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Friday, January 25, 2013

Sparkly Snow Dough

I have been watching the weather report for the week and I saw that snow was in the forecast for today and I saved this post especially for your wintery Friday. This is the basic recipe that I use for all of our playdough, but this time I thought I would add a bunch of the forbidden glitter that no one in my house is allowed to touch. Ha ha! Seriously, glitter is so attractive to kids but man what a mess! This dough is perfect because you get all of the sparkle and none of it sticks to the table or your kiddos' hands. I also added a couple drops of peppermint oil to this dough and it smelled amazing and reminiscent of wintertime.
My 2 year old is obsessed with making snow families with this sparkly snow dough. She plays with it for 30 minutes to an hour at a time. Throw some googly eyes and cut up pipe cleaners on the table with the dough and let 'em have at it! Did I mention how great the clean-up is with this dough? Just take a hunk of it and pat it on the table or floor to pick up the other little loose pieces. Easy peasy!

My kindergartner and I got a little creative with the dough and decided to use items found in nature to make "snowflakes" in our sparkly snow dough. We used a couple pieces of pine tree branch and the top and bottom of a pine cone. He decided the top of the pine cone made the best "snowflake". However, the pieces of branch were fascinating to look at, in my opinion.

Another fun idea that incorporates your sparkly snow dough is making "tracks" in the snow. This could go along with a real walk outside in the snow to look for animal tracks (such as squirrels, cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, etc.). If you have Barbies, action figures, toy animals or anything else with plastic feet--make them walk across your sparkly snow dough and leave their tracks.

If you want to make it into a game, choose one person to close their eyes while the other makes the tracks. Then, let the first person guess which animal/figure made those tracks by examining their foot and matching it up with the tracks left behind. This is also a great opportunity to teach counting by 2s.
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Sparkly Snow Dough

3 c. flour + up to 1 c. extra (bleached all-purpose is best for white dough)
1/2 c. salt
1 T. cream of tartar
2 c. boiling water
5 T. cooking oil (the cheap stuff is just fine!)
several drops of essential oil or extract, such as peppermint (optional)
food coloring (optional)
1/4 c. glitter**

1. Boil 2 c. of water in a microwave-safe bowl or on the stove. Add oil and food coloring (not for the snow dough, but if you were going to make colored dough).

2. In a large bowl, add 3 c. of flour, salt and cream of tartar. Pour in the water/oil mixture and stir well. Add the glitter** and stir until well mixed.

3. After the ingredients are well-combined, pour the still warm and sticky dough onto a piece of foil or parchment paper and allow to cool completely. Wait no more than 2 hours or it will begin to dry out on the surface.
4. I have found it is best to wait until the dough is completely cool to do this step. Using up to an additional cup of reserved flour, knead dough well until it is soft and pliable with no lumps. It should not stick to your hands or table, but it is MUCH softer than Play-doh brand dough. You may need slightly more or less flour. Feel free to add extra glitter at this point if yours does not have enough "bling".

5. Store dough in a sealed container or plastic zippered bag for up to 3 months.

**The first time I made this sparkly snow dough, I used iridescent glitter mixed with silver and we loved it. Unfortunately, I ran out and had to use gold for this blog post and it wasn't my favorite. Feel free to use what you have on hand, but if you are buying it especially to use for this project, I would go with something that looked like actual sparkling snow. :)

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