We are still loving the orange-coloured Christmas scented playdough we made earlier this month, but I thought it would be nice to add a few more scents and colours. So for day 20 of our advent activities we made three different ones: Gingerbread (brown), cinnamon (red) and mint (green). All recipes are included at the bottom of this post.
Penguin wasn’t involved hands-on in the making of the doughs, but (as usual when somethings happening in the kitchen area) he kept check on my progress. And as soon as the first lump was ready, he sat down to play with it.
As I remember it from when I was a kid, I particularly liked to roll the dough out into long ‘snakes’, and then roll them up into more figurative things, like flowers, dogs, trees etc. Penguin is generally more into enjoying the dough’s intrinsic qualities, by squeezing, stretching, pressing and pulling it, with his hands or with various cutters and other implements. Making handprints is one of his favourite things at the moment.
I think it’s great to see him enjoying the playdough and exploring its properties, and I’m very happy that I only occassionally need to remind him not to eat it, which has been a bit of an issue before.
All three doughs are made using the same basic recipe, with different colourings and spices or extract added.
- 125 ml plain flour
- slightly less than 50 ml salt
- 1 tsp Cream of Tartar
- 100 ml of warm water
- 0.5-1 tblsp sunflower oil or other neutral oil
Mix the dry ingredients in a saucepan (no heat on yet). If you’re adding a spice (see below for what I used), you should mix it in with the dry ingredients. Then add water plus colouring, before turning the heat on. If you’re adding a liquid extract for ‘flavouring’, do so now. Finally add the oil (it’s not a must, but seems to help keep the dough from drying out). Over a low heat, stir the mixture until it comes together and wants to clump into something playdough-like. If too wet, add some flour (or water, if it’s too dry/hard).
For the red cinnamon dough, I used quite a lot of cinnamon, probably about two teaspoons. It made the mix go light brown, which then made it a very dark red when the food colouring was added. I put a slight bit of yellow in as well. It’s not an exact science… well, at least not when I’m doing it!
For the brown gingerbread scented dough, the spices added were ground ginger, cinnamon, and ground cloves. At least a good teaspoon of each, plus a bit extra of the ground cloves, which really gives that characteristic spicy gingerbread scent. The spices give colouring as well, but I thought it looked a little bit dull, so I added a tiny bit of red and yellow food colouring.
Finally, for the green mint, I added a few drops of peppermint extract (liquid), plus yellow and blue colouring. I used quite a lot of blue actually, but I’m guessing that the amounts requiered varies depending on what type and make of colouring you’re using. We’ve been using liquid colouring, but I’ve heard that gels generally give brighter colours.
I’m very happy with the colours and scents of these playdoughs, and Penguin’s certainly enjoying them too. I think the green mint is our most favourite, though very closely followed by the gingerbread one. Smells like Christmas!
PS. We also made some playdough mats to go with these scented playdoughs. Click through to see how we used them, and to download your free copies!