Homemade play dough is the best! The soft, pliable texture is perfect for little hands to roll, pound, cut, press, and squeeze. This cooked dough takes minutes to prepare, and lasts for weeks when stored in an air-tight container.
Basic Play Dough Recipe:
2 cups water
1 cup salt
4 teaspoons cream of tartar
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups flour
to add color: 1-4 teaspoons food coloring or liquid watercolor
In a large pot, begin with the water, coloring, oil, salt, and cream of tartar. Begin gently heating over medium-low to medium heat. When this mixture is warm, add the flour and mix well. Don’t worry if it is slightly lumpy. Keep stirring as the mixtures thickens into a dough. You will know it is ready when the dough is pulling away from the sides of the pot and forming a ball. Remove the warm dough from the pan, let it cool a bit, then it’s ready for playing! This is my kids’ favorite time to play with the dough — when it is still warm!
Variations: Add Kool-Aid or extracts to the dough for a yummy scent. Add glitter for sparkle, or sand, oatmeal, coffee grounds, etc. for texture.
Besides the traditional tools of rolling pins and cookie cutters, we use a variety of things around the house:
- shells and small rocks
- birthday candles
- toothpicks, straws, and popsicle sticks
- small toy cars and animals
- garlic press and potato masher
- child scissors
We also like to make two primary colors (red, yellow, or blue) and then mix them together to see what happens.