Tuesday, August 09, 2011

tomato play-dough

It's hard to be creative and cheap at the same time. I can think of all kinds of creative things I could buy or do if we had the extra moo-lah on hand... and don't get me wrong, we love to do that when we can! But actually finding new, creative, and free things to do with my 2 1/2 year old can be a bit of a challenge. I totally understand using DVD's as babysitters. Believe me.

It's a challenge because creativity takes time. It takes thought. It takes effort. And Heaven knows we're already spending most of our time, thought, and effort on being homemakers!

But I am convinced that making your home by building up and nurturing the ones who live in it is the most worthwhile form of home-making there is. Though I believe this with all my heart, I've yet to perfect the balance.

Proverbs 14:1 says that a wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.

Lord, please let me never sacrifice my home to build my house.

The other day I came upon a recipe for playdough and it suddenly occurred to me that my daughter didn't even know what that was! Well, I had the ingredients on hand, so I decided it was time to introduce her to the joys and funny-feeling hands that come from playing with the colored, mushy, salty stuff. (You didn't know it was salty? Well, you obviously never tried to eat it. Hrm.)

I loosely followed the tutorial from here.

Here's what went down!

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 3/4 cup water
  • food coloring

I started with the water in a saucepan on low-medium heat. I squeezed in some red gel food coloring until it looked right...I was going for a nice pink (but of course!) and guessed that really red water would be diluted by the soda and starch and be perfect. So I squeezed in a little more. Well, my estimation was a little off, as you'll soon see.

Once the color was dissolved and water warm, I added the dry stuff:

And cooked it over medium heat for a while. I only paused from stirring to snap a quick pic or two.

I was supposed to be waiting for it to turn into a ball. So I kept stirring. It definitely looked like a way-too-bright tomato soup.

And there we go! I popped it out and kneaded it about 10 times while it was still warm.

Then it wanted to pose with its ingredients.

Here's SweetP checking out our tomato-orange creation. It was still warm and fun and she loved it! It had a silky smooth feeling because of the corn starch. She didn't even care that it was making her hands kinda dry and chalky...and she's usually pretty concerned about anything sticky or dirty. : )

A couple of changes I'd make: I needed a little more water, I think, to help it hold together better. It was pretty crumbly. And next time, I'll go way easier on the food coloring. It turned our hands (and everything it touched) a reddish-orange which made me panic at first, but it washed right off. Unlike the red velvet cake balls I rolled. And made my hands feel smooth, too! Not the cake balls. The playdough.

After playdough time, I saved it in a ziploc. She's playing with it as I publish this, days later. It apparently saves well. I wasn't sure.

So it was fun play, cheap play, and even though it made a mess for me to clean up, it was so worth it! I love playing and learning and with my girl.

1 comment:

Karen Brock said...

I love your blog -- I'll read every entry and enjoy. Thanks for writing again!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...