A friend of mine who is going to be a kindergarten teacher this year was preparing for her upcoming year when she found a recipe for homemade play-dough online. She made it at home, and her kids loved it. Now normally, I wouldn't consider myself to be the type of mother capable of such an amazing feat, but somehow I was inspired by her blog about the whole thing. The next day I was taking little Jimmy to school in the van when he commented sullenly that there was no 'spearmint station' in his new first grade classroom. Of course I immediately thought of the play-dough recipe and promised him that we'd do some fun experiments at home even if there weren't any at school this year. Curious as to what type of experiments we would do, I had to explain to him just what we would be making. Obviously a light bulb went on in his head when I mentioned homemade play-dough, because he then asked if there was any way to make clay at home too - for permanent artwork. Well, after searching around online, I found you actually can make homemade clay! Crazy the stuff you can do with roughly $3 worth of standard pantry items.
This whole thing was a lot of fun and I highly recommend it. For the mom's out there leery of such undertakings, it's really quite simple (trust me - I'm usually the leery one). And the mess isn't bad either - though I would suggest anyone who attempts to make and especially PAINT the clay, put down an old vinyl shower curtain or tablecloth to help with the ease of clean up. In the end, the kids were really proud of their creations, and Jim and I had some fun with it too.
1 cup salt
2 cups flour
1 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Place dry ingredients in a bowl, add the water and oil, then stir until blended. Once the dough holds together, it's ready to be shaped!
Bake at 250 degrees until hard (for one to two hours).
Once cooled, paint with water-based paints if desired, or glue on glitter using white household glue.