We have been looking at colors this week! Matching colors, naming colors, and mixing colors. I thought it would be fun to mash food coloring into our homemade play dough and make our own colors and then mix colors to see what we could make. I made a batch of plain, un-colored, home-made play dough for our base. I then divided the batch into little balls for those little hands. I figured the color mixing would be faster and more exciting with a smaller blob of play dough to work the color through! Plus I had no idea how this was going to turn out so I told him we were going to be doing an experiment. He loves that!
My go to recipe is 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, 1 tbl cream of tartar, 1tbl of oil and 1 cup water. Mix all ingredients in a pan over medium heat until it pulls away and looks pretty dry. I knead it on wax paper until it is pretty cool!
First we made a little bowl out of the play dough and then we added food coloring. I wanted to start by making the primary colors blue, red and yellow! Sealing in the color by folding the dough together, helped us from getting too much color all over us! My nails are still a bit blue though and he is always a bit dirty anyway! Then we kneaded and smooshed and mashed the dough to mix the color through. It was hard work but good for those hand muscles! I let him go at his own pace and enjoy what he was doing instead of trying to get him to make each color.
Of course he wanted to start building with the play dough, so I continued on with the color mixing and figured I would let him enjoy his play dough play and I could talk to him about what I was doing and show him the colors as they came through. When he was ready he joined in to make the other colors. (You could certainly pull out play dough toys but I know that’s not his thing!)
Once we had the primary colors done, we started to mix the secondary colors which proved to be more challenging, but in the end we got all of the colors made! I loved showing him how the green started coming through. He helped me squeeze food coloring into the dough, but I had the most grip on the little bottle or it would have been very saturated!
The mixing continues. After we had a blob of each color I thought it would be neat to mix again with the primary colors only this time we would just smoosh the already made play dough together. I divided the dough balls in half so we could keep on mixing!
It was quite a process but fun to talk about color mixing and it was very hands-on! Somewhere along the way Liam decided he needed a dump truck and that the play dough balls looked like boulders! While I continued to knead the dough, he filled and dumped his truck and drove it around the table dropping off loads.
I love the process of homemade play dough from start to finish. It is so satisfying making a fresh batch from scratch. I usually color it while I am making it but this way certainly worked too and gave our hands a workout! It’s always good to watch him have to work to accomplish something!
Do you like to make your own play dough? How do you color it?