I’ve been wanting to try out making play-doh at home for a while. So recently on one of our drizzly days, I figured what a perfect time to keep my girls entertained by making some of this magical playdough (playdoh, whichever).
For me, it was important this stuff was edible, or at least safe if it ended up in one of my toddler’s mouths. I knew they weren’t going to outright eat it, at this point in their toddlerhood, but they may be curious to lick it and it would definitely be all over their hands if they were helping me make it.
Most recipes online call for cream of tartar, which we don’t have just lying around in our pantry. I simplified:
1 c. flour
½ c. salt (as a preservative…if you don’t plan on keeping it around, I wouldn’t worry too much about this)
½ c. warm water
5-7 drops of food coloring (you can also use kool-aid type mixes to add color AND scent)
2 Tbsp oil (I forgot this…and I regretted it)
So, I mixed the dry ingredients together and I mixed the wet ingredients together and, then, I included the girls. I let them pour the wet into the dry and mix with their spoons. I didn’t use any heat (more on this a bit later) and I just helped them out with the kneading. I continued to add flour until the dough was no longer sticking to my hands and then handed it over to them for play time. We don’t have any proper cookie cutter shapes or play-doh tools, so I just gave them whatever I could find that would make interesting designs. They had a blast…for about 30 minutes.
Now, I forgot oil, which made my dough a bit too sticky. I won’t forget it again because I think it really needed that lubricant. Using cream of tartar would also probably give you a better consistency, but I really don’t see why you need it if it’s just for a couple play hours a week and then it’s getting tossed.
I mentioned heat, which I have seen some people swear that you need to mix all the ingredients over medium heat until you get a ball, then remove from heat and continue kneading and adding flour until you get the desired consistency. I think I’ll give that a try next time and see if it does anything for the dough.
Otherwise, this was a great indoor, artistic and sensory activity for my toddlers.