The Crafty Pantry

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Not all the stuff we make comes from string, fabric and paint. There are a lot of things we can make for our kids that come from common household items, a lot of them coming straight out of the kitchen.

Because of my recent obession with Pinterest (come on, how do you not get obsessed with Pinterest?) I’ve been noting a lot of different little things you can make for kids to play with, like play dough, fingerpaints, colored rice for sensory play, etc.

So I decided that, instead of raiding my actual pantry for stuff like flour (it would be stupid to use the good King Arthur stuff for things we aren’t going to eat, anyway) that I would make my own little crafty pantry full of items for these crafty recipes.

crafty pantry
The basics in my crafty pantry

OK, so it’s really just a box, and a little overflow at that, but the crafty pantry sounds a lot cooler than “the crafty box of random kitchen stuff.” So there.

Here’s what’s inside:

  • Flour: I used a bunch in my cloud dough, which we’ll get back to in a second, but you also need it for play dough, salt dough, etc. It’s an essential.
  • Rice: for the rice coloring project, which I’ll save for another post soon.
  • Food coloring: for coloring the rice, and other things, I’m sure.
  • Oil: you’ll need it for play dough, probably for other things, too.
  • Baby oil: It’s in the cloud dough.
  • Jell-o: I found a recipe for play dough made with Jell-o, so I thought I’d give it a try. Bought a few different flavors.
  • Cream of tartar: also for play dough.
  • Corn starch: I had a recipe for sidewalk paint that uses corn starch. Probably won’t need this one right away.
  • Salt: for salt dough, natch. And other stuff, no doubt.

The Bit was home sick two days this week, and by day two I felt like I needed to do something new to entertain her. So after a bit of errand running, while she was eating lunch, I made her some cloud dough.

This stuff is pretty cool. It feels sort of like fluffy flour when you run your hands through it, but it’s moldable, too. I’m pretty sure I hadn’t stirred it enough when I gave it to her, so it wasn’t sticking together incredibly well, but she didn’t mind.

cloud dough
Give the Bit a spoon and a cup and she's entertained.

She played with the stuff with cups and spoons for a good 20 minutes before she decided it was time for a nap. I’ll say that’s pretty good for something that took just a couple of minutes to make.

Cloud Dough

What You Need

  • 8 cups flour
  • 1 cup baby oil
  • spoon for stirring
  • container for mixing and storing (I used a shoebox-sized plastic container I got at Big Lots for $1)
  • cups, spoons, etc. to play in the dough with

What You Do

  1. Add flour and baby oil to container.
  2. Mix. This is the part I messed up. You’re supposed to mix it for a few minutes, until it starts holding together really well when you squish it. I pretty much just stirred mine until the oil was incorporated. But kids playing with it will stir it up more, so no worries.
  3. Add stuff to play with and a willing kid.
  4. Be ready to sweep or vacuum after playtime is over. 🙂

Easy-peasy. And it’s pretty fun for adults, too.

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