Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Homemade Play Dough

I loved playing with play dough as a kid, and enjoyed working with clay in my pottery classes in high school as well. There's something to be said for making something out of a clump of clay...or dough...or even mud - although play dough is the least messy of the three!
Lately I've noticed that my son seems really interested in the different textures of his food. I've seen him squeeze birthday cake, yogurt, and bananas through his little fingers, and he seemed delighted by the texture. Without a doubt, I figured he was ready for play dough.
I whipped up a batch of this simple dough that I used to make for the kids back when I was teaching preschool. You can add a few drops of flavoring extract (orange, strawberry, vanilla) to make scented dough, but my son is young and I didn't want to confuse him ("It smells like food. Why can't I eat it?"), so I left it out.


You'll need:

1 cup flour
1 cup warm water
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. oil
1/4 cup salt
food coloring


1. Mix all ingredients together. Stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat until the dough thickens, pulls away from the sides, and forms a ball (about 5-10 minutes).

2. Remove from pan and knead until blended smooth.


3. Food coloring can be added when mixing ingredients before heating, or kneading the dough afterward. (I made 2 batches and split them each in half, so I added the food coloring afterward.) Add a few drops at a time and knead until the color is completely incorporated - add more if necessary. 


4. Store in a plastic bag or airtight container when cooled.


I know it will be a few years before he's able to really build and work with the dough, but for now he has fun squishing it and throwing the balls I roll for him. I'm always amazed to see how something that takes only minutes to make can provide hours of entertainment!

17 comments:

  1. Hi I learnt this week at the long day care centre that I was doing prac at that you don't need to cook the play dough just add all ingredients to a bowl put gloves on add coloring add boiling water and mix then pull it out and Kneed the dough Easter to clean up gets the same results

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  2. Thanks Jodie! That's a good idea. :-)

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  3. I had to add about a quarter cop more flour than called for

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  4. Instead of using food coloring I used co-aide at least if they eat it it's safe!

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    Replies
    1. Isn't food coloring safe? I add it to icing for cakes, etc.

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    2. There's some debate as to whether or not artificial dyes cause hyperactivity in children. Kool-aid contains artificial dyes as well, so I'm not sure why that would be any safer.

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    3. Kool aid has artificial dyes?.....

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  5. This was so easy. About 10 minutes from start to finish. Also, I didn't have food coloring, but I used a crayola marker to add some ink and it worked great. Also, the color that I put in the dough did not come out on my hands.

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  6. Exсuse mе. I'm from russia and we have no here cream of tar tar. Can you explain what is that( consist of) and what can replace it ?

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    Replies
    1. Try using an equal amount of white vinegar or lemon juice, or omit the cream of tartar entirely.

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    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  7. do we need to keep in the fridge too?

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    Replies
    1. It will last longer if you keep it in the fridge, but I've left out too. Tends to get a bit sticky at room temperature though.

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    2. How long does it last in the fridge?

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    3. I've never had it go bad in the fridge. We usually throw it out when it dries out from getting left out too long, or picks up too much dust and dirt from being dropped on the floor.

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  8. From South africa.

    I am a dad who loves these things. Made slime yesterday and today did the dough. Awsome. Now just to get the coloring of my hands. :)

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