We have 28 different shades of store-bought Play Doh. But that fact wasn't enough to stop me when I ran across this article with directions for Pumpkin Pie Play Dough on familyfun.com.
Play dough that smells like pumpkin pie? Ingenious! Because really, anything that smells like pumpkin pie is ingenious. (Except pumpkin pie itself, which I find disgusting.)
I let the girls help mix it. They both saw how much salt went in. I explained to them that this play dough would smell really yummy, but would taste terrible. They both nodded their understanding. And then I gave them each a ball to play with. And they both sniffed it. And the first thing they each did was tear off a little piece and eat it. They listen well.
Anyway, we made the green pasta 'stems' to use for pumpkins. When that got boring (which it quickly did) I gave them each a little pile of black beans, popcorn kernels, and rose hips, and some bamboo skewers and popsicle sticks. That made it a lot more fun - we had sculpted faces, aliens, and even Buddha. (I'm sad the Buddha got destroyed before I got a photo, because he was pretty fantastic.)
If you're looking for a great way to entertain kids when it's spitting snow outside and you've still got three hours til dinnertime, or if you want your house to smell like pumpkin pie without nearly as much effort as an actual pie, homemade play dough sculptures just might be the answer. No need to seek the fancy, expensive activities - the simple ones still seem to thrill them plenty.