Homemade Playdough Recipe

 

Fun with Playdough!

I don’t know about you, but if I give my kids a pile of playdough they will be happy and busy for a LONG time. I find myself suggesting playdough during times they need a calming activity or during times I need to be productive such as preparing dinner. And with colder temperatures on the horizon, having some ideas for indoor activities is helpful.

Making your own playdough is super easy and fun, not to mention a lot cheaper than buying it. My kids enjoy helping me make playdough, especially deciding what color to make it. Here’s a recipe I have been using for a few years now with really good results and takes about 10 minutes to make:

3 cups of flour
1.5 cups of salt
3 cups of water
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon Cream of Tarter
2 packs of Kool-Aid (for color and a fun scent) or several drops of food coloring.

Adding ingredients together

 

We put all ingredients in a pot off the stove top. Then we transfer the pot to the stove at medium –low heat and stir almost continuously at first. Once it has formed a ‘paste’, I stir it less frequently. I know the first few times I made playdough at about this point I thought ‘gee, I must have done something wrong…this is way too goopy’. However after about 5 minutes of cooking it will look like traditional playdough. When you remove it from the pot it will be pretty hot initially so allow it to cool for a while before children handle it. Playdough stores well in a plastic ziplock bag.

Mixing on the stove top

 

A few additional tips:
• At first I was using expensive organic oils and organic whole wheat pastry flour when making playdough because that’s what we had in the house. Now I buy cheaper playdough making ingredients in bulk at Costco. Cream of Tartar can be expensive but if you find a place that sells bulk spices it is likely to be cheaper than purchasing a jar of it from the spice aisle at the grocery store.

• I have an old pot and wooden spatula designated just for playdough making. You could purchase these inexpensively from a thrift store. Of course it’s fine to use your everyday pot since all the ingredients are edible. I store all our playdough making supplies together in the pantry for quick access.

• Anything can be a playdough toy. Thrift stores are a good place to pick up random kitchen utensils to use with playdough. Cookie cutters and rubber stamps work well with playdough too.

• Art materials such as glitter, sequins, pipe cleaners, etc. are fun to mix with playdough. Giving kids birthday candles to use with playdough is a nice prop for pretend birthday-caking making.

• Cutting playdough is a fun, easy, and safe way to introduce kids to using scissors.

• You can encourage older kids to make their name out of playdough

• Homemade playdough paired with some fun accessories makes a nice and inexpensive birthday gift. I usually include an index card of the recipe as well.

Learning through play is a kid's favorite way!

I think I love playdough so much because it is a sensory-based activity that naturally incorporates mathematical concepts for children to explore. I would love to hear about your adventures with playdough! What fun things do you do with playdough at your house?

-Sarah

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