{Makin' Playdough}

A couple of weeks ago, Princess Pea and I tried making playdough. It was the first time we'd done it, mainly because I didn't know where to find Cream of Tartar here or how to ask for it, but my mother sent some a while back and we finally got around to it. It was so easy and the results are, in my opinion, better than the name-brand version in terms of texture. And it smells just as good :-)

There are lots of recipes that require cooking it on the stove. Instead, I found a non-cook recipe here that I followed in general, but found I needed quite a bit more flour. Also, we wanted to make some white playdough as well as colours, but we found the addition of food colouring made it much more wet, and more flour was needed for the coloured playdough than the white.

So in the end, here is how we did it.

1 cup salt
1 1/2 cups flour + additional 1/2 cup for coloured playdough
4 Tbsp cooking oil
4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup water
food colouring
splash of almond flavouring*

*The almond flavouring we used (in the whole batch) turned out to be green and dyed the playdough green. We had to quickly scoop it out again! However, we ended up with rather a lot of green playdough as a result! If you use flavouring, I recommend testing it for colour beforehand.

1. In a large bowl, mix the salt, 1 1/2 cups flour, oil, cream of tartar and water. Keep mixing until well blended. You can add a touch more water or flour as needed. If using flavouring and have tested it for colour, add a bit now. It makes the playdough smell soooo goooood! :-)

2. Once it's blended, use your hands to knead it into a doughy texture.

3. If you want some white playdough, take it out now. Then to the rest of the batch, add the extra 1/2 cup of flour. It will be a bit drier now than the white playdough, but that's ok because once you add food colouring it will moisten again.

4. Separate it into bowls for each colour. Press an indentation into each lump of dough. Add a generous amount of food colouring to each bowl, in the indentation. Fold over the playdough, over and over, to mix the colour in. Then use your hands to knead the dough some more, to get the colour even (the more it's played with, the more even it gets). I had had great intentions to use primary colours and mix them as a way to teach Princess Pea about mixing colours, but in the end I could only find green, red, and 'bibor red' (whatever that is). So we just went ahead and mixed them anyway to see what we'd get. It was more interesting that way anyway!

5. Store in airtight containers (we used some old name-brand playdough containers and an empty tea can with a lid).

6. Play! Knead, squash, press, roll, cut, poke...:-)

7. Invite your friends over to join you!