape that I'd bought for a recipe ages ago.   It didn't offer much by the way of color or scent (it smells funny) but the resulting dough is super.  Wonderful smooth texture.  This was a huge hit with the kids.  We made a color for each of them, as well as for my 5 yr. old nephew & 2.5 year old niece.  We'd been collecting frosting tubs from the November birthday craze, and so far we're keeping them in the refrigerator.
*My winter hands felt SO nice after making this.
Night 2:
We made another fun disaster in the kitchen, making (and testing) homemade finger paint.
The recipe: 

3 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. corn starch
2 c. water
Combine in small sauce pan.  
Warm until mixture thickens.  (
It's so exciting when it does!)
Pour into containers.  Add food coloring.
We used half-pint mason jars.   (Baby food jars would make cute little paint pots, but I didn't have lids for most of the ones I had saved from years ago.)
This was really fun to make.  
*Note: It's probably best if you don't get sidetracked vacuuming the entire basement while setting out Christmas program clothes for your 3rd grader.. and then have to give said third grader a much needed haircut while you've left a pan of this to sit uncovered all the while.   That batch got a little lumpy when it was time to stir in the color hours later.   A few drops of water & seconds in the microwave helped to get things creamy again.
I think I like this a little on the softer/runnier side, again - you can easily add a little water.
Lilly enjoyed that this is edible, and slightly sweet.  She licked her scratching tool between uses. 

1 comment:

  1. You are truly inspirational! We have a pretty quiet Christmas weekend planned and salt dough ornaments and finger paints may just be on our fun things to do list. The homemade playdoh is great too! We made a bunch for Natalie's birthday from a recipe that calls for a bit of lotion in the dough. Very smooth, vibrant colors. A big hit with all the kids. Merry Christmas Friend.

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