July 31, 2009

To mix, or not to mix, that is the question...!

Sorry I disappeared for a while there, didn't I?!, We've been away for a few days visiting family in the Lake District.  I don't like to blog about going away until afterwards, otherwise, it feels like shouting 'Hey, our house is empty, come..., break in and steal stuff!'.

The school holidays are plodding along, and today I have been left asking the question, 'Why oh why have I never made home made play dough before?!'  It's so easy.  There are lots of recipes out there to choose from, I can't remember exactly where this version came but this is what we did...,

You will need  ::  2 cups of plain flour, 1 cup of salt, 2 cups of cold water, 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil, and 4 teaspoons of cream of tarter, food colouring (I used red, yellow, blue and green), a large saucepan, wooden spoon, whisk, airtight containers or zip lock bags to store it in and a stove.

Plonk all the ingredients (apart from the food colouring!) in a saucepan on the stove top, and stir.  Now, mine went lumpy at this point so I gave it a quick go with a whisk.  Then turn on the heat, a low heat is all that's needed, and keep stirring with a wooden spoon.  The mixture will gradually thicken, don't worry if more lumps appear at this stage, it will even out when it comes out the pan.  After a couple of minutes, the spoon will become harder and harder to move as it turns into a dough.  At this point, turn off the heat, and turn the dough out onto a work surface and allow to cool.  Then give it a quick kneed, and there you go, that's the cooking part done, now for the messy bit!

This recipe gives a fairly large quantity of playdough, so we split ours into 6, placed each on a glass chopping board, made a well in the centre then added a teaspoon of food colouring (the liquid kind), and kneeded and kneeded until the colour was evenly dispersed, adding more food colouring along the way if the colour was too pale.  We also mixed our colours to get orange and purple.

Luke's favorite is green!

Now the big question amongst us Mums.  Do you let your children mix up their playdough colours??, we have a difference of opinion in our house, I don't mind if they get mixed up to make a yukky brown, which is why all our colours are just chucked into a zip lock bag together.  My theory being by the time all the colours are mashed up, it's drying out and needs replacing anyway.  My husband disagrees, he hates seeing it all mixed up, it really grates on him!  

So, to mix or not to mix, that is the question?!

PS, Thank you for all the foxy feedback, fox number 2 is the out and out winner by far!  I shall be asking opinions on softie patterns more often, that was huge success!

21 comments:

Natys said...

Im definitely with your husband, why you peopple dont care?!?!?!?

Maybe just maybe, i take a little red and a little blue and mix them JUST to have purple =P

Julia said...

I say mix, mix, mix!! explore, make new colors, watch them mash together, swirl, stripe and become one lovely brown in the end. Or just make one color. But that's boring.

trasha said...

Oh no! You can't mix them into a murky brown mush!

Lisa said...

No mixing! But I allow it, because really, how much fun is it with just one color?

Needled Mom said...

Guess I am a purest as I like my colors seperate. I used to make it all the time with my kids. I should do it for the grands. Hmmm.

Knittingand said...

I say mix the playdough! The point of it is creativity and fun. Besides, brown playdough makes great puppies and tree trunks and hamburger patties and chocolate ice cream.

Hmm, I'm hungry.

busy lizzie said...

I agree with Hubby! Sorry I fall into a panic if it looks like it might get mixed up. I dont know why either, because it is easy and cheap to make. Probably something to do with OCD! although looking at my house at the moment I cannot for the life of me think why I would have those tendencies!!

silverpebble said...

Thanks so much for this 'recipe'. Extremely useful for the drippy summer.

I agree - number 2 foxy is lovely. I do like their jaunty eyes.

lyndyloo said...

We are definitely a no mixing household!

trixi said...

I say if the play dough is for the kids to enjoy and they want to mix, let them mix!

TopCat76 said...

oh I can see I'm going to have issues with playdough when my 8 month old is ready to play with it... the thought of mixing colours to a muddy yukky brown is already bringing me out in a flush of OCD hives.... *shudder*

Sujomi said...

I don't like mixing, heck I even sort and eat my M&M's by color. However, at my house it all ends up mixed in the end. I can always make another batch and take a picture of it to remember it in its pure color state. ;) I need to let go of my compulsive tendencies and just let it go!

Vonnie said...

I'm a bit obsessive-compulsive about things like that so generally I keep them separate. Hubby is like you though - doesn't really object :)

Bettina Groh said...

The grandkids were due over yesterday after I read your blog... so I decided to make some with the 7 yo... We had a good time... she did the measuring and the mixing but left me to do the cooking! The 3 yo made snakes and balls ... but his favorite part was smashing! Thanks for a fun time!

Ali said...

I'm so anal I only let them play with one colour at a time! Sometimes two, but only if they beg.

And I know what you mean about announcing an empty house to all and sundry on the internet!

Yarni Gras! said...

my kids are so different. One child will mix and the other won't. of course, one creates and the other destroys. which is fine too....

We are on to making slime now......

Tabiboo said...

Definitely mix it otherwise where is the fun??

Nina x

ps. have you tried adding a sprinkle of glitter to the dough?

Jhon said...

I say mix, mix, mix!! explore, make new colors, watch them mash together, swirl, stripe and become one lovely brown in the end.

--
Jhon
Wireless Home Alarm Security Systems

Lainie said...

If you add Kool-aid (not sugar-free, the regular stuff) to the water before mixing, you can make an all one color and smells fun batch. Because of the different flavors, you can make some very pretty play dough.

MaryLea said...

we mix... that's half the fun! : )

Christin said...

I used to be so uptight about getting the colors mixed up, but now I say mix away! Its more fun to squish it out of the spaghetti maker when its 5 colors and not just 1. Funny how things change....

Thanks for the great recipe!