With the school year ending and summer camp programs more limited because of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you may be looking for new ways to keep kids busy with things like arts and crafts or sensory play. But some arts and crafts supplies can contain food allergens. This includes items like paints (egg, milk, wheat and soy), crayons (soy) and slime (corn). You can make some of these items at home with safe ingredients.
Our friend Elena loves play dough and ooblick. Both of these craft recipes are easy enough for kids to make. Younger kids may need some help from an adult using the stove. After that, kids can have hours of fun! Follow along with Elena in these videos as she shows you how.
Commercial brand play doughs and modeling clays often contain wheat, a top allergen. Here is a version you can make without wheat.
- 1 1/4 cups rice flour
- 1/2 cup salt
- 2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- Food coloring/sparkles (optional)
Mix flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a large pot. Add water and oil.
Cook over medium heat until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan (about 5 minutes), stirring constantly.
Add vanilla extract. This if for smell, not taste. Mix thoroughly. Put play dough on a clean surface. When cool enough to handle, knead lightly. Store in an airtight container.
Add food coloring to the water to make colored play dough. Liquid watercolors can also be used. Food coloring can stain hands, clothing and surfaces.
Use vanilla or other extract for scented play dough.
Add sparkles during the hand mixing time for sparkly play dough.
Ooblick is a great sensory play substance and science experiment all in one. It becomes solid when you squeeze it. Then it turns to liquid when you release it. And best of all, it can be made without the top 9 food allergens.
- 1 1/2 cups cornstarch
- 1 cup water
- Food coloring (optional)
Mix the ingredients together. When children play with the mixture, it will be solid when they squeeze it and liquid when they release it.
Add food coloring to make colored ooblick. Liquid watercolors can also be used. Food coloring can stain hands, clothing and surfaces.
Tapioca starch can be used in place of cornstarch.
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