Last week I spied this really interesting tutorial on Modern Parents Messy Kids about making play dough with jelly (or jell-o as they call it). We’ve tried making play dough several times now and haven’t really liked any that much as we found it a bit too grainy and well, salty. Bebito, like most kids, loves jelly and he thinks it’s hilarious when we use familiar things for other purposes.
I nearly always follow a recipe to the letter the first time around but this time I didn’t have all the ingredients (no cream of tartar) and I’d already promised we would make the play dough so I didn’t want to let him down.
So, here’s my amended recipe:
- 1 cup white flour
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons vinegar (was supposed to be cream of tartar but I didn’t have any)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 packet of jelly
Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and beat together until smooth.
Cook the ingredients over a medium-low heat, beating with a wooden spoon constantly, until it’s super thick, forms a ball and you find it hard to beat it anymore (kinda like what happens when you make shortcrust pastry in the food processor).
Set aside the play dough to cool by inverting on to a floured surface and allow to cool for 20-30 minutes.
When cool, knead it, adding in about half to one cup of corn flour (this really did make all the difference) to the mixture until it’s just the right consistency to be pliable but not so sticky that it remains on your fingers. Bebito really liked this stage! As is said in the original tutorial you could add food colouring at that stage if you’d like to but I really like the more muted tone of the “original” jelly colours – a mauve and a mint green is what we ended up with.
Store in the fridge in an air tight container – the original tutorial says it’ll last a few weeks and that if it gets too sticky to add some more flour.
This is really good fun, I like the smell of the play dough and it makes a lot of play dough so I can decide to make anything I like, even a really big truck like a semi trailer or something like that! I didn’t like that it took so long between cooking it and me being allowed to play with it and it took my Mama a really long time to get it so it wouldn’t stick to my fingers too much.
It took a long time to get the consistency right and this makes LOADS of play dough. Next time I will definitely halve the recipe and if he wants more colours then I’ll even quarter it. That way he’ll love it even more because we’ll actually make some jelly from the mixture too!
I actually think I’ll make these for party favours for the child guests at Little Lion’s Birthday later in the year and add them to the craft table I want to set up at the party.
The absolute best thing about this play dough though is the consistency – it’s smooth and really easy to work with when you get the consistency right. If I had cream of tartar it may have been easier to work with, I’ll let you know next time!