We love to play with play dough and ever since we started making it at home, we haven't gone back to the store bough variety! There's just so much that you can add to a homemade batch of play dough. You can add in your own colours, scents, glitter, sequins, sand, foam pieces, beads... The list could go on! (And to be fair, you can add all these to store bought play dough, but it's much more fun to make it all at home!) We kept this particular batch simple and added tea!
Anyone who has been in my kitchen and looked in some cabinets knows that I love tea. Possibly addicted, I'll admit. I have probably 50 different tea options. So my kids are always eager to drink tea and do activities that involve tea in some way. Typically we drink tea while I read to them after lunch. But today we stepped it up a notch and created a big batch of play dough (using the no-cook method), but instead of using plain water, we added tea to the boiled water and let it steep for a few minutes.
We used one tea bag from each of these flavours of tea (raspberry zinger, country peach passion, wild berry zinger, true blueberry, black cherry berry - these are all from the Celestial Seasonings Fruit Tea Sampler). In the future I'll probably use two tea bags, to make the colour brighter, and the scent stronger, but it still came out perfectly with one tea bag. I had also increased the water to two cups and poured nearly equal amounts in the tea cups.
Then we got all the dry ingredients together and I let the kids mix it up, then I helped them scoop equal amounts into 5 bowls (we used paper bowls since we just acquired basically a million paper goods from a party - yay for crafting supplies!).
I squeezed out the tea bags so that all the scent and colours would be in the tea and poured it into the bowls. It seemed there was too much liquid, so I added plenty of more flour. The great thing about this recipe is that it is so forgiving!
Once they were all mixed up I set them aside to cool off (which only took a few minutes).
While we were waiting, I let the kids use the tea bags for some water colour painting.
The kids were very happy to help "un-stick" the play dough, as Bean calls it. Which meant lots of sticky fingers! We used some more flour, poured on the table in front of the kids, so that the play dough wouldn't stick to the table. The kids also put their hands in flour to help keep the play dough from sticking to them.. but they still ended up covered.
Once they were done, I rolled them into balls and plopped them on a plate.
But they were pretty heavy and the plate couldn't hold them to move them into the living room, so we used the cutting board instead. (The four pink balls were very similarly coloured, however you could smell the difference.)
We used our fold-out table for our play dough center. I asked the kids what kind of toys they wanted to use with it and they chose the Mr. and Mrs. Potato head pieces. Bean used them to stamp the pieces into the play dough and then asked me to match them (love when she tries to quiz me!).
Munchkin had so much fun using the face pieces! He liked adding, removing and rearranging the features.
And then crushing them...
Meanwhile Bean created a "pokeeno" (aka, a volcano).
After finishing with the face, he hammered it.
They tried counting all the shapes them stamped into the play dough.
Tea play dough is not complete until you bring out tea cups!
Don't they look delicious? (It seriously looked like ice cream and Munchkin kept licking it - yay for toddler safe ingredients!)
Needless to say, this play dough was used a lot! They were still playing with it by the time I was putting dinner on plates.
It smells really fantastic, especially all mixed up!
A very fruit volcano!
This morning I brought out the play dough again and the kids picked out some pipe cleaners and beads and popsicle sticks. They especially love beading on pipe cleaners.
They also made a couple funny faces and discovered what it looks like when they remove the beads.