A few weeks ago, I hosted a small wedding ceremony and reception at our home for my brother and his bride. My job, big brother said, was to "just show up," and, in theory, I could have done just that. After all, the wedding coordinator, my brother and his bride had taken care of the the caterer, cake, flowers, music, photographer and the dozens of other details that go into pulling off a wedding.
But I wasn't content to loan the house and garden and "just show up." I wanted to leave my little mark in some other way. A few days before the wedding it hit me. I would create a play station for the five children (and any playful adults) attending the wedding.
On the wedding day, I set up a separate children's table away from the more formal adult setting and threw on a vintage table cloth. My niece helped me make the playdough while I perused two local thrift stores for fun things for shaping or poking into the dough. I hit "play dirt" at our local Altadena shop - for $1.00 I got a bag with dozens of miniature forks, little parasols and clowns. I found a bag of of small plastic animals in my garage and pulled out mini muffin pans, a meat ball maker and plastic cookie cutters from the kitchen stash.
(This is the same recipe that I used when my daughter, now 19, was a tadpole.)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
Mix flour, salt and oil, and slowly add the water. Cook over medium heat, stirring until dough becomes stiff. Turn out onto wax paper and let cool. Knead the playdough with your hands until of proper consistency. Add a few drops of food coloring. Store in an airtight container.
- It's cheaper to make than to buy.
- All of the ingredients are kitchen staples, so you don't have to run out to the store
- It's less crumbly than the commercial version.
- Children can be involved in the making.
- There's no need to get the right color playdough back into the right color can.
- You can create your own colors and even jazz it up with glitter. (Pink Princess Playdough, anyone?)
- No need to worry about children eating it - the salt will turn them off right away.