It's rather tempting to throw this muck away, because let's face it, almost everything a toddler makes out of it, no matter how much they try to convince you it's a 'dog' a 'man' or a 'flower' simply looks to you like... poo. If indeed you are ready to toss it, instead of binning, why not bake your play-dough, and make pretend gingerbread biscuits as a preschooler project.
- Roll the play-dough into a flat pancake - you want it to be biscuit-thin.
- Use biscuit / cookie cutters to shape the play-dough.
- Optional - use a bamboo kebab skewer to poke holes for eyes or future fixing points.
- Optional - gently push or draw shapes and patterns into the surface.
- Lay your 'gingerbread' biscuits on baking paper, and an oven tray.
- Bake your biscuits at a low temperature (ours were in the oven at 100*C for 20 minutes, then I turned them over, turned the oven off and left them in there for another 30 minutes while the oven cooled down.)
- If the biscuits are not fully dry and hard when you bring them out (ours were pretty rigid, but felt soft in the center), leave them to air dry overnight.
Tea party anyone?
Of course, this project only works if your children are old enough to understand they're not edible... that said, my four and a half year old still seemed sad when they came out of the oven and was reminded they were for play only. If you made your own (cookie-coloured!) play-dough I guess the worst that could happen is they'd ingest too much salt.
Things you could also try:
- Making them out of new, fresh, clean coloured play-dough.
- Adding pretty baubles and other embellishments before baking (although I am suspicious they may not last long as the end result is fairly brittle).
- Tie them with ribbons and hang them as Christmas Tree decorations.
- Roll doilies over the surface to add a pretty texture before baking.
Now go on - go get baking... he he.