Make Your Own Playdough And Enjoy Your Family Time

There are so many things that you can do with your kids. From making an indoor tent and creating kinetic sand to a fairy garden. One of the kids’ most favourite activities is playing with dough. When it is too hot or cold for them to play outdoors, or if it is a rainy day, this is the perfect indoor activity that keeps them busy and happy.

Kid playing with colorful playdough

You can always buy the products of big brands from the store, but is store bought playdough really safe for your 5 year old kids? Kids have a tendency of putting everything in their mouths. When you know what is in the playdough, there will be no reason to be concerned since everything in the homemade dough is edible and safe. In this article, we will tell you how to make safe, edible, and affordable playdough right from the comfort of your home. Involve your kids in the process and you will double the fun!

How to make your own playdough: Cooked edition

Whether you are a parent or a preschool teacher, you will love making your playdough as it is softer and cheaper than the store-bought stuff. Here’s one of the best playdough recipes out there that you can try. 

The homemade playdough will last for several months if you store it properly and you can add different colours and scents to customize it. 

Girl prepares homemade playdough from flour ,salt, oil and blue colour

Things you will need for the playdough recipe

  • All-purpose flour – 2 cups
  • ¾ cup of salt
  • Cream of tartar – 4 tsp.
  • Lukewarm water – 2 cups
  • Vegetable oil – 2 tbsp.
  • Zip lock bags
  • Wax paper
  • Food colouring (optional)
  • Essential oils (optional)

DIY steps for the playdough recipe

  1. Take the flour, table salt, and cream of tartar in one large pot and stir the mixture thoroughly. The cream of tartar will make the playdough soft and it will last longer as well. If you don’t add it, the dough will be dry and slightly crumbly.
  2. Add warm water and the vegetable oil and mix thoroughly.
  3. If you are going to make dough of one colour only, you can add the food colour along with the water and the oil
  4. Place this mixture on the stove and cook playdough over medium heat. Make sure that you are stirring constantly.
  5. Keep stirring until the dough begins to thicken and takes the shape of a ball.
  6. Take the pot off the stovetop.
  7. Place the dough onto wax paper and let it cool.
  8. Knead the dough until it is smooth.
  9. Now divide it into several balls and add the food colouring. Wear gloves so it doesn’t stain your hands. 
  10. Voila! The dough is ready!
  11. Store it inside zip lock bags to keep it soft. That way, you’ll be able to enjoy it for at least 3 months. 

No cook playdough: How to make it step-by-step

One really cool thing is that homemade playdough smells good as well. You won’t have to worry when your little one takes a handful on their little hands and decides to eat some! Apart from the recipe that we mentioned above, there’s another one that’s really great. This is a no-cook recipe and it will take less than 10 minutes.

Colorful handmade dough on plate

Things you will need for the playdough recipe

  • All-purpose flour/plain flour– 4 cups
  • Salt – 1 ½ cup
  • Cornstarch – 1 tbsp
  • Cream of tartar – 1 ½ tbsp.
  • Vegetable oil/Coconut oil – 2 tbsp.
  • Hot water – 2 cups
  • Food colouring (Optional)
  • Essential oils (vanilla, peppermint, etc. – optional)

DIY steps for homemade playdough recipe

  1. Mix the dry ingredients – flour, cornstarch, and salt – in a large bowl. You can use a mixer for this as well.
  2. Add the cream of tartar and mix thoroughly.
  3. Add a cup of water and the oil and mix again. Add the rest of the boiling water gradually. If you are kneading the salt dough by hand, you have to do it for about eight to ten minutes. If you are using an electric mixer with a dough hook, you have to knead for 5 minutes.
  4. If you want your dough to have one colour only, you can add it now. However, if you want multiple colours, then you have to divide the dough into small portions and add about 5 drops of food colour.
  5. If you want the playdough to smell good, you can add a few drops of essential oil. A few drops of lemon juice will do the trick as well. You can add a dollop of peanut butter to make it taste good. Store the dough in an airtight container.
  6. Yay! Your non-cook dough is ready!

What are the benefits of playing with playdough?

Homemade playdough is the perfect toy for young children of all ages as it is reusable and non-toxic. Apart from the countless hours of fun for your 5 year olds, there are several benefits of playing with it. Let’s take a look at a few of them. 

Little girl enjoy playing game with playdough

1. Develops motor skills

When your children are moulding the dough into various shapes, they are also building up strength in their small hands. The acts of rolling, squishing, flattening, etc. help in the development of muscles in their hands for fine motor movements since making things with clay is a sensory play.

2. Calms the children

Similar to the squishy stress ball that you take out from time to time, squeezing the playdough is a great way of calming the kids down. When they play with it, it helps ease tension, improve focus, release excess energy, etc. If your kid is feeling anxious or is stressed, take out a container of dough and watch their tensions fade away as they play.

3. Encourages creativity

The number of things your kid can make from it is endless. From flowers to animals and action figures, there are so many choices for them to explore their creativity. When they create different objects from scratch, it stretches their imagination and they think in new, and innovative ways. When your kids use various tools – rolling pins, cookie cutters, etc. – to shape the dough, it improves their hand-to-eye coordination as well. 

4. Improves social skills

When your kid works with adults or other kids while playing with the dough, it will improve their social skills. From sharing tools, materials, different colours, etc. to spending time together collaborating with other kids is great practice for social settings.

5. Helps with learning

You can make study time a lot of fun if you add in an element of play in it. No one likes doing math calculations but everyone likes playing with dough. Playdough is a great tool for teaching your kids about counting, shapes, and a lot more. 

We live in a technology-filled world and our kids are surrounded by different gadgets. Instead of letting your children spend all of their days in front of the television, you can reduce their screen time by letting them play with dough. 

Young woman and kid girl playing with playdough

Give your kids a few different colours, some cookie cutters, a mini rolling pin, and simply let them have fun. You would love to see how their imagination works! Playdough is every kid’s best friend as they grow up and they experience the joy of making different shapes and figures all by themselves. The playdough you will make by following the recipes given above will last for months to come. Moreover, it is stretchy, super-soft, and non-toxic. Share the pictures of the things you and your kids make using our easy playdough recipe!

Find out next: How to make slime.

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