Play dough… such a wonderful invention! Whether your 2-year-old wants to make a faux cake with sprinkles on top, or your kindergartener wants to learn to make geometric shapes with mommy, play dough can be a fantastic toy the whole family can enjoy together. There’s only one thing that can make this classic toy better… making it from scratch! For many children, creating the play dough is the best part of the whole experience. I nearly blew my toddlers mind when I explained to her that the pliable dough was made with flour. If you make your own, you can also make gluten-free options for those little ones who have an allergy and like to eat it. The color options are also better when you’re adding your own dye.
AHP Homemade Play Dough
quick method 3–5 minutes
slower method 10–15 minutes
- medium saucepan
- mixing spoon
- water: 1 c
- flour: 1 c
- salt: 1/2 c
- cream of tarter: 2 t
- vegetable oil: 1 T
- glycerine food coloring: (You can use standard liquid food coloring, but the play dough won’t be as vibrant.)
- essential oil: (optional)
- In a medium saucepan add flour, salt and cream of tarter.
- Mix dry ingredients together.
- Add water, vegetable oil, food coloring and essential oil to the flour mix.
- Over medium heat for quick method and low heat for the slower method, stir mixture continuously until the play dough thickens up and sticks to the spoon, pulling away from the sides.
- Store in an airtight container.
- Adding food coloring to the liquid ingredients instead of kneading the dye into the dough once cooked allows for better absorbency of the food coloring and provides less mess.
- Why use low heat in the slower method? Because it will yield a better product, one that has all the ingredients thoroughly incorporated.
- Little ones gain exposure to the kitchen without any fuss.
- Use as a teaching aid for your kindergartener’s. Play dough can make counting, geometry, addition, subtraction, linear patterns, comparing and contrasting much more fun!