NEW CASTLE —
Flour, salt, cream of tartar, water, food coloring and vegetable oil are the ingredients needed to make homemade Play-Doh.
That was one of the lessons taught to fourth-grade teachers Wednesday while their students were off petting farm animals and learning about where their food comes from.
More than 250 students and teachers from the Laurel, Neshannock Shenango and Ellwood City school districts went to the Lawrence County Fairgrounds for Ag Encounter, a hands-on program that teaches about the world of agriculture, farm animals and products from the fields.
The two-day event — sponsored by the Penn State Agricultural Extension Office, Future Farmers of America chapters and local farmers — started Tuesday. That day, students from St. Vitus, New Castle Christian Academy, Holy Redeemer, Mohawk, New Castle, Union and Wilmington schools attended.
Some students saw live cows, pigs, sheep and chickens for the first time and were allowed to pet them.
Various stations were set up to teach different subjects and the sound of a siren every 15 minutes signaled the time for the children to move to another station to learn a different aspect of farm life.
For example, a live cow and calves were used to teach where milk comes from. Other stations featured chickens and eggs, pigs, beef cows, lambs and wool, fruits and vegetables, soils and how apples grow.
Members of FFA and 4-H from local high schools, with help from 4-H advisers, delivered the lectures to the youngsters.
Lawrence County 4-H director Bryan Dickinson gave step-by-step instructions to teachers on how to make the Play-Doh, with Ellwood City’s Perry Intermediate School teachers Lisa Ovial and Craig Mills trying their hand at it.
He noted the homemade variety does not have the characteristic smell most people have come to know and love. Following is his recipe:
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup salt
- 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
- 1 cup water, with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil added to it
Food coloring, added to the water
Place the flour in a deep saucepan and mix with dry ingredients. Gradually add the colored water mixture, stirring while mixing, until it is smooth.
Place pan on medium-high burner and cook, stirring constantly, for about five minutes, until stiff.
The modeling compound can be turned onto a paper plate and will be soft, firm and pliable when it cools.