February 1, 2010

MESSY MONDAY

All right – are you ready to get messy? Today I’m going to start with a Messy Monday 101 – something I think that all moms should do at some time with their little ones – make play clay. It’s so easy to pull out the Play-Doh, but it’s also fun to start from scratch and make something with your hands that you and your kids get to play with together. If you haven’t made play clay before, here’s your chance. If your kids are old enough to measure and/or pour, let them. If you’ve made play clay before, try a different recipe or make it in a different color or add a scent or glitter. My favorite recipe is a cooked play clay that uses corn starch – it’s from the back of the Clabber Girl Corn Starch container.
Here are the ingredients:
1 cup salt
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
food coloring – optional
Mix salt and 1/3 cup water over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and add cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water. Stir and add food coloring. Stir until it starts to thicken (looks like mashed potatoes). Let it cool in the pan. Knead on a board or countertop that has been dusted with cornstarch like this (this is usually my kids’ favorite part – the clay is warm and it’s fun to get the starch all over the place):
Play, play, play. If you want to add some excitement to the play clay, split it into three pieces (before adding the food coloring) and make one piece red, one yellow, and one blue (the primary colors). Let your kids experiment with color mixing – mix up the secondary colors (orange, green, and purple). Glitter, essential oils, and Jell-o powder can also be added to heighten the play clay experience. My littles tend to really enjoy just molding the clay into creatures and playing with them. When you are done, store the unused clay in the refrigerator (you can put a damp sponge on top of the clay to keep it longer).
 
Here are a couple other recipes and ideas for play clay – check them out here.
Next week’s Messy Monday? Watercolor paints, watercolor paper, and salt – homemade Valentine theme. Come on back for this one – you and your kids will LOVE it!

Later this week I’ll be sharing some fun craft room ideas – fun clips to make and ways to store the stuff.