Sunday, February 5, 2012

To Brighten Your Day

If you have kids at home, you've got to make a batch of this dough. It's playdough that actually conducts electricity, and let me tell you - it's really cool and so easy to make.

Conductive Dough Recipe 

1 cup water
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup salt
3 Tbsp. cream of tartar*
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
 food coloring (optional)

(*9 Tbsp. of  lemon juice may be substituted)

  1. Mix water, 1cup of the flour, salt, cream of tartar, vegetable oil, and food coloring in a pot.
  2. Cook over medium heat  stirring constantly.
  3. The mixture will start to boil and then get chunky.
  4. Keep stirring the mixture until it forms a ball.
  5. Once a ball forms in the middle of the pot, place it on a lightly floured board. The ball will be very hot. Flatten it out and let it cool for a couple minutes before kneading
  6. Slowly knead the remaining flour into the ball until you are happy with the consistency
  7. Store in an airtight container. While in the container, water from the dough will create condensation - it's normal - just knead the dough after getting it out.

I just can't tell you how much fun the kids have been having with this stuff. We didn't have any of the fancy equipment they suggested, so we just used 9V batteries and pulled LEDs out of a string of Christmas lights.

(If the LEDs don't light, you may have to pull them out of the dough and stick them back in the other way. They'll only light with the electricity going in one direction. You'll also want to make sure the pieces of dough touching the contacts on the top of the battery do not touch one another. If they do touch, there is the possibility that the battery will overheat and rupture.)

I had so much fun watching my five and seven year-old build electric circuits and then troubleshoot when the lights wouldn't light. Sigh. Such good science. I am so going to use this stuff with my 4th and 5th graders at school...


The Hubby said...

I suggest picking up some 9v battery clips at Radio shack. This will make the connection to the dough much easier. They are cheap and come pre-wired.

Also, buying a string of cheap LED Xmas tree lights is generally a cheaper way to get LEDs than buying them at Radio Shack.

For slightly more advanced kids, try the insulating dough as well.

Diane said...

I'm definitely going to try this - what fun!! Happy Tuesday :-)