Magic! Homemade Playdough!

I love, love, love play dough! We use it for so many projects and it is so great for developing fine motor skills! I loved making it with my son and daughter when they were little!… it’s so fun to cook together and I know that if they sneak a bite, it won’t hurt them, though it doesn’t taste so great. there are so many recipies out there to choose from.  I added a few so you can pick the one you like.

I'm pretty sure I have made them all! lol...between kids, preschool and girlscout crafts! 

We make ours with peppermint extract in the winter and add red food coloring and glitter for candy cane play dough!

Before you go thinking that this play dough can’t possibly be that good, make some. You will see. Every time I make it I can’t put it down, let alone the kids I give it too! I was so glad I made this when the kids where little because it was PERFECT for our SNOW days when we lived in Texas!  So much fun, though! Don’t believe me?…give it a try....and let me know what you think.

I bet you have all these on the shelf, well maybe not the cream of tartar.  at least I didn't when I first made this but know it is! lol   you never know when I might need to make some play dough!!!
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/4 cup salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 Tbls. vegetable oil
food coloring (I used 4 drops)

Just go ahead and dump all the ingredients into your pot and give them a good stir. Enlist some small help if possible – they will think you are magic.  Put your pot on the stove and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it forms into a ball.  As soon as it joins into one big glob, take it off the heat and dump it onto your counter or some wax paper. Wait for it to cool, then knead it a few times until it is nice and soft. This is where you have to use a little self control to let the kids have a turn too.:)

Here is a great one for Christmas Gifting....!

Gingerbread play dough Ingredients

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 tsp orange extract {optional}

Instructions: In a medium saucepan whisk together dry ingredients. Next mix in the water, oil, and orange extract and stir until a thick batter is formed. this part does not take very long so be careful and watch your pot! Cook the mixture over low/medium heat until a thick dough forms. Turn out onto parchment paper and knead until smooth. Makes about 2 cups of dough.
Now all you need to do for a gift is to Package up in some cute wrapping and add a gingerbread man cookie cutter! Cute!!!

It is SO easy to make
and SO much better than the stuff you buy at the store.

This recipe makes the softest, sqUISHiest, longest lasting play dough…EVER!

You can make your kids’ favorite colors and package them in  perfect little containers to throw in your kids’ stockings.

I love the ideas of adding cinnamon to make it smell good and of adding glitter to make it sparkle! Making your own play dough – what a cheap and cheerful idea!   free printable

I have been using a play dough recipe of 2 1/2 c. flour, 1/2 c salt, mixed together with 2 c. boiling water 2 pkgs Kool Aid, 3 T oil The secret has seemed to be the temperature of water. The hotter the water the more success you will find. Tip: mix the dry together then the Kool Aid, oil; water. It will seem gluey until it cools.

½ cup boiling water

1 Tablespoon Cooking Oil

¼ cup salt (included)

½ cup flour (included)

1 package kool-aid (included)

Stir water, oil and salt until dissolved

Stir in Flour and Kool-Aid

Mix until cool enough to knead to desired consistency

Put in air tight container or zip lock bag

Store in fridge

Clay Christmas Decorations
We're bringing these to winter craft camp to decorate for Christmas. If you want to make colored clay just add food coloring to the water before you mix it with the cornstarch and baking soda. The clay can be sealed in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Just bring it to room temperature before you use it. This recipe can also be doubled to make a larger batch of decorations.

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 cup baking soda

3/4 cup water

In a medium sized pot combine the cornstarch, baking soda, and water. With an adults help the kids can stir this mixture over medium-low heat. After a couple of minutes, the mixture will begin to thicken. When it looks like smooth, mashed potatoes, remove the pot from the heat. Spoon the ball of dough into a bowl and cover it with a damp cloth until it's cool. When it's cool, knead it on a smooth surface, adding a little more cornstarch if it feels sticky.

Rolling, cutting, and baking

Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out clay to 1/4 inch thick on a surface lightly dusted with cornstarch. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Transfer shapes to the prepared baking sheet. Use a straw to poke a hole in the center top of each decoration, then get the kids to blow out the small piece of clay. They love this task! Place them in the oven at 175 degrees for about an hour, turning them over halfway through cooking.

Paint or decorate them and thread a piece of ribbon, twine or yarn through the holes.

Simple Non-Cook Play dough

2 cups of flour (to make gluten free play dough use 2 cups of cornflour instead)

1 cup of salt

2 tablespoon of cream of tartar

2 tablespoon of oil

1-2 cups of boiling water with a few drops of food colouring if you wish to colour the dough. For a natural alternative you could colour the water with fruit teabags (we use 4 in a cup) to give the dough a lovely berry colour  scent.
Mix all the dry ingredients together, add the oil & the hot water & mix vigorously until a smooth dough is formed.

This can be stored for several weeks in air-tight containers, or plastic food bags.

Adding different scents & textures to play dough is easy, here are some of our ideas.

For sensory smelly play dough try adding a few drops of the following to the dough:

peppermint extract

vanilla extract

orange extract

lavender oil

lemon oil

rosemary oil

For textured play dough the following could be added:

a pinch of dry rice

small dry pasta shapes (baby pasta works well)


dry leaves

dried herbs

fresh herbs - these will produce a great smell

For outside play try adding:

short grass cuttings

flower petals

small flowers like daisies

soil for messy mud-like dough.

Have fun experimenting!

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