Who doesn’t love play dough?
Play dough is great for so many reasons (like how it challenges fine motor, sensory processing, and pretend play skills), but it can get expensive, especially if kiddos decide to mix together several colors before putting them back into those tiny plastic pop-top containers.
So why not just make it yourself?
It’s so easy, uses regular ingredients you already have in your cupboard (with the exception of cream of tartar), and takes no more than 10 minutes. Plus, you know exactly what is in the play dough, so you don’t have to totally freak out when (not if) kids put it in their mouth. Here’s how you do it:
WHAT YOU’LL NEED FOR EASY HOMEMADE PLAY DOUGH:
- 2 cups water
- Several drops food coloring (for reference, this play dough used 20 drops)
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon oil (vegetable, olive, canola…whatever you’ve got in your cupboard)
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar (you can find it in the spices aisle at the store)
- 1 cup salt (don’t be fooled, this is A LOT of salt)
HOW TO MAKE EASY HOMEMADE PLAY DOUGH:
- In a large pot, mix 2 cups water + food coloring.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients — 2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1 cup salt.
- Cook over medium-high heat and stir with a wooden spoon (not a spatula, too flimsy) for about 5 minutes until the consistency is thick like…well…play dough. The longer you cook it, the harder it becomes, so keep an eye on it and take it out right before it becomes the consistency you’d like.
That’s it. You’re done! CAREFULLY remove hot play dough from pot and allow to cool. Once it’s cool enough to touch, you can knead it a bit to get it ready for playing.
Time to play!
Once you’re ready to put the delightful batch of dough away, you can store it at room temperature in a simple, airtight container such as a gallon-size ziploc bag. This way it’s always soft and easy to take it along with you. Plus, as mentioned in THIS POST, the zip seal will challenge the little rascals’ fine motor skills every time they open and close the bag.
You could also provide smaller portions for little hands by dividing your batch into plastic pop-top baby food containers (like with Gerber baby food) or small plastic containers from the dollar store. Also a great challenge for kids’ fine motor and bilateral hand skills.
Good luck with your play dough adventures, and don’t forget to have fun!