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Florence's Play Dough Recipe

Florence Conner Hearn

When Florence was working on her book, Guiding Preschoolers (Convention Press, 1969), she experimented with a number of recipes for making play dough. Here's the very best one, and we offer it to her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and others. Store it in an airtight container, and it will last for weeks. And here's a hint for an inexpensive birthday gift for a young child: make up the recipe, put it in a decorated, airtight container, and give it to the recipient along with a small rolling pin and some cookie cutters.

1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar (do not omit)
1 tbsp. cooking oil
food coloring

In heavy aluminum saucepan, mix dry ingredients. Add oil, water, and food coloring. (Alternatively, the food coloring can be added as the child kneads the dough, allowing him to watch it change from white to red or green.) Cook three minutes, or until mixture pulls away from sides of pan. (You may add a few drops of oil of wintergreen, cloves, or cinnamon to give the dough a pleasant aroma.) Knead slightly almost immediately. Dough has a pleasing texture.