There are tons of playdough recipes out there. We’ve tried a few different ones but this one is by far my favorite. It’s super fast to make and the texture is perfect. Here you can find the recipe I used.
I’ve been researching playdough. I know how weird that sounds. I wanted to know what benefits, if any, playing with playdough had. I was slightly surprised when I found out all the brain-building awesomeness that is playdough, beyond the squishy, squeezy fun it provides.
Playing with play dough is therapeutic. The squishing, pulling, pounding, squeezing, and patting is calm and soothing, especially when scented with lavender essential oil. It’s a great way to reduce any built-up stress, and it can help to work out negative feelings.
Play dough encourages the use of the mind; it promotes creativity, imagination, and unscripted, open ended play. Children learn that their actions… squishing, rolling, twisting the dough… have immediate consequences.
Kneading, poking, and working play dough strengthens all the tendons and muscles in our child’s little hands, fingers, and wrist. It helps learn to control their hands which essentially will help later on with writing and scissor use. You can do anything to and with play dough, tear it, flatten it, slice it, rake it, roll it, chop it, score it, poke it, shape it, throw it, build it, smell it, *taste* it even. Each helping to build our children’s hand eye coordination and over all general concentration.
And those are just the tip of the iceberg. Imagine the possibilities of your child’s imagination if you add extras to your play dough. You can scent it with a number of different items you probably already have…
Cocoa powder, Cinnamon , Kool-aid , Pumpkin Pie Spice, Essential oils, Flavor Extracts, fruit juice Etc.
Coloring it naturally is simple to.
Blue and Purple – blueberries, purple cabbage
Pink – beets, strawberries, raspberries
Yellow – onions, lemon peels
Orange – orange peels, turmeric
Green – spinach, kale, asparagus
After my son grew tired of squishing the play dough I added some pony beads to it. It changed up the activity and got his attention again. You can add anything to play dough. This blog, The Imagination Tree, is like my ultimate play dough go to. So much info and many many ideas there. For instance, add texture to your dough with rice, sand, pebbles, or seeds. Giving your child pieces of straws or wooden skewers to poke the dough and build with is another route you could take.
The best part of this project is everything you need is probably already in your pantry or around your house.
So here it is- our favorite play dough ever.
All you need is:
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/4 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 tablespoon oil ( I used canola)
Gel Food coloring (I used teal)
Essential oil of your choice (I used lavender)
All you do is:
Mix everything into a saucepan except the glitter. My little was able to “help” with this step. But I took it from here, he’s a bit too little to do much than pretend to add ingredients.
Next you’ll want to mix it up completely. Do this before adding any heat into the mix.
Now it’s time to heat it up, this step goes pretty fast, you’ll want to be able to devote your full attention to the dough, stirring constantly until its finished.
Turn the stove up to medium heat and start stirring, I thought about using a whisk, but opted for a wooden spoon. The whisk would have been a bad idea.
Keep stirring. Its starts out runny, turns clumpy, and t hen the magic happens…. When I said this all happens quick I meant it, it took all of MAYBE five minutes to go from liquid to PLAY DOUGH. Once you get a ball sticking to your spoon turn the heat off.
I made sure to collect as much dough from the sides of the pan as I could. The dough is pretty warm at this stage but not to hot to handle, so I scraped it off the spoon and formed it into a disk to let it cool a bit more.
Now, I added the glitter! Just dumped a bit on top and worked it i.
Viola! You have play dough!