Play clay can provide children with hours of entertainment, but the fun doubles when the play clay is homemade. Children love working with something they've made themselves or have watched being made by an adult. There are other added benefits to making your own play clay—you get to choose what color to make it, and you have the option of making it scented! Adding a teaspoon of peppermint or cinnamon flavoring to the play clay mixture gives it added pizzazz.
Before your VBS, combine 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, and 2 teaspoons cream of tartar. Add 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon cooking oil, a few drops of food coloring, and a fragrant flavoring such as wintergreen, cloves, vanilla, cinnamon, orange, lemon, or peppermint extract. Cook three minutes over medium heat or until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pad. Remove from the pan and knead slightly almost immediately. Do not let the children help with cooking or kneading since the dough may be hot. After it cools, the children will enjoy having a chance to mold and knead it.
This play clay will keep for several weeks, if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. A small can with a plastic lid (especially a colored plastic lid) makes an ideal storage container.
This clay has a soft, almost velvety feeling, making it very pleasing to the children. Keep some on hand during your VBS week, Sunday school, or Bible club for students who arrive early or need to stay late. Let them sculpt a reminder of the day's lesson.