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Well, here we are in the quiet after Christmas. My husband went back to work today after a wonderful week off (why do vacation days always go twice as fast as normal days?), and we’re getting back into our routine. It is cold outside today so I thought I’d pull out the peppermint Jello playdough for my daughter to play with.
It is amazing how long she can sit and play with this stuff. Usually she is a ball of energy running around our apartment and chattering up a storm. But when I bring out the playdough, she goes into playdough world and quietly pats and pulls pieces apart. Well, at least for 5 minutes or so. That is a long time when you’re two years old and have places to go!
I made my first batch of playdough a few years ago for my nieces and nephews and was shocked at how easy and FAST it is to make. And when I say fast, I really mean it. I am such a multi-tasker (i.e. easily distracted) that I tend to have five things going at once. Please don’t do that when you make playdough.
That said, I decided to experiment with a recipe my sister sent me. I love the smell of peppermint so wanted to try her peppermint playdough recipe but decided that instead of using food dye, I’d use Jello to color the dough. Note that Jello can be rather fragrant so if you have a baby or toddler who is still tempted to put everything in their mouths, you might need to be extra vigilant with them.
Well, I was not disappointed. (Thankfully, because that is a LOT of salt to go through!) I used raspberry flavored Jello so the color was more of a light pink and the smell wasn’t overpowering. My sister used twice the amount of peppermint extract but I halved that because of the Jello; I didn’t want those smells to clash.
I have to say that even though we have a ton of regular playdough (thank you, cousins!), I really like the homemade kind better (especially this peppermint jello playdough recipe!) It is softer and you don’t get that strange plastic-like feeling on your hands after rolling out 40 playdough snakes. Yes, I am sadly uncreative when it comes to playdough creations. Thankfully my daughter loves her playdough snakes, so we’re good.
Peppermint Jello Playdough
2 cups water
2 cups flour
1 3 oz. box Jello (I used raspberry; use whatever flavor you like)
1 cup salt
4 tsp cream of tarter
4 TBS oil
2 TBS peppermint extract
(if your extract is really strong, you might want to use 1 TBS)
Mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Form dough into a ball, and knead until it is soft and smooth. Cool completely before using.
A couple of notes:
- Cream of tartar can be rather expensive. For a project like this I buy it in the bulk bins where it is much cheaper.
- This recipe makes a TON of playdough. If I were to make it again, I would half the recipe. (You can measure out the Jello in a measuring cup and use half.)