Not that long ago the girls and I were making jam tarts. Real ones, that is. They adore baking but the only problem was that they did NOT want to put all of the pastry we made to use as tarts, rather they wanted to keep a good chunk of it each to play with and make their own special things. I’m always one for promoting creativity so I went along with it, but it ended up leaving us short on jam tarts and we only made half a batch – plus a collection of adorable, unique pastry blobs that were rock solid and almost inedible. What we really need, I thought, is a batch of “pastry” especially for play, which is what led to me making some cinnamon cookie play dough. It’s very quick and easy to put together, and with the cinnamon scent it smells just like real baking.
To make it you will need:
• 2 cups plain flour
• 4 tbsp cream of tarter
• 2tbsp canola or vegetable oil
• 1 cup salt
• 2 cups water
• 2-3 tbsp cinnamon
Mix all ingredients together into a saucepan and then stir over medium heat until the mixture gets very thick and congeals (around 3-5 minutes). Towards the end the mixture gets very stiff and hard to stir but keep persevering and think of the great bicep workout you’re getting. Once it has become dough allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan and kneading into proper play dough.
I set the dough out for the girls along with assorted cookie cutters and a real, grown-up rolling pin. I also added an assortment of seeds, spices and coffee beans from the kitchen pantry. We used aniseed stars (which are fabulous for imprinting shapes on the dough), cinnamon sticks, coffee beans and sunflower seeds. In hindsight the sunflower seeds were a tad too small and messy and were hard to extract from the dough after they became mixed right through it, but it all added to the decorating fun and the kids really did have a blast with this.
Miss R focussed on making pretty cookies with neat, symmetrical patterns, making good use of the seeds and coffee beans.
Miss K really went to town and made a “party”.
Once the play activity is finished, you can store the play dough in an air tight container in the cupboard for ages. If it’s been a while you might need to add extra cinnamon to give it some fresh scent, and include the aniseed stars and a cinnamon stick on top during storage for use again next time.
For loads more fun, creative recipes for craft and play try visiting my craft recipes board on Pinterest.