Kneading pizza dough made me think of play dough. I have always seen recipes for the homemade kind in craft books. A huge bag of bulk old fashioned rolled oats inspired me to try the Oatmeal Dough in Mudworks by MaryAnn F. Kohl. I found the book at my local Carnegie Library. The library is my #1 source for creative ideas. Don't get me wrong, the internet rocks, but there is just something about perusing the pages of a book. There's no clicking or searching unknown websites that might give you a virus.
So the dough has just 3 ingredients: 1 cup of flour, 2 cups oatmeal and 1 cup of water. You mix everything together and boom – you have a messy, sticky clump of fun. I let Button Boy identify, measure, dump and mix the ingredients all by himself. We talked about what he could do with the dough and played together for about 15 minutes. We ended building a snowman together, since there is no sign of snow around here. The snowman dried to almost a rock hard solid after a couple of days, but we had a hard time getting candy and ribbon to stick to it even with Elmer's Glue. Later I turned on some Jazz music and went to the next room to let him explore the dough by himself. He was in their for 45 minutes. He ended taking out his Play Dough tools, a rolling pin and some of my cookie cutters. He also asked me if he could lick the dough, which he said tasted okay. He also sprinkled the dough with some sugar sprinkles. He said the next time we make the dough we need to color it. I'm thinking all you would have to do is add a couple of drops of food coloring to the water.
We really enjoyed this dough because - #1 Button Boy could accomplish all of the steps on his own, #2 there is no cooking on the stove top and #3 all the ingredients are pantry staples. This is my idea of a nice easy project on a cold January day.