Playdough Colour Options

Tempura Paint Powder
Liquid food colouring
Paste food coloring
(available in cake decorating stores, or section of craft store). They look more expensive than liquid, but you use tiny amounts to get great colors. They last for years.
Kool-Aid (unsweetened) for color and scent

GLITTER for sparkly playdough.

Let the kids discover how colours are created by giving small balls of playdough.
One white ball, one green - what do they make?
One blue ball, one red - what do they make?

Playdough Recipes

** All are inedible ** - but not toxic

Store any version of playdough in an airtight container to ensure a longer lifespan.

Here are various recipes that I have compiled, depending on what ingredients you might have on hand.

*See separate post for ideas on Playdough Tools around your house.


1 cup flour
1 cup of water
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoons cream of tarter
1 tablespoon of oil

Cook ingredients until they form a blob in the pan. Pour it out into a plastic container. Cover with damp cloth. Add food coloring if desired.

1 cup water
1 cup salt
1/2 cup flour
Food coloring

Mix ingredients in pan. Add food coloring. Stir on low heat. When it thickens remove from heat. Put some on waxed paper or floured surface and roll out. Cut out objects. Air dry objects few days.

1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup corn starch
3/4 cup water

Mix the baking soda and corn starch in a pot. Use hands to make sure all the lumps are broken up. Add water. The adult should put the pan on the stove over medium heat and stir constantly. As soon as the mixture gathers together, remove from the heat. When it cools, have your child knead it into a smooth playdough.
Note: Don't over cook this playdough or it will crumble when the children use it.


#1 (Coffee Scent!)
4 cups unsifted all purpose flour
1 cup salt
1/4 cup instant coffee
1 1/2 c warm water

Dissolve the coffee in the warm water. In another bowl, mix the flour and the salt. Make a well and add 1 cup of the coffee water into it. Mix with a fork or with your hands until smoother. Add more coffee water as needed: dough should be smooth not sticky or crumbling.

1/4 cup salt
1 cup flour
1/4 cup water

Have your child mix the flour and salt in a bowl then add water. Knead and squeeze the dough to make a clay consistency. You may need to add more water.
Note: Your child will find that this playdough doesn't last as long as the cooked recipes.

1 cup cold water
1 cup salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Tempera paint or food coloring
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch

In bowl, mix water, salt, oil, and enough tempera paint or food coloring to make a bright color.
Gradually add flour and cornstarch until the mixture reaches the consistency of bread dough.


Activities While Staying at Someone's House

It is such a challenge to keep a toddler busy when you are staying at someone's house.
If they have kids then it is much easier as the kids will occupy your toddler and they'll have toys your child has never played with.

If there are no kids where you are staying - good luck! Even if I cart a whole lot of toys along, she will be more interested in all the new surroundings - including knick-knacks, books, souvenirs, and anything else that she shouldn't play with.

We're going to my father-in-laws next week. He's 86 and not fond of his granddaughter getting into everything. I'm desperately trying to figure out which toys & activities will keep her occupied the most.

He lives in Winnipeg so one afternoon will be spent at the Zoo and should be lots of fun for all of us. Another activity will be the Children's Museum at the Forks.

I've packed the following toys:
- crayons & coloured paper
- a few small blocks
- stacking cups (good for bath, sand, or livingroom play)
- baby doll with bottle, cup, spoon, dish, blanket)
- small ball
- many books (that I put away a few weeks ago)
- small etch-a-sketch
- cellphone

So what else can take up some precious time and keep her out of trouble??
  • Water Play at sink or with a bucket on the balcony
  • Sidewalk chalk (we have no cement in our yard so she should enjoy this I hope)
  • Colouring
  • Playground - hope to find one nearby
  • Indoor Swimming Pool
  • Paint with Water Book
  • Paint Brush and cup of water for outside painting of deck or concrete. (see pictures below)
  • toddler friendly websites such as

http://www.fisher-price.com/ and http://www.kidscomjr.com/ and http://www.noggin.com/ and www.nickjr.com

*this kept her busy for a good hour the first time I let her try it. she had fun "painting" everything in sight*


Homemade Chunky Crayons - Recycling!

My Aunt found a big bag of crayons at a second hand store, so I went to work at making the chunky toddler crayons I have heard about.

1. Peel off all paper from crayons (kids might enjoy this task!)

2. Cut into small chunks
3. Prepare Pan.

Muffin Tin: use an old one because it will get wax on it and surprisingly it is very hard to remove it all afterwards. Or purchase one from second hand store.

On my first batch, I put pieces of tin foil in each cup (I have heard you can buy muffin cup liners made of foil but haven't seen them). 7 out of 9 cups had wax leak underneath the foil and make a mess. Plus the crayons turned out very wrinkly due to the creases in the foil. * Not recommended unless you use the aluminum liners but I didn't try that.

Second batch, I sacrificed my muffin tin since it already had wax on it from the first batch. I sprayed it liberally with cooking spray. * This worked the best.

4. After preparing pan, pile your crayons chunks. I liked to stick to 2 - 4 colours per cup and grouped each colour together.

5. Turn oven to 250F (no need to preheat, this isn't a cake we're making!) and put muffin tin in. It took about 10 mins. Even if not all the chunks were melted, I turned the oven off and left it inside for awhile.

6. Remove from oven and let cool on counter. When they started to solidify, I stuck them in the freezer. An hour later they popped out so easily.

Option 2: Film Canisters - Place film canisters in a baking pan lined with a piece of tin foil to catch drips. Using a tin can, melt your crayons in the can by placing it in a saucepan with an inch or two of water on the stove. Stir the chunks (wooden skewer worked great) until melted. Pour carefully into film canisters. Some of them I layered a few different colours for a cute effect.

*Unless you want to use a dozen different cans, start with your lightest colour and then reuse for the next darker colour. This way the leftover wax in the can won't distort your colours too much.

Finished product from Film Canisters

Finished product from aluminum foil lined muffin tin.

Finished product from greased muffin tin & my Favourites!

These crayons will be used in the loot bags for my daughter's birthday party and the less pretty crayons will be used at home & our cabin.
I read somewhere that the washable crayons don't work for this. Whatever makes the washable will rise to the top and the kids won't be able to colour with them. Since my crayons were a mixed assortment of unknown brands, I made sure to use some of each type in a muffin cup.
I really enjoyed the project and couldn't stop once I started creating my little masterpieces!


Loot Bags

I made these mini drawstring bags this weekend for the loot bags at my daughter's upcoming birthday party. Im doing a 'green' theme so these are more environmentally friendly than the tradional plastic dollar store variety.

I used scraps of fabric that I have saved over the years and found instructions on the internet.

It was so super easy (I am not an advanced sewer). The instructions were for a certain sized bag but I just 'winged it' with my own sizes depending on the size of scraps I had.

Im hoping the kids (& Moms) will enjoy these and use them for storing little cars, snacks, doll accessories, whatever!

I enjoyed making them (since they were so quick & easy) and made extras of various sizes for myself. Im thinking that perhaps future gifts will be encased in a homemade drawstring bag as well!