Everybody knows how much young children love playing with playdough: that gorgeous, tactile feeling of squishing the dough between one's fingers, making shapes, even writing one's name with the dough. It is much more economical to make your own playdough than to buy the little commercial tubs. Most homemade playdough recipes call for the dough to be cooked, which requires a large amount of elbow grease and often leads to a very gunky saucepan. This recipe uses the same ingredients but is much simpler and easier to make.
2 C plain, all purpose flour
4 tbs cream of tartar (tartaric acid)
2 tbs cooking oil
1 C salt
few drops food colouring (we used green)
2 C boiling water
1. Place all ingredients apart from boiling water into a large bowl.
2. Pour over boiling water and stir mixture with a large spoon until combined and the dough has begun to cool down.
3. Sprinkle your benchtop with a little flour. Lift warm dough out of the bowl and knead over the flour until it looks like playdough. This is my favourite part; the dough just feels wonderful. Mmmmm.
Warning: The playdough may still be too warm for toddlers to help at this stage.
4. Give your little ones a few cutters and a rolling pin and let them get to it.
5. Store playdough in an airtight container.
My two youngest children have spent hours over the past couple of days playing with playdough at our outside table. I have barely seen them!
I sometimes give my youngest some playdough to play with at the kitchen bench when he wants to be in the kitchen with me but I'm doing something that he cannot 'help' with.
- For extra special playdough add a few drops of a non-toxic scented oil, rosewater or flavoured food essence (lemon is wonderful) with the dry ingredients. We put some lavender oil in this batch and it smelt divine, but my little boy is past the age of trying to eat the dough.
- Glitter can also make a very pretty addition, especially for little girls who love sprkly things.
- A tub of playdough with assorted cutters and a child-sized rolling pin makes a wonderful gift.
- For Christmas try red and/or green playdough with Christmas cookie cutters and a Christmas apron
- For a little girl try rose-scented, pink, glittery playdough
- Choose the child's favourite colour and pick cutters that suit their interests; a budding astronomer may like to make their own solar system out of sun, moon and star cutters