I used the recipe for natural play dough dye from mini-eco and performed a little multiplication magic to adapt it so that 5 children get a large chunk to play with.
Before class started I set the turmeric and water on a hot place and left it to reduce. I set six bowls on the art table filled with flour, salt, and cream of tartar along with tools such as spoons, whisks and sifters I purchased from the thrift store.
When B arrived, she had this to say, "Why is the play-dough on fire?"
The children took turns mixing, whisking and sifting. There weren't enough bowls and tools for everyone so some had to share. K and E were so happy to share bowls that they got upset when I offered an unused one because they wanted to mix together (YES!!)
After the turmeric water had cooled (I added a few ice cubes to speed the process along) I added the oil to their bowls. Then I slowly added the dye to their mixture a little bit at a time and they used their hands to knead the dough. If it was too crumbly we added more dye. If it was too sticky we added more flour. When the dough had the perfect consistency, we brought it to the play-dough table (we have a dedicated play-dough table that stays out all year).
While they were mixing they had this to say:
B: I'm making yellow cake!
A: I'm still making it,
N: It smells like french fries.
Not soon after we all finished I noticed a lot of play-dough was missing. It turns out some children had made the dough into cupcakes which I found baking in the oven around clean up time.
They are so interested in cupcakes that I think this will move us into project mode.