Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Recipe for Fun!

So many think that the baby of the family is always spoiled. I don't know about that. In our family, the only allowance that I can see that Abigail has gained is a later bedtime than the other children had at her age. Most of the time, that is because of necessity. When you're running different places with older children, the younger ones have to tag along, which makes them stay up later.

From where I sit, I think that the baby of our family has suffered, if you could call it that, more than she has been coddled. I had three children in three and one half years. I was in the baby mode. Nursery rhymes, songs, toddler crafts, and trips to the park or playground abounded.
There's a four year gap between Collin and Abigail. Mac was 7 by the time she came along. Not a huge gap, as some families have, but enough to make a big difference. We moved when Abigail was 10 months old, and started homeschooling that year. She got pushed aside because the older children needed my constant attention. Oh no, she was never neglected. She got to glue Cheerios and dried beans to paper as we schooled. She filled in blank crossword puzzles with small doodles for hours on end. But somehow, we didn't sing as many nursery rhymes, or take the time to do some of the special things that I had done with the older children.

I've been thinking about this lately, and decided to dig out a favorite recipe. It struck me that Abigail has never experienced homemade Play Dough. How sad. Well, she's deprived no longer! I made three batches of play dough this afternoon, because Autumn and Collin weren't about to be left out. It was a hit! As much with the older children as with Abigail.

Here's what you'll need to make your own fun!

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 cup water
2 Tbls. oil
food coloring

Mix all ingredients, with the exception of the food coloring, together in a saucepan.

Stir over medium heat. The mixture will become thick. Keep stirring and scraping the sides.

The mixture will be glossy...

until it is done. Then the dough will easily form a ball, and will not appear wet at all.

Add a few drops of food coloring. Mix with your hands to incorporate it well. The color becomes more vibrant as the dough cools.

Abigail's first homemade play dough.

Yes, even the big kids enjoyed themselves.

And I don't feel guilty any longer.


Anonymous said...

excellent post, tracy! what fun!

i'm the youngest of 4, my husband is the youngest of 4, our daughter is an 'only'. while my husband and i got 'nuttin', our daughter got homemade play-do. :oD

proof that it's never too late!

Short Stop said...

Oh, Tracy...I have such wonderful memories of my mom making us play dough, and at all ages. I'm number 7 out of 9, and we all loved it. We had so much fun playing with it together.

I'm glad you made it for your baby!! :)

Stacie said...

Mrs. K,
Looks like fun!! Homeade playdough is really cool! I love playdough. Autumn's color of playdough is my favorite! ;) lol

randi---i have to say said...

I haven't made this in forever. Thanks for the recipe and the reminder to have fun and play!

Abigial--and all of your other children--are truly blessed to have you as a mom!

Beck said...

Hee! How cute are your kids? We love playdough here, too. I'm trying to figure out a gluten-free recipe because The Baby reacts to handling the real stuff.

Beck said...


Rachel said...

How fun!!! Does it take a long time to cook and do the colors bleed all over your hands? I love the bright colors and it looks incredibly smooth. I think my Jaymommy made playdough for me when I was 3 or 4, but I certainly don't remember how, just that I was very excited and loved playing with it.

Gena said...

I can so identify with your post. My "baby" didn't get nearly the baby and toddler fun that the others got. She has always wanted to do what the older sister does. We'll have to make some playdough, too.

Did you ever make Gak? We did that - with the borax? I think they also call it slime. My son loved that stuff. Very messy, though, and sticks to EVERYTHING.

Tracy said...


Rachel, it really takes less then five minutes to cook. It happens very fast. The colors don't bleed onto the kids' hands. YOU will mix in the color just a drop or two at a time. Fold the dough onto itself to cover the coloring, and it should stay on the dough, not on you. Your boys would love this! It is very smooth, and is especially fun to play with while it's warm.

Gena, We have made Gak. It's fun, too. I like the play dough better though. MUCh less mess!

Christy said...

I LOVE homemade playdough-nothing replaces that texture and smell.

Kelley said...

Oh my goodness...what fun!
I remember making goop and homemade playdough for my children...
I miss those days!

Wishing you a blessed day!

Daughter of the King said...

oh...this brought back memories...you are never to old for this....

Sheri said...

Oh Tracy, we have never made homemade playdough and I'm so excited to try it with Savannah! Thank you for being such a wonderful "mommy inspiration!"

Lori said...

We've made the homemade playdough before too.
Megan still likes to play with playdough.

Becky said...

Awwww, poor Abigail! She was such a deprived child! Hehehe.

She is well loved and well taken care and now even enjoying homemade playdough. I hope she has fun.

I remember those years. A loooooooong time ago.

And too bad about Mac's spring break. At least he knows he can get a lot of TLC and time on the couch. Oh ... and ice cream. Lots of ice cream.

Have a great week Tracy.

Samantha said...

What a sweet post, and a fun idea!

Sharon said...

Okay Tracy, admit it...you played with it too!;-)
Many years ago when I was babysitting four cousins (all boys) I made some salt dough and we had so much fun!!

Tracy said...

So fun! Love the bright colors...I will have to try it!

Julieann said...

Okay!!! You have totally inspired me to do this---I LOVED all the pictures!!!


Persuaded said...

I haven't made play-doh in years!! Have you ever tried coloring it with Kool-Aid? It makes it smell yummy too if you can believe it.

Thanks for reminding me how much fun it is... I am going to do this with the kids next week. They will thank you:-)

nannykim said...

We used to use that same recipe!! Thanks for sharing it---play dough is so much fun at any time--even at 50's!!!