Homemade Play Dough

Kids love to mold this into fascinating shapes.

By FamilyTime


"I'm bored, Mommy," is not a welcome statement for any parent, but during the long days of summer vacation, it's one you might hear more than you wish.

Summer is a time for fun, right? But for a youngster, the long days seem to stretch endlessly ahead of them and sometimes, well, they are a little boring. This is especially true when the weather is oppressively hot, muggy or rainy.

On days when you can't plan a trip to the pool or beach, when no one is around for play dates, or when summer camp is closed, tempt your kids with homemade play dough. (Of course, the store bought kind is lots of fun, too!) You can make the dough with simple household items and dye it in all different colors. Best of all, it provides hours of fun and kids love the fact that you can make it at home.

Your kids can mold shapes for preserving, or make items for games, such as "food" or game pieces. Let their imaginations soar.

Once the harden, display your children's creations. On the other hand, if they don't want to save them, let them smush them together and save the play dough in a sealed plastic container for another day.

Homemade Play Dough
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup water
A few drops of food coloring

Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until the dough thickens and holds together in a mass. Remove from the heat and let the dough cool. Turn out onto a work surface and knead several times until soft, pliable and smooth. Use immediately or store in an airtight plastic container.