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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

DIY Playdough

DIY Playdough

Growing up, my mom used to make playdough/salt dough for us all the time. I always thought it would be so much work, but it's easier than you'd think and even the kids can help mix everything! My daughter loves playdough, but I don't want to put down the cash for something I could make myself for almost no money at all. So, with a few adjustments, I made my mom's playdough and we've been having so much fun!

DIY Playdough

1 cup water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
2 tbsp cream of tartar
gel food coloring
*I used Wilton brand in Rose, Orange, Lemon Yellow, Leaf Green, Sky Blue, and Violet

  1. Pour the water and vegetable oil in a saucepan. Add in the flour, salt, cream of tarter and a teaspoon or two of gel food coloring. Lightly stir together to combine.
    *The dough will end up being about the same color that it is now, so add more food coloring now if you want the color to be richer/brighter.
  2. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly. It should be done in about 4-5 minutes. Because you might panic and think you've ruined it, here is a breakdown of what it looks like throughout the cooking process:
    Minute 1: The mixture will combine, and look smooth and beautiful!
    Minute 2: You'll start to get chunks. Make sure to keep scraping the bottom and edges of the pan to prevent any pieces from burning.
    Minute 3: This is where you might begin to worry that you've messed it up. Looks like a clumpy mess. Don't panic! Just keep stirring!!
    Minute 4: The dough will start to form into a ball. You'll know when it's ready when it's not sticky and pulls away from the pan. You can test by pressing the dough with your fingers. It will be hot!
  3. Remove the dough from the pan and place on a plate to cool.
  4. Once cool, knead the dough. This can be done by you or little helpers!
  5. To store, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in a sealed container.
    *I purchased a couple of 5-pack Rubbermaid TakeAlongs® containers (17 oz) at WalMart and the dough fits perfectly!
A few notes:
  • Each batch makes about 2 cups of dough. You need to make a new batch for each color. It took me less than an hour to make all 6 batches.
  • Surprisingly, the food coloring doesn't come off on your hands at all.
  • The dough is safe to eat, but it is disgusting!
  • Buy more cream of tartar than you think you'll need. I got 2 1/2 batches from one 1.5 oz container.
  • Regular liquid food coloring will also work, but I think the gel makes the color a little more vibrant. Liquid food coloring may also come off on your hands.

Use cookie cutters, child scissors, and dull knives with your DIY Playdough!

It was fun to teach my preschooler shapes, colors, and practice fine-motor skills like cutting, rolling, and pinching the dough. We cut out one shape multiple times, then she counted them out. We also played with alphabet cookie cutters to spell words out and practice the alphabet. She loved it because she was playing and creating, but it made me happy to know she was learning at the same time!

Would you like to comment?

  1. My mom used to make this too:)! I always used to try to eat it, even though it tasted gross LOL. Alice @ htto://

  2. Don't you love that stuff! I always liked it and made it for my kids too. So many possibilities for creativity!

  3. I am ashamed to say that I have NEVER made playdough!! I think I need to give it a try, I love all your colors so nice and bright.:)

  4. I think my grandchild would love this. Thanks for the recipe. Yours looks so bright and soft...almost makes me want to play with it. : )

  5. I love your photo with the letters! So clever :o) beautiful colors. bThanks for linking up to Tasteful Tuesdays! love it! Really appreciate you stopping by my blog! I’m trying to keep in better touch with my linkers/readers… If you already follow me, please let me know I will find your blog on Bloglovin (I’m transferring my follows there)if you don’t follow in any way, would you consider following via GFC or other method?

  6. I agree with Emily. I LOVE your photo with the letters. And those colors. They are so bright.

  7. Thank you for coming back to our All Things Thursday Link-Up this week!! We're featuring you again in this week's round-up of favorites at All Things Thursday Link-Up {No. 16} Featured Favorites Have I mentioned how adorable your site is? :)

  8. Amazing recipe! And the colors are so pretty! Thanks you so much for this! : >

  9. I love this recipe :) I want to make these for party favors. What size containers do I need to store the play dough in? Thanks

  10. i used to make it for a daycare center i worked at.. i colored it with different colored koolaid packets.

  11. I use baby oil, instead of vegetable oil, gives the play doh a great fragrance.

  12. just made this for my daughter !! it turned out very well !! thanks for sharing this :)

  13. Children love mushing their hands into stuff and I hate throwing out dried up play dough that I've paid for so this would be great for us! I'd love to include your post in my rainy day activity round up post - such brilliant colors you managed to create!

  14. I love the beautiful colors! Mine never comes out so bright, but I've never tried the gel food coloring (yet!)

  15. I just made this for party favors for my daughter's birthday party.I made the 3 primary colors(red blue and yellow) (Bc the recipe makes a lot) and i mixed and made the secondary colors (Green, purple and orange). It made exactly enough for 10 kids in small Tupperware containers i bought for $3 at walmart. Only issue i ran into was needing 2 containers of cream of tartar. This is by far the best playdough recipe ive tried. And it saved me a TON on my daughter's party. Thank you!

  16. Fantastic! My kids can have fun with their artistic skills and create many colorful objects. Thank you

  17. OMG I just made blue and green play dough for Earth Day. So easy! I'll never buy store bought!


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