What You Need:
- 1 red beet (½ cup blueberries or ½ cup onion skins also create wonderful natural dyes)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup salt
- 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Small saucepan
- Medium saucepan
- Rubber spatula
- Help your child get started by simmering 1 cup water over medium heat. Invite your child to help trim and dice a small red beet and add to the hot water. Any fruit or vegetable of a dark color creates a vibrant natural dye. Your child can experiment with blueberries, and even onion skins, to create several colors of play dough!
- Now your child can set the kitchen timer for 20 minutes and watch as the clear water turns a deep red.
- Strain the red water over a medium saucepan, collecting all that wonderful red water! Your child can hold the strainer while an adult pours the hot liquid.
- Invite your child to measure and pour the flour, salt, cream of tartar, and oil in the saucepan along with the red water. He can use a rubber spatula to mix the ingredients together. The mixture will resemble thick pudding.
- Now turn the heat to medium under the saucepan and hold the warm pan while your child stirs and stirs. Within a few minutes, the mixture will begin to thicken and resemble play dough!
- Turn out the hot play dough onto a lightly floured surface and allow to cool for 1 minute. Now invite your child to kneed the play dough and then enjoy squishing and squeezing his colorful creation!
Discuss: The role of the different ingredients.
Quiz: Contrast the structure of salt and flour. What are the differences?