Homemade Sparkly Play Dough

Here is an easy recipe for making sparkly play dough at home with ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen pantry! The recipe has been circulating between teachers/parents at my daughters’ school for years… the original source is unknown. The consistency of the dough is really nice, and it’s easy to customize depending on what kind of food coloring/glitter you decide to add.

Combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, and cream of tartar) in a medium saucepan.

Stir food coloring into water (I think I used around six drops or so) and slowly add mixture to dry ingredients over medium heat, stirring constantly.

Continue to stir until ingredients are combined.

Add oil and stir. The dough is done when it pulls away from the sides of the saucepan and forms a ball.

Remove from heat and cool.

Flatten dough and sprinkle with glitter.

Knead dough until glitter is evenly distributed.

Enjoy! 🙂

Homemade Sparkly Play Dough

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
4 tbsp cream of tartar
2 cups water
2 tbsp salad oil (I used canola)
food coloring and glitter

Mix dry ingredients in a medium saucepan. Measure water in a measuring cup and stir in food coloring. Slowly add water to dry ingredients over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add oil and stir. Play dough is done when it pulls away from the side of the saucepan and forms a ball. Remove from heat to cool. Flatten dough, sprinkle glitter over the top, and knead until glitter is evenly distributed. Place in ziplock bag when not in use.

Classroom Valentines

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Cardstore invited me to try out their personalized school valentines… my girls had fun picking out which design they wanted, and I was really pleased with the ease of ordering and quick delivery. The past couple of years we made our own valentines, and it was a nice change to order some custom ones that still felt special. The girls can’t wait to give these to their classmates!

The girls “addressed” their envelopes using cut out photos from a xerox copy of their class picture. They added a “stamp” too. 😉

The girls’ class was encouraged to refrain from including candies, so we went to the dollar store and bought some erasers and stickers to include in each valentine.

Here are a few tips I’ve learned as a parent about preparing valentines with young kids five and under:
1. Start early and make/prepare the valentines in small sessions… doing it in stages will make it less overwhelming for everyone.
2. Choose a valentine that is skill level appropriate or, if anything, a little easier than what you and your child can manage… it’s easy to forget that you have to make them for an entire class, not just a few.
3. Remember that these are your child’s valentines and they don’t have to be perfect! Sometimes if you’re a parent with even a bit of a crafty streak in you, it’s tempting to try to take over… resist the urge!

And lastly, for nostalgia sake, here are glimpses of the valentines the girls gave out during their preschool and pre-K days:


~ gingerbread pancakes with poached pears and sour cream (made by my husband!)

~ the beginning of fall foliage season

~ an easy Halloween craft (balloons + foam stickers = $2 at the dollar store) that can be used for playtime and as decorations

~ chocolate torte with kalamata ice cream, caramel, and fresh figs at Bluehour

~ fun ostrich folders to make organizing my desk a bit more fun