How to make Play Dough
Making your own play dough is ridiculously easy and super cheap. Try it and you’ll never want to buy the icky-smelling shop bought stuff again! I made 1.2kg of play dough this afternoon (that’s enough to keep my 3 going for quite a while!) and the ‘ingredients’ cost me under a quid (as it wasn’t meant to be eaten I used the cheapest flour and salt I could find!) And it’s quick too - It would have taken less than half an hour to produce this glorious rainbow of non-toxic dough, had I not been slowed down by my little ‘helper’. But as the whole point was to fill a house-bound afternoon with a potty-training toddler, I strung out the process to fill a couple of hours! I wanted the playdough to be nice and bright, so I liberally used whatever food colour pastes I had in the cupboard. And we added glitter to some of our colours, just for some extra sparkle! There’s no need to colour it though if you don’t want to. I had read about making scented playdough…..which seemed like a great idea, but before I got as far as adding peppermint extract and lavender oil, my little assistant had already started eating the pink dough…… and I figured she probably didn’t need any more confusing messages about whether today’s ‘cooking’ was meant to be consumed or not. Although this play dough is technically edible, I wouldn’t recommend it (yuk!)
Takes: About 20 minutes for an unencumbered adult. Or as long as you want to make it last as a kiddie activity….. Makes: About 600grams of dough (I made a double batch) Storage: In an airtight situation (ziplock bag/plastic box etc) this should keep for a good few months. The oil and the Cream of Tartar help it stay squishy! Ingredients: The ingredients don’t need to be measured particularly accurately. Just use a medium sized cup or beaker if you don’t have an official ‘cup’ measure. 1 cup fine salt 2 cups plain white flour 1 tablespoon Cream of Tartar 2 tablespoons sunflower oil 2 cups water optional: food colouring, glitter and scented/flavoured oils Method:
- In a large saucepan mix together the salt, flour and Cream of Tartar.
- Add the water and oil, and mix to combine the ingredients.
- Put the saucepan over a low heat, and mix vigorously as it warms up. It will look like lumpy porridge for quite a while, but don’t panic!
- As soon as it starts coming away from the sides and forming into one big ball, cook it for just a few more seconds to ensure that it isn’t sticky, and then take it off the heat. (Note: The whole cooking process should take no more than 5 minutes, even with a double batch like I made!)
- Tip the dough out of the pan, and as soon as it is cool enough to handle you can start the creative part!
- We divided the dough into 6 balls, and used our hands to knead a different food colour paste into each one. (Note: A good tip is to rub some cooking oil onto your hands before you add the paste, as this creates a ‘barrier’ to stop it dyeing your skin)
- Keep adding colour until the play dough is as vibrant as you want it, and knead until the colour is no longer streaky. (Add a few drops of scented oil at this stage if you’re using it)
- If you want to make sparkly play dough, just sprinkle glitter generously onto it, and knead it in (you need quite a lot of glitter to get a good effect).
- When the play dough is ready, wrap it tightly in clingfilm, or put it into ziplock bags or airtight boxes. (Note: do not store this play dough in metal tins, or keep metal cutters with it, as the salt corrodes the metal. I learnt this the hard way!)