Home Made Play Dough

Posted on January 21, 2008. Filed under: Things to Do |

Monday is about Things to Do

Photo by CP

playdough.jpgWe were all off from work and school today for the Martin Luther King holiday. My oldest daughter attended a commemorative function this morning, while I was home with the other two. Since it was bitterly cold today, I did not want to go out, but needed to find something to do to keep my 4 year old child entertained.

This is the kind of day when we make our own play dough. If you search the web, there are lots of recipes for home made play dough. Among all the variations, I find the best require some cooking time, and use cream of tartar as the secret ingredient. I let my 4 year old get involved by deciding what food coloring to add before we put it on the stove. We also put in 1/2 teaspoon of a fragrant extract (like vanilla, maple or almond extract) to give it a nice smell. I’ve seen recipes where people added baby oil, instead of vegetable, to get a nicely scented play dough. Whatever scent you choose, this is a great recipe for a non-toxic, inexpensive play dough that your child will enjoy making and playing with.

Home Made Play Dough:

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup table salt
1 cup water
1 Tbs vegetable or mineral oil
3 Tbs cream of tartar
Food Coloring

Mix all the ingredients, including the food coloring, together in a pot. The color will be fairly pale at this point. Then cook over medium heat while stirring constantly until it forms a ball, about 5 minutes. The color will become more vivid as it gets heated through. Turn the ball out onto a flat work surface and knead it thoroughly. Adults may want to do the initial kneading since it is hot. When cool, it is ready for the kids to play with.

Store in an airtight container like a ziploc bag and keep at room temperature.




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  • About

    Musings on how a disorganized woman with a full time job, three kids and a real need to relax is trying to make life simple.

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