Wednesday, August 22, 2012

jello play dough

 There's oodles of play dough recipes out there on the web, but we really like this one, so I thought I'd share anyway (adapted from the watermelon play dough recipe over at  A Magical Childhood).  The texture is just right and it's easy to make.
 It even gets the monkey stamp of approval from Ayla who likes to play with it with her feet.
Sylvia decoding the punchlines to bird jokes from a Puzzle Buzz magazine, Camille making another beautiful bracelet on her bead loom (for a birthday present), and Ayla sitting on the table playing with play dough with her feet :) 

This is about the closest we ever get to the stereotypical 'homeschooling at the kitchen table'.

 Jello Play Dough
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 (3 oz) package of fruit flavored gelatin dessert in your choice of color  (We made 3 batches: raspberry, lemon, and berry blue)

Dump all of the ingredients into a medium sized pot and heat over the stove on a medium-low temperature.
 Stir while heating.  The mixture will begin to thicken and get lumpy.
 When it holds all together turn off the heat.  Any lumps or tackiness will disappear as it cools and gets played with.

Each batch makes about 3 or 4 of the commercial containers of play dough, and smells lightly fruity  but without a very strong scent.  It is also completely non-toxic as all of the ingredients are edible. 
This lasts a long time if kept in an airtight container in the fridge.  We use zip-style freezer bags.  It can also be freshened up with a sprinkling of water kneaded in if it gets a little dry.

 Sylvia had received a Play Doh Cake Makin' Station for Christmas last year, which she enjoyed, but it didn't hold her attention very long with the little containers of crumbly play doh, but her and Ayla have literally spent hours playing with it with their new dough.

 We split each color into two separate batches.  One for Sylvia and one for Ayla, because Camille isn't really into squishy dough play, and not everyone likes their colors mixed.
 Camille, meanwhile, proudly finished the Master Sudoku puzzle in her Nancy Drew CD-ROM game (5 separate-yet-interlocking sudoku puzzles).
 And for Sylvia, the day is not complete unless she has dressed up in a fancy gown.  Of course she would dress as a princess for a game of kings in the corner.
May there be joy in your family today!


  1. Hi Nicole! This is the same recipe I use for play dough, minus the gelatin (I just stick food coloring in), my girls love it & it keeps really well too!

    Just to let you know that I have nominated you for a Liebster award, I hope you'll be happy to join in :-) To take part you must write 11 things about yourself and then nominate another 11 blogs which each have less than 200 followers.

    All the best, Chloe x

  2. Hello Nikole,

    I am a gallery intern at the Suzanne H. Arnold Gallery of Lebanon Valley College, in Annville, Pennsylvania. The gallery is currently showcasing an exhibit on food in art, a collection of still-life paintings titled, "A Feast for the Eyes." In conjunction with the exhibition, we conduct workshops for adults and children, creating artwork that corresponds to the theme of the exhibition. I am currently creating a poster for the children's workshop, in which the children will be making play-doh desserts. I wanted to find an image online to use for the poster that showcased play-doh desserts, and stumbled upon your image (the tenth image from the top on this page.) I thought the picture was very cute and representative of exactly what the children will be doing during the workshop itself. However, I did not want to use the image without your permission. May I have permission to use this image for a children's workshop poster? I apologize for asking this in a comment, but I could not find an email to contact you at on your blog. If you should have any questions regarding the use of your image, please do not hesitate to contact me. My email is The gallery website is should you wish to find any more information on the Suzanne H. Arnold Art Gallery.
    Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon.
    Katlyn Landes

    1. Katlyn, I'll you an e-mail, but please feel free to use my photo for your children's workshop poster, and thank you for your inquiry and kind comment.


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