All Cooped up with Kids?

Stack of colored play doughMake your own Cedar City fun at home!

If you're feeling all cooped up with your little chickens, it might be time to get creative. We thought you might enjoy an old tried-and-true recipe children have loved for generations. No, these aren't originals, but they've been in circulation for so many years we all feel a little like they're our own.

You're kids would probably love to be climbing, playing, climbing and jumping at Cedar City's Park Discovery or the kids pond on Cedar Mountain. That's a hard, "No" due to the ever-looming threat of Covid-19. There's no doubt they would like to be swimming at the city's aquatic center, playing at the lake, visiting one of the many surrounding state and national parks or seeing some friends in their Minersville Homes.

We thought we'd throw you a little lifetime with the hope that:

  • You'll get a little nostalgic
  • You'll start feeling creative and want to play too
  • Kids will stay out of your hair for 20 minutes
  • Those babies will hone their fine motor skills while playing
  • You will make up inventive educational games involving color identification, counting, shapes, letters, cooperation, design and more

This play clay is soft, pliable and it stays workable when stored properly. This recipe is great for use with cookie cutters. It's great for making shapes, rolling with a rolling pin, crafting funny faces creating characters. It's not a good one for making and baking shapes you intend to keep for the next generation because it's intended to stay soft and pliable. It just isn't going to get hard without cracking and breaking.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the easy spread of Covid-19 and other viruses, please have children wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water before playing with and sharing the dough.

Start by setting out all the ingredients and tools you will need.

  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Water
  • Vegetable Oil

  • Food Coloring
  • Cast Iron Frying Pan
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Wooden Cutting Board
  • Measuring Cups/Spoons

Cooked Play Dough

1 C Flour
1/2 C Salt
2 tsp. Cream of Tartar
1 C Water
2 Tbs. oil
1 tsp. Food Coloring

In a cool frying pan stir together the dry ingredients (flour, salt and cream of tartar). Set it aside. Mix together the water, oil and food coloring. Set the pan on the stove and turn it on medium heat. Immediately begin pouring the water in. Do it slowly and stir it with a wooden spoon. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan and continue stirring until you have dumped in all the water. Continue stirring until the dough rolls into a ball. Keep the ball moving and roll it until there are no apparent wet, sticky spots on it. Remove the ball from the pan and set it on a heat-resistant cutting board to cool. This will be pretty warm. Kneading it now is a job for an adult. It will cool faster if you cut the ball into quarters and knead each quarter individually.

NOTE: Normally, we would recommend you store this dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Given our current efforts to keep germs and contaminates to a minimum, you might want to throw the dough away after the children are finished playing. It's inexpensive and easy to make the next time you want to play.

In addition to being an entertaining activity, play dough can be educational. Following are some simple ways to make at-home play educational.

  • Make multiple different colors of dough and practice naming the colors.
  • Discuss emotions and create faces out of play dough to illustrate each emotion.
  • Create numbers with play dough. 
  • Practice math equations with play dough numbers. 
  • Learn about animals and craft the animals you discuss out of play dough.

Please enter your ideas in the comments section to share with neighbors and friend.

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