Toddler Gifts: Play Dough

by Emily on December 6, 2011

As Andrea mentioned yesterday, we had a fun filled Saturday night with our Family Dinner-complete with holiday spirit!  In addition to all the fun in the dining department, we let the kids exchange gifts and OPEN presents for a real holiday kick-off!

I tried my hand at making a few gifts this Christmas and can’t wait to share a couple of them with you here!  One of my projects was to make Play Dough.  I wanted to find at least one gift that Pip could help me with so that she might start to learn the feeling of doing something for someone.  Not quite sure we’re there yet-age-wise, but after thinking the finished stacks were for her, she ended up being a gracious gift giver on the big night.

There are about a million play dough recipes online too.  But one photo caught my eye, as usually happens when I go into craft overload.  This time it wasn’t Pinterest (to my shock) but Andrea had literally minutes prior sent an email with the title line “NOOOOOOOO”  and the text area said “Another Pinterest-like site…..do we have the time/energy to look through another? (Craft Gawker)”  Oh yes I exclaim…..I’ll make the time to look at pretty pics that are inspiring to me!  And lo and behold, there sat my play dough inspiration photoAdelyn Stone had a recipe on her blog for the BEST ever play dough and the photo looked almost yummy with great vibrant colors, so we went for it!

Step 1: All ingredients ready!  Looks easy so far! Flour, oil, salt, cream of tartar, food coloring, water.

Step 2:  Get those little hands working!  Adding all the ingredients into one saucepan.

Step 3:  Doesn’t look like play dough…could this be real?

Step 4:  Over medium heat on the stove-top, it all comes together.  I was thrilled beyond belief at the color too, being the green snob that I am!  Neon food coloring is awesome!

Step 5:  Once it clumps up, remove from heat and knead with your hands.  I also added some extract to the dough here.  I called the green dough “Mo’s Neon Peppermint Christmas” with peppermint extract and the blue was “Mo’s Tropical Blue Breeze” with coconut extract.  The kneading process was fabulous….my favorite part of this entire project because the dough was warm to the touch and so incredibly smooth. Then you add the flavor extract and I could have played all night!

Step 6:  Package them up, let them cool and get ready for the fun to begin!  I found these great interlocking containers at Storables so they fit together stacked with their screwed lids on.  I guess I could have also named this Play Dough masterpiece the Seattle Sounders Dough!  The small containers were done in case Mo wanted some entertainment on his big trip coming up to Portugal.

I  think both boys, Mo & Carlos, enjoyed their gifts and hope they find great fun in the mess that Play Dough can entertain on their kitchen tables.   The younger kids were almost wacky on the smell so I hope I haven’t done a bad thing adding the extract, but I went back to do some blog-search and it seems that it’s all safe for kids!

I’m so happy that I get to play with it again with Pip.  I can still remember the smell and location on our breakfast nook that I used to play with it after my Mom had made a batch.

This is a great, easy and cheap gift for children!  Pip has already requested pink for her next batch! (Those who know me well enough, might have seen me shudder at the pink comment but she is certainly turning more girly by the day!)

Happy Play-Doughing!

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