Play Dough

Four year old girls.  Do I need to say anything more?  Most of the time they are so amazingly funny and creative, but then there are other times.  You know, the ones when you have to constantly remind yourself to take slow, deep breaths and to not speak until you are thinking clearly.  My sweet four year old girl has recently taken on the habit of acting just like her 13 year old sister and it isn’t pretty.  One 13 year old is enough for our household and the four year old version only makes me more upset with the 13 year old since she is the source of inspiration.

Last week, this little girl begged me all morning to make a new batch of play dough.  I had exactly zero time to do it but figured if I did, she would quietly play with the finish product while I completed a million other tasks.  You know, for a mother of five children, I can be really naive sometimes.  Forty five minutes later, when I presented her with the big, beautifully soft ball of dough, she plugged her nose and sassed with perfect 13 year old attitude, “What is that smell?!?!?”  Apparently, the new addition of coconut extract I used did not please her sensitive nasal passages.  (I thought it smelled heavenly!)  She tried for about two minutes to play with it while one hand pinched her nose then turned to me and said, “This is disgusting.  Will you bounce with me on the trampoline?”
Please don’t let her reaction keep you from whipping this up for your kids.  It is so much better than store bought stuff and lasts forever.  It does take awhile for it to cook on the stove, but it is so worth it.  My only suggestion is to check with your child before adding any extracts….
Play Dough
3 C flour
1 1/2 C salt
3 C water
3 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 C vegetable oil
Food color (I used gel coloring for a richer color)
Flavoring extracts for scent (coconut, peppermint, almond, anise)
1.  Whisk all the ingredients but the coloring together in a medium sauce pan until smooth.  Add coloring until desired color and intensity is reached.  
2.  Cook over medium-low heat until dough becomes a soft dough consistency.  You will need to stir this frequently until it begins to thicken and then constantly once it does begin to thicken.
3.  Dump dough onto heavily floured counter and knead in as much additional flour to reach a desired consistency that is not too sticky, about 1 cup.
4.  Store finished dough in an airtight bag or container.


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