My mom used to make clay for us when we were little, in big huge batches. We’d all put on aprons and sidle up to the kitchen table on snowy afternoons where we played away for hours.
The recipe couldn’t be easier, and making homemade clay with your kids is a really great activity. There’s lots of measuring and mixing and distracting from the fact that mommy probably feels a little bit bananas and needs something for the little people to do while she steals away and reads a good book.
I’m projecting a little, aren’t I?
Here’s the Recipe for Homemade Clay:
- 1 Cup Flour
- 1 Cup Water
- 1/2 Cup Salt
- 1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
I double the recipe because 1 batch of clay doesn’t give me enough to really work with.
– UPDATED – I totally forgot to add the Cream of Tartar in my original version. Dingbat. Anyway, add it when you add the rest of the dry ingredients, it’s pretty critical.
1. In a large pot on the stove, heat up the water and the vegetable oil on medium to high heat. You don’t want to boil anything though.
2. Add the salt to the liquid. Be sure to really cook it until the salt completely dissolves or you’ll have super salty chunks in your dough. Nobody wants that.
3. A little bit at a time add the flour into the mixture.
4. Like so.
5. Mix the flour in with a wooden spoon until it dissolves.
6. Keep mixing.
7. Until you get a really pasty looking mix.
8. Now add more flour and keep stirring until you’ve used all the flour.
The dough is going to look a little bit clumpy and doughy. It’s okay, you want it to look clumpy.
Flour your counter top or work space and dump the dough.
That doesn’t sound too great, does it?
Knead the dough like you’d knead a loaf of bread, until it isn’t sticky anymore, and separate it into a few balls of dough.
However many different colors of clay you want. This is your rodeo.
Make a well for the food coloring by sticking a finger into the dough.
9. Now drip a handful of drops of food coloring into the well.
10. I use about six drops. Get a little crazy with the color, I’ll allow it.
11. Let the color seep into the dough a little bit.
12. Now drop food coloring into each ball of dough, mixing colors as you see fit. I trust you.
13. Pinch the color together to make a little clam shell of clay.
14. Do this until you can’t see any color at all.
15. Now start mixing the color and the clay together.
16. Until you get a marbled effect of food coloring and clay. This is where the little kid helpers come into play.
See, we’re mixing!
Now play to your heart’s content with your little clay creation. When you’re finished, don’t throw it away, store it in an airtight container for up to 6 weeks in the refrigerator.
You clever, clever thing, you just made homemade clay.