Squish and knead your way to homemade play dough with your child and help her learn more about making natural dyes! It’s easier than you think, and this play dough beats that store bought stuff any day!
1 red beet (½ cup blueberries or ½ cup onion skins also create wonderful natural dyes)
1 cup water
1 cup flour
½ cup salt
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
What You Do:
Help your child get started by simmering 1 cup water over medium heat. Invite your child to help trim and dice a small red beet and add to the hot water. Any fruit or vegetable of a dark color creates a vibrant natural dye. Your child can experiment with blueberries, and even onion skins, to create several colors of play dough!
Now your child can set the kitchen timer for 20 minutes and watch as the clear water turns a deep red.
Strain the red water over a medium saucepan, collecting all that wonderful red water! Your child can hold the strainer while an adult pours the hot liquid.
Invite your child to measure and pour the flour, salt, cream of tartar, and oil in the saucepan along with the red water. He can use a rubber spatula to mix the ingredients together. The mixture will resemble thick pudding.
Now turn the heat to medium under the saucepan and hold the warm pan while your child stirs and stirs. Within a few minutes, the mixture will begin to thicken and resemble play dough!
Turn out the hot play dough onto a lightly floured surface and allow to cool for 1 minute. Now invite your child to kneed the play dough and then enjoy squishing and squeezing his colorful creation!
Sarah Lipoff has a K-12 Art Education degree and enjoys working with kids of all ages.