Homemade Play Dough!

Monday, November 11, 2013

I know I've been SO inconsistent with blogging this year.. it's been a crazy one so far! I'm finally starting to feel settled in at school, so hopefully I'll be around and sharing more!

I teach plant science to all the fifth grade students. We just started a new rotation and I start my unit focusing on plant cells. I thought I would switch it up this time and do a more exciting craft with my kiddos.. so I set out to make play dough plant cells. 

I was going to go out and buy play dough, but after a bit of research, it was going to cost a lot. $4 per child.. $80 per class... $320 per year.. for one lesson.. no way!  My mom suggested I make it myself. That never even crossed my mind! Thanks mom :) 

I found a few recipes online and off to Walmart I went. The recipes I found were from mom blogs meant for just a few children and I had no idea how much to buy.. so I obviously bought twice as much as I needed. Luckily, I will need to make this plant cell again in a few months. 

To make enough for 20 students I needed:
One 5 lb bag of flour - $1.88
Three 26 oz. canisters of salt - $0.48 each
Vegetable oil - I already had this (14 tbsp total)
Cream of tartar - Relatively speaking, this was expensive! $5.98
Four Kool-Aid packets (for coloring) - $0.20 each

$0.50 per child.. much more cost effective! 

*These are the prices I paid at my local Walmart - Remember, you're not eating it, so buy generic!

Here it goes.. It took about two hours. It would've taken A LOT less time if I didn't individually wrap each portion and make lots of different colors, but we live and learn! 

5 cups flour
2.5 cups salt
5 tbsp vegetable oil
5 tsp cream of tartar
5 cups water
1 packet of Kool-Aid for coloring

Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large pot. Add in vegetable oil and water and cook on the stove over medium heat (stirring constantly) for 5-7 minutes or until it becomes the consistency of play dough. 

This made roughly 10-12 cups of play dough. I portioned it out to 1/2 cup per child. 

I'm going to warn you, mixing this play dough is tough! I enlisted the help of my husband and a sturdy spoon (if it's not sturdy, it'll break) to help me mix. If I was doing this on my own I think I would've cut the recipe in half and just done more batches. 

Stay tuned to see how we made our plant cells! 


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