You'll never want to use store bought playdough after you give this recipe a try.
dry ingredients into a large pot and mix to combine. Add wet
ingredients and mix again. Cook over medium heat, mixing and turning
continuously, until mixture looks dry and is no longer sticky. Remove
from pot (be careful - the dough will be hot!) and knead until it no
longer sticks to your hands and countertop. The bottom of the dough may
still be wet ad sticky, but should blend in fine. Food coloring can be
added with the wet ingredients (easier), or after the playdough is done
if you want to break it into batches for different colors. Use gloves if
you want to avoid staining your hands. Store playdough in larger
zip-lock bag in a cool cupboard (it does not need to be refrigerated).
It will keep for many months since the salt is a natural preservative
and anti-bacterial agent.
- 3 cups flour
- 1/8 cup cream of tartar (available in the spices section of grocery stores)
- 1.5 cups of salt
- 3 cups water
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 - 2 teaspoons food coloring (optional)
(many of these have a free day per week or month, so check the websites to find out)
- Randall Museum, SF, above Market Street/Castro. A bit of a hike, but worth it! Small indoor zoo, playhouses, hands-on science exhibits. FREE ADMISSION every day. www.randallmuseum.org
- CuriOdyssey at Coyote Point,
San Mateo, on the bay side. Small outdoor zoo (though much of it is covered), indoor science exhibits,
environmental education. http://www.curiodyssey.org/
- Aquarium of the Bay, SF, on the Embarcadero. http://www.aquariumofthebay.com/
- Children's Creativity Museum, SOMA (SF). http://creativity.org/
- Exploratorium, San Francisco. http://www.exploratorium.edu/visit/hours_admission.html
- Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito. About 2/3 outdoors and 1/3 indoors. http://www.baykidsmuseum.org/
- Children's Discovery Museum, 180 Woz Way; San Jose, CA. Mostly indoors. http://www.cdm.org/
- California Academy of Sciences & Steinhart Aquarium, San Francisco (GG Park).
There's a wonderful, but hidden indoor playroom behind the planetarium too. On Sundays
at 10:15 am they feed the alligator and at 10:40 am they feed the
- Museum of Children's Art, Oakland. FREE ADMISSION every day. http://mocha.org/
- Junior Museum and Zoo, Palo Alto. Admission is free though a donation is encouraged. There is an indoor portion, and of course the zoo is outdoors. http://www.friendsjmz.org/
- Hiller Aviation Museum, San Carlos. Children under 4 free with paid adult. Open 7 days per week. http://www.hiller.org/general-information.shtml
Go to the airport?? Why not! Watch the planes coming in and taking off, check out the art & shops, or every kid's favorite: ride the AirTrain! Park in short term parking, top level, go in and you are at the AirTrain stop. Parking is $6 per hour, AirTrain is free!
Indoor Swimming Pools
Ice Center at San Mateo (2202 Bridgepointe Parkway; San Mateo, CA). http://www.icecenter.net/sanmateo
Sea Bowl, Pacifica. $2 games on weekdays. http://www.seabowl.com/
Indoor Play Spaces
These are pay-to-play places. Clean, safe, fun -- and dry! Socks required.
Kid friendly and childcare for those that are potty trained. The childcare section is for 45 minutes. One member's suggestion: "I usually walk the
showroom with my kids, then drop them off while I pick up my order and
pay, and if I'm fast enough (rarely) I put it in my car before the pager
goes off to pick them up. Oh,
and the food there is inexpensive so you can make a day of it. Fun.
LibrariesFor free, high-quality activities, you can't beat libraries!