preschool & gluten free play-dough

i love our boys’ preschool (today is our youngest, first day ever going).  i love the socialization they get from it, love the creative activities they engage in and their teacher’s absolutely love on them.  plus, it gives me a much needed 8 hours a week to work, schedule client meetings, run errands or even just meet my husband for a kid-free lunch out (we celebrated today and met at coopers hawk – they have a fantastic gluten-free menu and my cobb chicken salad was delicious)

last night, i was the mom running around in circles, filling out all my little boys preschool paperwork, loading backpacks, labeling supplies, packing lunches and of course, making gluten-free play-dough!  i love play-dough, my kids love play-dough, but i don’t love the wheat it is made out of. anybody with gluten free kids, knows the pain of play0dough.  you can buy gluten free play-dough, but it is pretty pricey, and since i am making it for 2 kids for home, preschool & church classrooms, making our own is much more budget friendly and it’s pretty simple too.

{we have used the store-bought, soy-yer dough, and my kids loved it also + it is an indiana local small business, so i like that too.}

here are a few tricks i have learned from making many batches:

  • most recipes say to heat on low while stirring until play-dough pulls away from pan…i have found that of you start on medium to high heat and let it heat faster until it starts to stick, than reduce to low, it turns out less sticky.  (i don’t know why this helps, but it does…just be careful not to burn it.)
  • gluten-free play-dough will become less sticky as it starts to cool down.
  • if it remains sticky after it starts to cool, keep kneading in cornstarch until it is the desired consistency.
  • i always knead my food coloring in at the end as it is cooling…the times i added it to the original ingredients, i get a sticky mess.
  • i always make it in small batches and then combine if i want larger amounts of each color.  big batches, just don’t seem to work as well.
gluten free play-dough
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup white rice flour
  • ¾ cup cornstarch (you can use arrowroot for kids with corn allergies)
  • ¾ cup iodized salt
  • 1 Tbsp. cream of tartar (I always do a heaping Tbsp.)
  • 2 tsp. grape seed or olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups hot water
  • food coloring if desired
Instructions
  1. in a pot, combine all of the dried ingredients, the oil & hot water.
  2. turn on the heat to med-high and begin stirring.
  3. as soon as the ingredients start to stick a little, reduce the heat to low and continue stirring.
  4. play-dough will begin to form a ball and pull away from the edges (typically, about 3-4 minutes).
  5. remove from heat and place ball into glass bowl and allow to cool a little.
  6. once the play-dough is cool enough to handle, you can knead in food coloring if desired.
  7. if it is too sticky, knead in a little cornstarch until you reach desired consistency.
  8. it does become less sticky as it cools.
  9. store in an airtight container or ziploc bag.

 

here are a few photos of my little guys before we headed of to preschool this morning.  my youngest was not sure about the heavy back pack he was wearing!

note on lunches:  {i promise i will share this year some of what my boys eat for school…we are using the goodbyn eco-system this year}