Yesterday I spent my afternoon in the company of a friend and a 19 month old (accompanied by his mom) at Frankenart Mart. This is the interactive gallery owned by my co-worker Leslie. Currently, her themed show is "Elementary School." I enjoy participating in her gallery and have to be creative when I do (though at the Mart, art is for everyone... even little 5 year-olds add to the show). I decided to use my baking skills and concoct a Play-Dough from scratch and teach a class. On Saturday I assumed the role of Professor Townsend (as all visiting teachers are donned) and taught the art of play dough making.
I have made play dough a few times before - mostly in college for a group of kids I used to babysit - but I had not come across the right recipe until now. After doing some research I revised my recipe to include Baby Oil instead of vegetable oil and reduced the amount of salt. What came out was a really soft and pliable dough, very closely matched to the real Play Dough. It takes a little effort and a little more time but it is definitely worth it. Adding baby oil instead of vegetable oil also gives it a longer life without molding or going rancid. Here is the recipe, I hope those of you with kids find time to try it. (I definietly had a great time playing with it!)
1 1/2 C water
2 T Baby Oil
food coloring (5 drops made a nice pastel colored dough)
2 C flour
1/2 C salt
2T cream of tartar