Part of my master plan for Madeline was keeping her ignorant about the existence of playdough until she was old enough not to be messy with it or try to eat it, whenever that happened to be. As the evidence shows, I've failed in that endeavor. She was introduced to the fun of playdough in the open playtime that the local YMCA has every weekday morning, and she did okay. I made her a batch at home (using this recipe), but she seemed to really like the assortment of tools that were provided at the Y to use with the dough. I left all of my cookie cutters and things like that back in Calgary, so when we were out at Toys R Us last week I picked up a set of special playdough tools that included two cans of the authentic stuff. Did Madeline try to eat it? Yes, but only twice, and I'm not really worried about any further oral investigation. I tasted a wee bit myself, and frankly, the salty-soapy flavour just isn't appealing.
The homemade playdough at the Y is really nice - it looks and smells like cherry bubblegum. I was chatting with the lovely lady who makes it for the preschool playtime and after-school programs, and she promised to pass along the recipe to me. She revealed that her secret ingredient is Kool-Aid.