When I signed up to take part in the Magic Square Playdates Challenge, hosted by BritMums and Petits Filous, it got me thinking a lot about what we usually do when Milo has friends over to play and what we could do to mix it up a bit and make it all a bit more fun.
Recently the time when Milo has friends round has become a lot more led by him and his friends, with a lot less interference from me. I'm here more as a referee in case any arguments break out and to ensure everyone is safe, happy and fed! Now he's six, he has his own very definite ideas of what he wants to do with his friends (play lego mostly) and he certainly doesn't need or want me getting involved. The more I thought about it though, the more I kind of wished I was more involved in the activities that take place when we have little get togethers. Just like when his friends aren't here, Milo's happy to play lego all day every day, with the occasional snack break, if I suggest a different activity it's generally met with very unenthusiastic mutterings, but once he starts to get involved, he usually enjoys whatever crafty endeavour I've 'forced' him to take part in.
Play dough was always a huge part of afternoon playtime and playdates when he was younger, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to dig out my old recipe and make some up, in an effort to draw him away from his beloved bricks.
To try and get him a little more involved I decided we would make up some accessories for our playdough and make some monster figures. So I quickly sketched out a variety of arms, eyes and teeth on a piece of card, Milo coloured them in (this kept him busy whilst I made the playdough) and then I cut them out for him. We also gathered some googly eyes and pipe cleaners we had in our crafty supply cupboard.
Milo decided of course that he wasn't making monsters, oh no, he was making Lego Mixels! We had so much fun together, creating these little figures. I suspect there will be a lot more playdough making going on again in our future and something I will definitely get out next time Milo has a friend over to play.
The recipe I use is the one my Mum taught me to make when I was probably not much older than Milo is himself. Don't be fooled in to thinking I have this committed to memory now though after all these years of making it. I have to call my Mum every single time I decide to whip some up! I know the ingredients required, I can just never remember in what quantity. This means I've also tried my hand at various other recipes I've come across via the interwebs when she has been unavailable and I still believe this to be the best recipe I've tried.
3 cups of Flour (any flour will do, I tend to use plain as that is what mostly have on hand)
1 1/2 cups of Salt
3 tablespoons of Oil (any oil will do, I tend to use baby oil, just because I like the way it smells, but any cooking oil is fine)
6 teaspoons of Cream of Tartar (you can make this without the cream of tartar, but this magically ingredient really helps to give it some elasticity)
3 cups of Water
Place all the ingredients in a pan, heat gently, stirring until it works in to a dough.
It's as easy as that. Ideally you want to add your food colouring in with the rest of ingredients, it's much easier to blend that way, however if you hope to make multiple colours, that's a bit of a pain. I often make up one plain, uncoloured batch and mix the colouring in after it's done. It's not as easy to blend and can be a little on the messy side, but it can be done.
This post is an entry for BritMums #MagicSquaresPlaydates Linky Challenge, sponsored by Petits Filous.