While witches stir their potions and brews, you can easily stir up some Halloween play dough fun for your little ones with some from the store or home.
There are dozens and dozens of recipes for different play dough variations available on-line. This one uses boiling water but I have a couple of tricks for making a batch more safely. Plug your tea kettle in where hands can’t reach it but you can.
1. Into a large bowl or measuring cup, measure 2 cups of plain flour, I cup salt, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, and 1 to 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar, depending on how much is in the box and how much it cost. It helps the dough stretch and preserves it. Add a couple of drops of food coloring. A drop or two of essential oil or a spice will add a nice smell.
2. At this point, I give any little ones helping make the play dough a bit of flour to spread on the table. This gives them something to do, even if it’s a bit messy.
3. Now, I take the bowl or cup and set it in the sink. Then, when I pour the boiling water on it, if any spills it goes in the sink and not on people. Measure 1½ cups of boiling water and pour it over the flour-salt mixture. Stir until mixed and let it cool for a bit. It doesn’t take long until hands can touch it. If it seems too dry, add a little more water. If it’s too gooey, sprinkle in a small amount of flour.
4. Back at the table, put the dough on the table and kids can help you knead it. Make sure all the flour is worked in.
Sometimes, just the play dough is all that’s needed as kids smoosh, roll, pat, and stretch the dough. A plastic knife is a handy tool for cutting it. It’s no trick to squeeze it back together again.
For some Halloween play dough fun, you can add plastic spiders and other creepy crawlies. As their own trick, one child can bury something for another child to find. Googly eyes and buttons are great for monster faces. Little Sister used some more play dough for Halloween baking. Isn’t this play-of-the-day a treat?