Making mud pies is about the simplest and most satisfying thing you and your child can do. So is squishing mud between your toes. Here are some recipes for other squishy substances you and your child can sink your hands into–but don’t forget about good old backyard mud. Plus some bubble recipes for “clean-up” afterwards.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup salt,
- 4 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons cooking oil
- food coloring of your choice.
- Mix all ingredients together. Stir in a saucepan over medium heat until the dough leaves the sides of the pan. Cool and knead. Store in an airtight container to keep soft and malleable.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1 cup water (with food coloring added to it.)
- Mix all ingredients together. This dough doesn’t keep as long, but it is easier for children to make.
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups salt
- 3/4 to 1 cup of water
- Mix flour and salt together. Add water and knead until stretchy. Creations from this dough can be baked in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes and then painted with poster paints.
- 2 cups corn starch
- 4 cups fine sand
- 3 cups cold water
- Mix corn starch, fine sand, and water together in a pan. Cook over medium heat until thick. Let the dough cool, and use it to make a sandcastle or sculpture. Decorate with shells, beads, and other objects. Your creations will harden and last.
PEANUT BUTTER PLAYDOUGH
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup powdered milk
- 1 cup oatmeal.
- Mix peanut butter, honey, powdered milk, and oatmeal together. Roll the dough and cut it out with cookie cutters, or make free-form sculptures. When you are finished with your creations, eat them!
- One box of cornstarch
- 1/2 cup of water.
- Add green food coloring.
- Mix all ingredients together. This dough isn’t for making sculptures–it’s just fun to ooze between your fingers! When it dries out, simply add more water.
- Elmer’s glue
- Liquid starch
- Food coloring
- Mix equal parts of the glue and the starch and add food coloring if you like. Store in an airtight container.
GOOD CLEAN FUN
When you’ve gotten messy from your mud and clay creations, clean up with a little bubble fun. Here are a few bubble ideas that appeal to kids and parents alike:
BUBBLE SOAP MIX[
- 1 cup dishwashing liquid
- 10 cups water
- 1/4 cup glycerin (available at the drugstore; for longer-lasting bubbles).
- Mix ingredients together. Make bubble wands from straws, cardboard toilet paper rolls, or thin wire bent in creative shapes.
Add a few drops food coloring to bubble soap mix above. Blow a bubble and let it pop on a sheet of white paper. Mix different colors and pop them on the same sheet. Soon you will have a colorful piece of artwork.
Roll a piece of poster board into a cylinder and paper clip the ends together. Dip into a bowl of bubble soap mix and wave it in the air. To make bubbles galore, dip the plastic rings from a six-pack container into the solution and wave them in the air.
Peggy O’Mara is the editor and publisher of peggyomara.com. She founded Mothering.com in 1995 and was its editor-in chief until 2012. She was the editor and publisher of Mothering Magazine from 1980 to 2011. The author of Having a Baby Naturally; Natural Family Living; The Way Back Home; and A Quiet Place, Peggy has conducted workshops at Omega Institute, Esalen, La Leche League, and Bioneers. She is the mother of four and grandmother of two.