Today we made play dough using some of the lavender from our garden, and some fresh lemons gifted to us by a neighbor.
for this recipe i used cornstarch instead of cream of tartar, as i have had trouble finding cream of tartar recently.
i chopped up the herbs and we added those after our play dough was mixed so the plants wouldn’t wilt as quickly.
1 cup flour
1 cup hot water
1 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon blue watercolor (add more for a darker hue)
1 tablespoon lemon
i heat my water on the stove, and mix up all dry ingredients in a bowl, when water is heated i add it to the dry mix and stir all lumps, i add more flour and cornstarch if mix is too gooey, and stir until mixed.
i often use gloves to knead the dough when its still warm, i swear this mixes the color better and more even, and makes a smoother and softer dough.
then i add my lavender to the mix, and continue to knead. it smells amazing!
I gave Miles whole lemons and sprigs of mint to use as tools for his dough, which he loved.
This recipe is fairly taste safe, the salt tends to ward off most kids from trying it, and since i have a kid who tends to try everything, i added a bit of salt as I wanted a recipe that was taste safe, but not necessarily delicious, and it helps to keep the dough lasting longer.
we added natural elements and loose parts we collected at the park, which gave us some great nature imprints.
after miles played with his play dough for about two days, we mixed more water into our dough, and because it was mostly cornstarch based, we were able to turn our dough into a great goopy paint, with all sorts of textures from the mint and lavender we used. we made a great textural painting out of our old dough by laying out a giant sheet of white paper on our patio and adding a few extra paint colors to our mix. it turned into a full body action painting and was well worth the mess! also I adore projects that last us several days, and can take multiple forms.
This project engages kids in:
learning basic cooking and mixing skills
discussion of scent (lemon, lavender, mint)
fine and gross motor skills
awareness of nature and the shapes and imprints items can make in soft clay
rolling, kneading, poking, tasting.