Being creative is such an important part of family life — especially when trying to keep the kids engaged and entertained. So, we asked mum of two, lifestyle blogger Laura-Ann to give us her 5-step guide to making your own play dough with the kids. Gather the essentials from the list below and let’s get creative with the family.
With the warmer months finally here and daffodils popping up everywhere it seemed the perfect opportunity to make some naturally coloured dandelion play dough. We make play dough a lot in our home, it’s a great sensory activity and so easy to make. Of course, if you have allergies, feel free to leave out the Dandelion’s and you can use some food colouring or even some of your kids paint instead, but the playdough recipe is still the same and it makes an excellent afternoon activity with the kids.
Two large handfuls of Dandelions
1 cup of boiling water
2 cups of flour
1/3 cup of salt
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons cooking oil
Step 1: Collect your dandelions
Head out to the garden or on a walk and collect your dandelions together. You will only really need two handfuls. My boys love a purpose, and picking flowers and dandelions is one of their favourites. Dandelions are so bright and cheery and right now they are everywhere, so I bring an empty basket and pick two large handfuls for the activity.
Step 2: Prepare the petals
Back home, remove all the stems from the dandelions and try to take the yellow flower from the bud, you should have mostly yellow petals and no green. Add all your yellow petals to a saucepan and add one cup of water.
Step 3: Mix it all up
Bring to the boil and mix together. You can keep the texture of the full flowers in the dandelions if you wish but I blend mine using a mixer, making yellow water with a few little textured petals throughout. When you are happy with the consistency you want, you can transfer to a bowl.
Step 4: Allow to cool
Now you have your bowl of naturally tinted dandelion water, set aside to cool. Once you are sure it's cool (don’t rush it as it will ruin the consistency of the dough), add all the other ingredients: your 2 tablespoons of oil, 2 tablespoons cream of tartar, 1/3 cup of salt and your 2 cups of flour. Be sure to keep the packet of flour handy for stage four as you might need a little extra. Give it a really good stir until it is fully mixed together. I find it's best to use your hands at this point. You will maybe have to sprinkle in some more flour until it no longer sticks, as the amount of flour you need does vary depending on how much water the dandelions were holding. But if you are using your hands to mix, you will know when the texture feels right.
Step 5: Set-out and play
Set the mixture out with some playful extras, such as rolling pins, cookie-cutter shapes and even some of your extra dandelion flowers, my boys like to use the extra flowers to make faces and as little decorations to their pretend cakes.
Just like regular playdough, if you keep it in an airtight container it will keep fresh to play again and again on a rainy afternoon.