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Crafty ways to spend quality time

Posted: Monday, November 25, 2002

(NAPSI)-Parents looking for a crafty way to spend time with the kids during the holiday season may be interested in the following fun, creative and economical activity. It provides "together time" with kids and keeps them entertained during winter break.

Play Clay is a homemade modeling clay, which kids and crafts enthusiasts can mold into a variety of shapes, that become permanent after drying, to make holiday decorations, ornaments, jewelry, gifts and other items. Play Clay requires only three everyday household ingredients-corn starch, baking soda and water (with the option of food coloring and other decorations). Because it is made from food ingredients, it is environmentally friendly, gluten free and cost efficient.

"It's amazing what can be done with the everyday products in your kitchen cupboard," said Carolyn Wise, marketing director, ACH Food Companies. "Play Clay can be made into a fun project for the entire family."

Play Clay Ingredients

2 cups baking soda

1 cup Argo or Kingford's corn starch

1 1/4 cups cold water

Optional: add food coloring to water to color clay

Note: Parents should always supervise young children when cooking, cutting and baking Play Clay.

Directions

Stir together baking soda and corn starch in saucepan. Add water and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches consistency of moist mashed potatoes (approximately 10-15 minutes). If clay is cooked too long, finished crafts may crack.

Remove mixture to plate and cover with a damp cloth. When Play Clay is cool enough to handle, pat until smooth.

Unused Play Clay can be stored up to one week. Just place it in a tightly sealed plastic bag or container and refrigerate. Do not freeze and bring it to room temperature before using.

To make holiday shapes, roll clay onto a floured surface until 1/4" thick and cut with cookie cutters. To make ornaments, use a straw to make a hole at the top of the shape, so a ribbon can be strung through.

Play Clay crafts can be dried several ways. To air dry, place objects on a wire rack and let dry for at least 8 hours. For oven drying, preheat the oven to the lowest setting and turn off. Then, place objects on a cookie sheet for 10 to 15 minutes. To microwave dry, place objects on a paper towel at medium power for 30 seconds on each side, repeating until the Play Clay is completely dry.



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