Thursday, October 22, 2009

Color Mixing with Play-dough

Wednesday we were stuck at home with cold, rainy weather and feeling a little cabin-feverish.  Thank goodness it’s no longer snowing, but still… we would love a little nice, sunny, beautiful autumn weather before winter really comes.  I’ve gone outside just to be outside one time so far this fall. 

Anyway, since M coughed, breathed, and just generally snotted (Check-spell is telling me that’s not a word.  Hmph.  It doesn’t know my kid.) all over his play-dough a couple of weeks ago when he was sick, it had to be thrown out.  And today we made a new batch.  :)

I love making play-dough at home – it’s all nice and warm when you knead it and the colors can be so vibrant!

We made two batches actually – one yellow, one blue:blog pics 010 Then we took a little chunk of yellow, and a little chunk of blue and kept squeezing them together and mixing them pics 012I asked M what color he thought they would make.  He alternated between “dark blue” and “kinda brown”.  He always says this, no matter what colors we are mixing.  Anyway, if you are wondering – they made….blog pics 014 GREEN!  Just amazing, isn’t it? ;)

(Thanks to whisperingwhispers at Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn for this idea in an email!)

Then he played.  2 hours straight.  I’m not kidding.  blog pics 016 He even skipped lunch. 

Here’s the best play-dough recipe I’ve come across.  I don’t even remember where I first saw it (it was at least 3 years ago).  We’ve tried lots of others, but always come back to this one:

1 Cup white flour

1/4 Cup salt

2 Tbs cream of tartar

1 Cup water

1 tsp food coloring

1 Tbs vegetable oil

Mix flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a medium-sized pot.  Add water, food coloring, and oil.  Cook and stir over medium heat 3 – 5 minutes.  When it forms a ball in center of pot, turn out and knead on lightly floured surface.  Store in airtight container or plastic bag. 

It lasts several weeks!

Have a beautiful day! :)


  1. Fun! Did you read Little Yellow Little Blue by Leo Lionni? That is one of our favorite books and we love to mix yellow and blue play dough while we read it.

  2. I should've mentioned Little Yellow, Little Blue by Leo Lionni in this post - it's a perfect book to go with this activity. *I* have read it... and then decided not to read it to M. He has a tough time with books where people are sad. Really, he bawls his head off if he hears the song "You are my sunshine" simply because of the "please don't take my sunshine away" line. ;) We've read some books that I thought would be ok and he just cries and cries and cries. I guess he is a very sensitive soul. Maybe when he is a little tougher I'll read him that book. Thanks for the suggestion!!

  3. I am glad you enjoyed this activity. I must be half asleep here, as I read this post I kept telling myself, boy this is sounds so familiar...then I read your credits to me giving you the idea, and it was "hit forhead, duh ummm" moment!

  4. You can also use koolaid to color the play dough. Makes it smell really good. :)

    He really plays with play dough that long? Bear likes play dough but loses interest very fast.

  5. I am so loving this idea. My kids love playing wit play dough, but I have yet to attempt making my own. I love the idea of color mixing with it AND the book that you mentioned!!!!

  6. Thanks for the recipe! It cracks me up how the kids just don't believe in color mixing, even if they see it several times and do it themselves. It's so neat that you found something that Matthew enjoyed so long.

  7. Love this idea! My daughter was just trying to guess what colors would make when mixed together. What a fun hands on way to do it!

  8. That is so sweet that he gets sad when he hears sad stories. Well, at least he can relate and empathize, right?

  9. I love this idea. Usually I am such a control freak about mixing playdough colors. Maybe doing this would help ME relax a little.


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