During a half term afternoon when we couldn’t go out with the children as it was an absolute downpour and very cold too. So I thought it would be a good idea to make playdough. Both of the children are – safe to put it this way – a huge fan of playdough. We actually never really had any at home though, as Bobcat tends to put it in his mouth or keep licking it – which must be a sensory thing. It must taste horrible though and let’s not talk about what kind of toxic ingredients are in store bought play doughs.
The benefits of playing with playdough
But play dough is very beneficial for him (and for any child), it encourages imaginative and creative play. For Bobcat, it’s also very good for practicing his fine motor skills as he’s not very good at them. It’s a great way to strengthen all those muscles he will need for writing. Plus all the squishing, squashing, rolling, flattening are great for sensory needs too.
Well, there’s is one obviously very annoying aspect of playdough: the mess. It can make quite a bit of a mess and it’s also hard to clean it up. Now, I’m not saying that this recipe gives you a lot less messy play dough, but I definitely noticed the difference when hoovering the floor: it just comes up easier. But the mess worth it, as they love it.
Anyway, try it for yourself, as it’s very easy to make it and costs pennies. it will keep in the fridge for a few month (and t won’t dry out). This recipe will give you a small cantaloupe size of play dough ball, like half a size bigger then a normal tennis ball.
So here’s a very simple recipe:
- 250 g plain flour
- 125 g salt
- 220 ml water
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil (any type)
- 4 tbsp of cream of tartar
- food colouring of your choice
- Mix all the ingredients until the mixture is smooth.
- Heat a pan (preferably one with a non stick coating) on low heat and add about twice a soup ladle worth of this runny mixture to the pan. Add your chosen colour. Depending on the quality of the food colouring and the intensity of the colour you want, the measurement can vary. You will need to see as it goes.
- Stir vigorously and constantly for about 2 minutes until you notice the play dough forming.
- Take it off the heat and wait until it cools down. Your playdough is ready.
And if you want to learn how to melt crayons at home, read my post here: How To Make Shaped Crayons – The Big Crayons Melting Guide