Let me set the stage for you.
It’s been a long day. Like, really long.
We started the morning with a 45 minute drive to the midwives for a routine appointment. When it was done we swung over to the zoo for a few hours of exploring since we were already in the area. When we left the zoo, the boys napped as we drove another hour to a fantastic creek to watch the Salmon jump upstream and discuss the life cycle of Salmon. Finally, after a few hours of discovery in the forest we made the trek back home.
So, it’s 4pm and it’s been a long day. The boys are tired, as am I, but dinner needs to be made and dishes need to be done. Yet somehow I am struggling to get dinner going because the boys are constantly needing my attention. They’ve reached the point of exhaustion and hunger where they need to be so deeply engaged in something to stay happy. It was today that I decided that 4pm would be sensory bin time, every single day.
I got the bin of Kinetic Sand out and placed in on the table in the kitchen. The boys played happily while I prepped and cooked dinner. After this I started making small shoe box sized bins of different activities that I could pull out before dinner when I needed to be able to make food without a little one clung to my leg by the hot stove.
Both boys absolutely love playing with play dough when we are at a friends house, but I just couldn’t bring myself to buy those little brightly colored jars. For one, Rowan enjoys eating it, and who knows what that stuff is made and dyed with, and secondly the smell makes me nauseas.
After a little digging I found a few recipes that I already had the ingredients for. That night I tried a couple of batches and here is what worked for us! I am NOT exaggerating when I say that this stuff is BETTER than the store bought dough. I really mean that. It’s so soft and pliable, it’s not sticky at all, and it smells delicious. Oh, and did I mention it’s 100% edible. I don’t necessarily encourage eating it, but I’m a little less bothered now when I see Rowan sneak some in his mouth while playing (we are working on it…).
Homemade All Natural Play Dough
– 1 cup all purpose flour
(I don’t recommend a whole wheat or ancient grain flour of any sort. You want to use the smoothest flour possible for the best play dough. It’s also much cheaper to not use the “good stuff” for this project)
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1/4 cup sea salt (used in two 1/8 cup amounts)
– 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
– 3/4 cup boiling water
– food coloring
- Place the water in a small pot and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, 1/8 cup sea salt and cream of tartar. Add in the oil and mix.
- When the water is boiling, add the remaining 1/8 cup of salt and stir.
- Remove water from heat and add in the food coloring (a few drops until your desired color is reached). Stir well.
- Mix the colored water and the dry ingredients together and stir until the consistency becomes sticky.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes or until you are able to knead the dough with your hands.
- Remove the dough from your bowl and continue to knead it with your hands until it is no longer sticky.