Thursday, March 20, 2008
Mixing up your own modeling dough
Back in the dark ages when I was teaching Social Studies I was developing a multi-disciplinary lesson with a Science Teacher, Mr. Mancini. We were creating a scale model of an environmentally friendly community and I thought it would be great to have the kids build models of the buildings and terrain out of clay. We had no budget and after pricing the cost of some of the building materials, I was ready to scrap that idea. Mr. Mancini had a recipe for a clay like substance whose two main ingredients were flour and salt. I made up a batch and it had the consistency of PlayDough. It cracked a bit when it dried but otherwise was perfect. It held its shape and could also be painted or the dough could be made in different colors using food dyes.
I was looking for this recipe the other day as a possible rainy day activity for my nephews. Mr. Mancini has since retired and is sitting around sipping cappuccinos in an outdoor cafe somewhere in Italy. Even if I could contact him, I doubt he carries that recipe while he travels. So.....I did a Google search and came across this recipe on Geekdad that looks to be the same as the one we mixed up those many years ago. I love the internet.
I remember building land form maps in my Junior High Geography class using flour paste. It cracked and crumbled and mine didn't survive the walk home. This doughy stuff works so much better. It is a handy formula to keep bookmarked.
[Image captured from Geekdad: Cooking Up Some Home-made Fun: http://blog.wired.com/geekdad/2007/10/cooking-up-some.html]