Friday, June 01, 2007


Outsourcing your Life:

Uncooked Playdough (salt and flour)

1/4 cup salt
1 cup flour
1/4 cup water

Have your child mix the flour and salt in a bowl then add water. Knead and squeeze the dough to make a clay consistency. You may need to add more water.

Note: Your child will find that this playdough doesn't last as long as the cooked recipes.

Oatmeal Clay

1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup water

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Add more flour if necessary for the dough to form a lump. Have the children knead the dough on a floured surface until it is smooth. You can add food coloring to the water before mixing the dough, or divide it into balls and add the coloring after the children mix and knead it.

Your children's finished crafts can air dry overnight.

Note: Children can store the clay in the refrigerator in a ziplock bag for up to 3 days.

Cornstarch Clay 2

1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup white glue

Mix completely. Add extra corn starch or glue to get a workable consistency.

Store in plastic baggie. Should last for months with no mold.

* Projects can be air dried.
* Try rolling out very thinly, then leave over night. In the morning use punchies to create designs before it is completely dry.
* Dries like china.
Playdough Ideas for Groups

Make up a large batch of playdough, and divide it into balls (about 1/3 of a cup). Each ball should be enough for one child to easily handle and work with. Put the ball in one hand, and use the fingers of the other hand to make a small impression in the center of the ball. Add a bit of food coloring, and then carefully cover it over with white playdough.

When you've finished with the balls, put them in baggies, or put in them all in a large plastic container with a lid. Let them sit overnight.

The next day, give each child one ball and have them start kneading it. The children will watch in amazement as they turn their white playdough into a colorful ball.

Thanks to Rachel D. for reminding us about a great activity for a large group of children.

Play Dough Recipe 1

4 cups flour
1 cup salt
4 cups water
4 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup cream of tartar

Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan. Cook and stir over low/medium heat until play dough is completely formed and no longer sticky. Allow to cool slightly before storing in an air tight container or zip lock bag.

* Add one package of unsweetened powdered Kool-Aid to your playdough to give it a great smell. (Thanks to James Slaughter for this variation).

Where to get cream of tartar

Cream of tartar can be expensive and comes in very small containers in the spice section of the grocery store. It is actually a by product of wine making, so if you have a winery near your house, try calling them and see if they will give you some for free. I have not tried using this type of unprocessed cream of tartar. If anyone has and has any comments about this, please let me know by sending an email to Linda Bastiani (

* Nadine writes, "I called a restaurant food supply store in my area (Nobel Sysco) and they carry it in 25 ounce packages for $12.00"
* Jan Fitch found cream of tartar at the Amish Market in Burtonsville, MD.
* Sarah DeOpsomer says that you can sometimes buy things like this in bulk at co-op grocery stores.
* Shari Reese was able to purchase cream of tartar at GFS (Gordon's Food Service) in a 2 lb. container for 12.65.
* Sue Hedges says that you can buy cream of tartar online at
* Gina Samples also found cream of tartar online at - use this link to get to the 5lb quantity.
* Tabitha Brittain says that you can substitute one part baking soda and one part baking powder for cream of tartar.

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