Becoming Kindred Blog

Art, Naturally: Playdough (Gluten Free)

I haven't been brave enough to try out the crayons again yet and the past week has been just a little too tired for a lot of art supply making or arting to be truthful. But Aneliese has been thinking that play dough would be fun and I agreed. It is also one of those fun things that they are happy to do on their own when pregnant mama is just feeling kind of tired (that is allowed right since I only have seven weeks left to go!!).

Note: The colors in this picture are: Pink-Alkanet Root, Green-Spinach Powder, Yellow-Annato Seed and Tumeric. Again not vibrant, but not garish either. I am finding that I am getting a nice depth of color with the natural dyes that I am trying.

Note: The colors in this picture are: Pink-Alkanet Root, Green-Spinach Powder, Yellow-Annato Seed and Tumeric. Again not vibrant, but not garish either. I am finding that I am getting a nice depth of color with the natural dyes that I am trying.

Play dough is a pretty easy one to make and I know that is a common art supply that many mamas already make. Its nice too because the ingredients are common in most kitchens. The only real difference with mine is that we need it to be gluten free which can be a bit more challenging find a good recipe or to buy. I have made this recipe more than once and it has worked well each time. I stored it in the fridge for several months and it kept well but is always a bit crumbly while it warms up so I am going to try keeping it a room temperature.

Cooked Gluten Free Play Dough

(This is not my recipe but is from the Celiac Sprue Association and can be found here)

 

Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 3 minutes  Total Time: 8 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tsp cream of tarter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp cooking oil
  • Food coloring, if desired.

Preparation: Mix ingredients. Cook and stir on low heat for 3 minutes or until mixture forms a ball. Cool completely before storing in a seal-able plastic bag.

How to:

So now here is what I did a little differently. I mixed the dry ingredients together while boiling the water.

I added the oil to the cup of water and then added it to the dry ingredients.

I had hoped to skip the cooking step altogether but it wasn't quite working so I cooked it on low heat for a couple of minutes. The end result made for the smoothest homemade play dough I have made yet (and I have made a bit) so I really would suggest taking a couple minutes longer to boil the water and then mix before cooking.  If you want just one color, I would also suggest adding it to the boiling water so that it easily and evenly dispersed through out the dough; I wanted three colors so I didn't do this. And there you have a quick and easy art supply. Again I used my dyes that I am still working out...but getting closer all the time...but you could use food coloring (I know that there is a nice plant based kind as well) or kool-aid (I choose not to because my girls still tend to like sensing with their tongues!), and you can even add some essential oils. I also found this great site that has a regular play dough recipe and lots of different natural dyes that she has tried. The little jars that I used are inexpensive, re-usable, very cute. Does anyone else think a nice stocking stuffer, maybe even a candy cane theme of red and white striped with a hint of peppermint scent?

If you are interested in reading about the other natural art supplies that I am trying, you can read my intro, modelling beeswax, and my still needing perfecting beeswax crayons posts.

Helpful Hint:

If you have kiddos like mine who forget to close the lid tightly (or is that my responsibility?) or maybe get distracted from clean up, leaving the playdough to get a bit dry and crumbly, be sure to try this simple trick to revive playdough using glycerin.