One of the most important secrets to home improvement is keeping the 2-year-old of the house occupied with activities that are not destructive. It is also nice to have those activities be inexpensive so that we can still afford home improvement projects. One of our favorite toddler diversions is homemade play dough. Besides being less expensive, the homemade stuff is a lot more pliable for little fingers. Our son likes to help us measure the ingredients, and when it is done, we add a rolling pin and cookie cutters (dollar bin aquisitions) and we have hours of fun!
1 c. flour
1/2 c. salt
1 T oil
2 t cream of tartar
1 c. water
Add a few drops of food coloring to the water until you are happy with the color, keeping in mind that the resulting dough will be a few shades lighter than the water. (Thanks, Heather!) Mix the colored water with all the remaining ingredients in a saucepan and cook on the stove over medium heat until it is play dough consistency. This will happen quite suddenly and just when you think it never will, so stir constantly. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
We have also found that this makes a great creative gift–just wrap up the recipe card, dry ingredients in a baggie, cookie cutters, and rolling pin.