“Homemade playdough is great for young children between the ages of one to 10—and I’ve seen it be a great therapeutic stress reliever for adults, too!” Nana says. “We’ve turned it into ‘food’ of any kind—my son used to make ‘pancakes’ for his baby sister—or it can be a farm for animals to play on, or a cliff to dig dinosaurs from. All pretend, of course.”
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2c white flour
1c table salt
4t cream of tartar
3T baby oil
Mix together and bring to a boil
After bringing liquid to a rolling boil, add food coloring of choice and your mixed dry ingredients. Stir quickly to get the lumps out!
When it has cooled down enough to touch, knead the dough and it’s ready for playtime.
Don’t worry—you won’t need to refrigerate it. Just stick it in a plastic bag and seal it tightly. Nana says it stays fresh for a long time and you can reuse it, over and over.
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“When my grandson was one, we captured his handprint in the playdough. I put it on a paper plate to start drying it out, then glued it onto fabric to keep it from breaking apart. When it was dry, I saved it for a keepsake—and then made a new one each year for ten years. You should have seen his face when I brought them out at his 18th birthday. His grown-up hands were huge in comparison to the prints!”
While lots of kids are lucky enough to have a “Nana,” we have a very special one who knows just about everything about children and grandchildren. She fixes clothes and cooks heavenly food and builds houses—with her bare hands. She also gardens and invents stories and creates magical spaces in ordinary corners of the house. She knows every plant and herb and animal in the forest—and can identify any footprint. She knows all the best spots for hiking. We have never found something this Nana cannot do, and so we asked her to tell us some of her very favorite secrets.