Make your own sidewalk chalk and play dough

Are you looking for some fun projects to make with your kids or grandkids?   Why not try making your own sidewalk chalk or play dough.   Both are easy to make and require only a few ingredients that are easy to find!

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To make sidewalk chalk start collecting empty paper towel and toilet paper tubes.  Wrap one end with duct tape.  Use freezer paper or waxed paper to line the inside of the tube.  To make the chalk mix in a large empty yogurt container 1 cup water and 3-4 Tablespoons of your favorite color tempera paint.  When that is mixed, slowly stir in 1 ½ cups of plaster of paris.  The mixture will start to thicken but you still want to be able to pour it into your sealed and lined tubes.  Let set until firm when squeezed (1/2 to 1 hour) then, remove the outside liner and let it sit until dry, which may take a couple of days.  The end result will be colorful sideway chalk that is both fun to make and fun to use!

By making your own sidewalk chalk you control the size and shape.  Larger pieces won’t break as easy as thin ones plus it is a fun project to make.  I plan to share mine with my great niece and nephews as well as my sister who has a wall painted with blackboard paint for her grandkids to enjoy.

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To make a cooked version of play dough, mix together the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 cup cold water

Mix all of the ingredients together and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring constantly. When finished, it will be the consistency of mashed potatoes.  Divide it into 3-4 equal portions and add a few drops of different colors of food coloring to each.  Kneading the dough will distribute the color and make it smooth.  Store it in a freezer bag or air tight container and it will keep for a long time.  This makes about 3 ½ cups of play dough.

Homemade play dough is a project where kids can be actively involved (once the cooking is done).  Keep plenty of cookie cutters and other small kitchen tools for the kids to use when playing with the play dough.  It will provide hours of fun!

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Beth Marrs

I graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Adult Home Economics Education. I love to cook and entertain and spend time with my family.

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