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You can make homemade clay for kids to play with over and over if you keep it in a ziplock bag or in an airtight container. Your older kids can help you make it, if they are old enough not to make a mess.
Here is a clay recipe that is safe for children to use. It makes a dough that will last for up to six months if made with cream of tartar and if it is stored properly.
This recipe will make a clay similar to Play-Doh. It will harden if left out in the air. If cream of tartar is not added, it will turn moldy quickly. By adding cream of tartar to the recipe, this play clay will last for about six months, allowing your children to have a lot of fun with it.
If you are not familiar with cream of tartar, it is easy to find in the spice section of any grocery store. Cream of tartar is normally used to make homemade frosting and is a white powder. It is an acid that is left on wine barrels during the wine fermentation.
Put the following ingredients in the pan:
Heat on the stove until warm, stirring every few minutes. Do not boil the mixture.
Remove the pan from heat and add the flour to the liquid in the pan. Stir until the flour is completely mixed into the liquid.
Next, break the dough into equal pieces and place each mound of dough on wax paper. Add two or three drops of food coloring to each mound of dough and knead the color in until it is uniformly spread through the dough. If you want a darker shade of your chosen color, add additional drops of food coloring, one drop at a time until you get the desired shade. You will probably need to wash your hands in between kneading each color of dough to keep the colors from blending together.
***Because food coloring is involved, I recommend not allowing small children to make the dough. They will get messy and then smear that mess all over your kitchen. Make the dough when the children are napping so they will have a nice surprise.
allow your children to eat the clay. It is a non-toxic recipe but would
you really want your child to eat dough that has been played with over
and over and has been sitting in a plastic bag for several month? There
is also the danger of E. Coli contaminating your bag of flour. This
happened in the summer of 2016 so it is best not to allow the children
to eat anything that has not been cooked. Supervise your young children
and explain to your older children that it is not good for them to eat.
Store your dough in airtight containers or in freezer bags and make sure they are sealed when the children are finished playing with it.
If you would like to save a project made from homemade clay for kids, allow it to air dry for approximately two to three days. Do not bake it.
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