Back to Filth Wizardry for play-dough, although she got the recipe from the lovelydesign site. There are tons of homemade play-dough recipes; this one isn't nasty, however.
Based on online comments and research, etc, I adapted this recipe to my Israeli reality (read: no cream of tartar in quantity). It's still pretty greasy, but that makes it smooth. Just don't leave it on any paper surfaces you don't want grease-stained:
2 cups of water
1 cup salt
oodles of food coloring
8 tsp lemon juice (cheap = okay)
Heat until almost boiling. Then add...
4 tablespoons oil
2 cups flour (don't have to sift first, yay!)
Stir until globby mess is pulling away from sides, then remove from heat. Wait until it cools enough to handle, and then knead into childhood joy.
Note: if you double it, use 1/4 cup lemon juice, and possibly as little as 6 tablespoons of oil.
It's the kneading that really does it. I took compulsive Crafty-Mommy-Blogger pictures, because I do appreciate the online community that puts tons of stuff online for me to cull. So here we go from initial boiling to glob to kneading to my finished batches:
We then used it for our last turn at hosting the rotating 'chug' with a bunch of other girlies. My plan of what to do with it failed when I couldn't get it to cling to the surfaces I had planned to use for verticals (plastic? metal? shoot, it was too long ago, I forgot what Plan A was already!). But it sticks to paper. So I tried to instruct the girls to make castles. Yeah, well, whatever, they made lumps. Can you tell which is Sroch's? Hint: it's very topographical.
Anyway, it's a great recipe. It stays good for a long time if covered, and it will eventually dry if you want to keep something permanently. Until Pesach anyway.
Well, the idea was to take a ton of tulle and make tu-tu skirt things. Although once I crunched the numbers from that site, it would have seemed for the 5 girls today I would have needed like 35 meters of tulle. A little pricey.
So I went for the "al-bad," which literally translates as "un-fabric." I have no idea if there's an American equivalent - it's basically disposable fabric, super lightweight and cheap, but awesome for craft projects. I used about 10 meters or so (about 20 NIS worth).
The idea is tie strips of tulle / al-bad / fabric around elastic, then wrap elastic around waist. So ours were more like hula-skirts than tu-tus, but miraculously, the girls were happy with them.
I cut out a million shkabillion strips of the 'fabric,' and measured out the elastic generously. Then I taped the elastic from the edge of the table to the floor, making a very primitive loom for them to work off of (I guessed, accurately, they wouldn't be able to handle holding the elastic in their laps and making knots for the first time in their lives).
I keep over-estimating their attention spans for these projects. After knotting (all but one girl had to be taught how to make a knot (too many velcro shoes!), and all but one finally got it) about 6 or so, most girls ran out of steam, so we had a break and came back to it. In the end, I added probably 10 strips to each of theirs, and - once again - Llama slept through the whole thing, but I had a pink one for her when she woke up. It had to be hoisted up under her armpits to not be too long.
Two long skewers taped together and topped with a pink strip and a gold ribbon made nice wand / scepter thingies. Here's the pictures. I edited out some of the girly faces, because SOME people don't want their kids' pictures on the internet. Whodathunk?
And so far, that's it! For now. :)