How to Make Gingerbread Play-Dough With

Your Kids for the Holidays!

It's a terrific idea to make play-dough with your kids each month. It stays soft and fresh in a plastic bag or Tupperware container for about 30 days but then needs to get refreshed. When you make another batch with a different color, texture, or scent, your children get excited about playing with it all over again. Since play-dough is ideal for building fine motor skills, young children should have access to it daily. I'd store ours on a low shelf in the pantry along with fun tools to use: a rolling pin, plastic knives, and a garlic press. I'd also include buttons, toothpicks, pegs, and marbles for creating designs. Sequins and glitter also had pizzazz.

My sons and I would make Gingerbread Play-Dough at the beginning of December, and it was always a favorite. What a terrific way to get in the holiday spirit! I'd put out my cookie cutter collection -- many of which were gingerbread men -- and the boys would play for hours: rolling, pounding, cutting, and pretending. There's no better way to strengthen those little fingers and hands for what comes ahead in kindergarten: holding a pencil, cutting with scissors, and drawing with crayons. 

Gingerbread Play-Dough Recipe

2 cups flour

1 cup salt

4 teaspoons cream of tartar

2 cups water

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

any combination of cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, etc.

Boil the water. In another bowl, mix all the other ingredients. You will want enough spice to turn the dough light brown. Pour boiling water on top. Mix until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Put dough onto waxed paper and knead until it becomes soft and smooth.

Now it's time to put on some holiday music and get creative with your play-dough!

There's no under-estimating the importance of play-dough in a child's life. These tools are perfect for building strong fingers and hands. They spark a child's ingenuity and imagination. This set makes the perfect holiday or birthday gift. 

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