One of the things I knew I wanted to do with Hadley this fall was "play playdough"- as my sisters and I used to say. And I wanted to make the playdough ourselves. Homemade playdough is completely, utterly, 100% homey and nostalgic for me. So, last week we made some. Since the flour at our house is the expensive sprouted kind, I knew I didn't want to use a speck of it in our play dough. I found a recipe that only called for cornstarch and baking soda (cheap ingredients!!), and it turned out great!
Before adding the water to our baking soda-constarch blend, we made it a rusty fall color with some of Hadley's watercolors. It didn't end up being very much color in the end, but the result looks sort of like real cookie dough, so that's not bad. We also added some pumpkin pie spice to our play dough to make it smell nice. I wish I had some orange oil on hand, because the cinnamon, cloves, and orange together would be amazing!! It took about 15-20 minutes from the start of the playdough process to the time when we were able to actually play with it, and that was with a 2-year-old "helping" the whole time. Not bad! It was a great Monday morning activity, and not too messy because we already had newspaper out on the table for Hadley's watercolors. When it was time to play with the dough, I gave her a plastic cutting board and some cookie cutters and a roller, and we went to town. It was so fun. I'm stashing the play dough in a bowl on the lazy-susan, and getting it out every few days for us to play with. It's nice when she kinda forgets that it exists and gets re-excited about it.
1 box of baking soda (2 cups)
1 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups of water
color -- we added some watercolor paint that was handy
scents -- we used 1 Tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice, feel free to use essential oils!
Add color and scent, if using, to the water. Combine baking soda and cornstarch in a medium sized pot, then pour in water. Cook over medium heat until the dough forms a ball. My mixture started to change at about 7-8 minutes cooking time, and took a full 10-12 minutes for a sticky dough to form. Cool and knead. Sprinkle on a bit more baking soda/cornstarch if the dough is too sticky to play with.
This dough is forgiving! We even spilled a bunch of water on ours while it was still hot and were able to save it by adding some more dry ingredients. Just be careful not to over cook it on the stove, because I read that it will dry out/crumble easily.
The dough is really silky soft and keeps well in an airtight container. We took it out to play with it again yesterday after about 6 days of just sitting in a bowl, and it was fine. In fact, it was moist enough that I added a little extra cornstarch while we were playing, to keep it from being too sticky.
blogged one year ago: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
blogged three years ago: Honey Pumpkin Bread