Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Jello Playdough

One of my absolute favorite playthings as a kid was playdough. Who didn't love that stuff, right? I'm a purist, so I liked to take time to really enjoy popping open a fresh tube of dough and admiring the smoothness of it before mashing it into an unrecognizable blob. I was never really a fan of the colors, though, because it was IMPOSSIBLE to make a realistic looking playdough hamburger or playdough cherry pie using neon pinks and florescent greens. (Yes, I was one of those kids who made playdough food. Sue me. I was no good at making animals because I could never get uniform legs). 

Anyways, my babysitter reminded me a few months ago that now would be a great time to get Joe playing with playdough as a tactile activity, and I wanted something to break the monotony of the large plastic toys and educational videos. I found this recipe online (recopied below) for non-toxic dough made from Jello, and since it was imperative for me that it wouldn't stain hands, clothes, carpet, tile, I gave it a shot. Plus, I already had all of the ingredients in the pantry. Bonus!


1 cup white flour
1/2 cup salt
2 T. cream of tartar
2 T. Vegetable oil
1 c. warm water
1 three oz. pkg. jello (any flavor)


Combine ingredients and cook over medium heat until it thickens and pulls away from the sides of pot and becomes dull. * Note: it burns easily so don't put over too high a heat and keep stirring. Mold and knead until cool enough to touch. Store in a closed plastic bag.


The kneading part was, of course, my favorite even though it can be pretty hot right out of the pot. I had to work fast to get it to cool down because I had a hooting and hollering little boy aching to get his hands on the stuff.

You'll find that it makes about 2 cups per color, so be sure to share with a friend! We spent this past rainy Monday whipping up a batch for our neighbor up the street as a birthday present. The colors aren't as neon as the store-bought stuff, but it will smell like the Jello flavor the first several times you play with it. It's not really edible, unless you have a serious sodium deficiency, but it's non-toxic for sure. 

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