As part of Molly’s magic themed 5th birthday party I wanted to give the children something magic for their party bags. On pinterest I pinned a brilliant post about how to make magic play dough – it looked perfect – low-cost and great fun. The recipe came from a wonderful site Come Together Kids I had already visited with loads of great ideas.
The only problem was the ingredient which provided the colour and scent was kool aid – something we don’t get in the UK. I saw you can order it on ebay but was worried it wouldn’t get here in time. So I decided to use something we do get here: jelly. I used the jelly packets where jelly is like a dry ingredient. they work well because when you mix it with the other dry ingredients it looks colourless, it’s only when you add the wet ingredients that the magic happens and it changes colour and you can smell it.
Jelly creates a really lovely play dough because it seems even more elastic than usual home-made play dough. In some ways it reminded me more of the shop bought playdoh. The colours are quite delicate pastel shades, I might experiment and see if adding another jelly mix will make them brighter.
The fun thing about homemade jelly is that the children can make it themselves. You only need to be careful with adding the hot water. I gave it a few stirs first so it cooled down. If you want the magic part to be a complete surprise then make up the dry part while the children aren’t there so they don’t know what is going to happen. Then add the hot water and oil in front of them so they can watch the colour changing.
When we made this for party favours we put the dry mix in sandwich bags and tied some curling ribbon around it. For the instructions of what to write look at Come Together Kids and you will see a great set of instructions. My printer wasn’t working at the time but luckily my SIl printed them off for me – what would I do without family. I also drafted in my mum, who tied bows around the mix.
- 260g (9oz) flour (1 1/3 of a cup)
- 2 packets of jelly
- 50g (2 0z) salt (1/4 of cup)
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 8 fluid oz (1 cup) of water
- 1 1/2 tbs of oil
We had so much fun making and playing with the play dough and when I went into Molly’s class to help for the afternoon all the children were really excited to tell me what colour and smell their play dough had (except for one boy who said his smelt of sick!)
My only reservation with doing it for another year was that I would stick to giving it when I know it would be gratefully received by the parents. Not everyone likes the same things and one child was really upset when I spoke to them because they were not allowed to play with the magic play dough – I’m thinking because of the mess. It did make me a bit sad because he really wanted to know what happened when it changed colour and I kind of wish I hadn’t put him in that position.