Hello! For the past few weeks I have been on the hunt for all natural art supplies for my little one, Tad. Every day, he and I head out to our studio so that I can get some work done for my business, Under A Tin Roof. Though he usually entertains himself with his toys and books, he likes to “help” mama make things, too!
Now that he’s almost two, he’s starting to show interest in crayons and chalk for more than just eating, but that’s not always the case. There’s still some crayon-to-mouth action that happens! While I was researching how to naturally dye crayons and paints, I came across how to make your own play dough. It was such a quick and easy way to make something fun for my little guy that was not only safe, but really pretty, too!
I don’t love that everything made for kids has to be bright and flashy. Using herbs from your pantry can make some really lovely, muted colored play dough, and to be quite honest, he loves it either way! This took me about an hour to throw together and was so easy, I thought another mama might be interested, too. Be warned, the mixture is sticky, and you will have to use some elbow grease to clean out your pot between colors. But I didn’t have to bust out the steel wool, so it was a win in my book!
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp salt
1 tsp cream of tartar
1-3 tbsp herbs
Here are the herbs I used to color our play dough:
In a medium saucepan, mix together all ingredients. Each color has to be made separately, and the pot has to be cleaned between each color. This is the most time consuming part, but the final product is really nice and works well, so not a big deal in the long run! When it comes to your herbs, I suggest mixing them in a tablespoon at a time and seeing if you like how the color is turning out. Make sure all of your herbs/spices are ground or powdered! These colors are very earthy - it made me curious to see what grinding up dried roses or lavender might do!
Heat the pan over medium/low heat and stir the mixture. It will already be pasty and then begin to turn into a dough, sticking to the sides and bottom of the pan. Make sure you stir consistently while you work to prevent most of the stickiness! Remove from heat once it has form into a ball.
Place the dough on some wax paper or a silicone baking mat and let rest until cool enough to handle with your hands. Knead until smooth and elastic, like commercial play dough. I found that it turned out much better after I kneaded it for about 3-5 minutes.
Play! When you are all finished making, place your dough balls into a plastic bag or airtight container and store in a dark place, like your pantry, until ready to use again. See? Really easy! Also, can you tell that I have a wild little boy on my hands? That beaten up table - oh jeez!! Have so much fun making your play dough and knowing all of the ingredients that go into it. We are loving it!