Today I made batches of homemade play dough, gave the children my Christmas cookie cutters, and they played and played. After lunch they even asked to play some more!
For the Christmas Season, I add green and red food coloring. For a Christmas smell, I add cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg and for texture, I add green and green sprinkles. I also leave one batch with no color and the spices turn it brown for making playdough "gingerbread" people.
With flour on sale this time of year, bags of play dough make inexpensive gifts for your children to give to their friends encouraging the spirit of giving without spending too much money. I also like to have some on hand for those who may stop by during this season for a visit or as a hostess' gift for a family Christmas party. Add a fitting cookie cutter to go along with the color and even your favorite Christmas book.
For red, put in a candy cane cutter and The Legend of the Candy Cane. For green, put in a tree cutter and The Give-Away. For the gingerbread dough, put in any of the ginger bread books from Jan Brett. M's favorite right now is Gingerbread Friends! Or Nativity cutters and The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey.
Here is the recipe we use, the longer you knead it the softer it gets, so let your children play with it, even if it is a gift!
· 1 cup water
· 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
· 1/2 cup salt
· 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
· Food coloring
· 1 cup flour
1. Combine water, oil, salt, cream of tartar, and food coloring in a saucepan and heat until warm.
2. Remove from heat and add flour.
3. Stir, then knead until smooth. The cream of tartar makes this dough last 6 months or longer, so resist the temptation to omit this ingredient if you don't have it on hand.
4. Store this dough in an airtight container or a Ziploc freezer bag.