Homemade Playdough

Playdough is a great activity to keep a toddler busy. But what if you don't have any? Not a problem. This is an easy recipe to make your own play dough from your pantry essentials. 

Materials & Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup of table salt 
  • 2 tsps of cream of tartar
  • 1 tbs of vegetable of canola oil 
  • Food coloring (various colors)
  • Wax paper (optional)
  1. Combine the flour, cream of tartar and salt into a sauce pan.  
  2. Add a few drops of food coloring to the water and then mix the vegetable oil and water into the flour mix. 
  3. Put the saucepan on your stove and turn your burner to low/medium. Stir slowly until your play dough starts to solidify. If there are a few lumps, that's ok! This process can take anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes depending on the type of stove you have.  
  4. Remove the playdough from the stove and place it on wax paper to allow it to cool.
  5. Once it has cooled, knead the playdough to remove any extra lumps before handing it over to the kids! 
  6. When it's time to play, give the playdough to your little ones without giving any direction to see how they would like to interact with it. Use slow and controlled movements to show them how they can squish it in their hands or pat it into a surface in front of them. Provide guidance when needed, but this playdough play is all about open-ended, free play for your little one. 
  7. Introduce tools like a small rolling pin or cookie cutters extend playtime. As they manipulate the playdough, they'll be strengthening their hands, fine motor skills, and improving hand-eye coordination.
Extensions & Adjustments: 

There are lots of opportunities for customization based on your toddler’s age and skills:

  • For older toddlers (30 months and up) you could add kid-safe scissors into the mix. As them to roll up their playdough to make spaghetti and then cut them into smaller pieces with the scissors.
  • For kids 4 years and older, you can add some letters or numbers into the mix. Can they build the number "4" using just playdough? Can they write the letter A using their finger in the dough? This will improve their pre-writing skills while playing. 

Author: Denisa Mitu