To say this winter has been brutal would be a giant understatement. We have had every kind of precipitation and weeks upon weeks of freezing temps. I know that I always complain about the winter weather on this blog but this winter most definitely takes the cake. My saving grace this winter has really been play dough. It is something both the Bee and Bean can always agree on, they can almost always play nicely together (at least for a while) and there are endless play dough possibilities.
On one of our many snow days, the girls woke up needing something new and I woke up needing a warm cup with a little caffeine. Combining a cup of hot tea with play dough seems like the perfect combinations for this winter. Not to mention that we have made a lot of batches of play dough this winter so something a little different was a nice change. I originally read about tea infused play dough a few years ago and have been wanting to try it for a long time, but just finally got around to it. We started by getting out a bunch of tea bags, I am a fan of a good cup of tea so we had plenty to choose from. The girls selected three types of tea, a chai, a passion fruit and an earl gray.
We started by brewing each of the three tea bags in a cup of hot water. The girls liked smelling each one and picking their favorites. While the tea was steeping I started to mix the play dough. I used our regular recipe but halved it since I was making 3 different flavors.
1 cup of flour
1/2 cup of salt
1 tablespoon of oil
2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
I mixed all the ingredients in a saucepan and then added one cup of the steeped tea to the pot. I mixed all the ingredients over high heat until they came together to form the dough, about 5 minutes. After the dough formed a ball I dumped it out on the counter to cool and kneaded the dough once it was cool to the touch. After fully cooling I turned the first batch of chai play dough over to the girls and started the next two batches using the same recipe.
We didn't add any food coloring to the chai or passion fruit play doughs the teas had a nice pinkish color and didn't need any color. The Earl Gray didn't really have a color so the girls decided they wanted to add yellow food coloring to that batch. The Bee explained to me that the tea smelled yellow, a fascinating statement that made me think that matching colors to smells could be a fun experiment for another day.
Over time the three batches of play dough got mashed together but the delicious tea smell held strong making the play dough fun to play with for a few weeks. We stored the dough in a plastic bag when not in use and it has lasted a good while, seen plenty of use and been a huge savior on all these cold, snowy afternoons.