I plan for summer vacation all year by clipping fun projects from my Family Fun magazine and storing them for later, let's call it Family Fun Summer.
Making sand castles and playing with Play Doh has always appealed to my kids and when I saw this recipe for sand dough, I knew it would be a blast! If you've ever made cooked play dough, it is the same recipe using sand in place of flour.
2 cups sand
1 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups hot water
(For my sanity, I prefer to pre-measure ingredients before beginning any cooking projects with my two younger kiddos.)
Mix dry ingredients in a saucepan, then add water. (Actually sitting on top of the counter to do so is totally optional.)
Stir until combined. (Fight with your brother because he got to stir for one millisecond longer than you.)
Place the pan over medium heat and stir until it begins to form a ball in the center of the pan. It will be difficult to stir and hold together well. (Scream at your mom to "Let ME do it!" when she tries to assist with the hard stirring in a hot pan part, because she doesn't have time for an emergency room run that day.)
Let it cool for a few minutes, (Ask repeatedly if it's cool yet. Ideally, you should ask this every 30 seconds.) Now it's time to build your sand castle!
The dough has a nice texture and dries to look just like sand! (Show daddy when he gets home, show the neighbor that stops by, yell the news to the mailman as he makes a delivery.)
**Tips: Let your pan soak to loosen the sandy clay from the sides and bottom. Do NOT rinse this down the drain! The sand will settle in the low areas of your pipes and could cause problems later. After soaking, use a spoon to scrap all the bits loose then dump it in the yard or flower bed.
Place a plastic tablecloth or place mats down for the kids to play on. This clay is abrasive and could scratch your table.
Give the kids a scrap piece of wood or cardboard to build the castles onto. They will cry if you attempt to move their beautiful castles to eat dinner and they fall apart.