Posted by: ad65shorty | March 23, 2009



We love, love, LOVE playdough in our house! My 1 1/2-year-old gets it out of the cupboard every day to play with. Because of this frequent use, playdough dries out quickly. But, I have a fabulous recipe for homemade playdough that stays soft for months, even with daily use. And it only takes about 5 minutes to make. I also like homemade playdough because it is made with homemade ingredients, in case your little one ingests it.

Some benefits of using playdough:

1. It’s an open-ended project. There is no right or wrong, thus allowing children to be creative with no boundaries. This creativity strengthens the connections in the brain.

2. It strengthens fine-motor muscles (see for more on this).

3. It relieves stress and excess energy in a healthy way.

Play Clay


1 cup flour

1/4 cup salt

2 tsp. cream of tartar

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 cup water

food coloring


Combine all dry ingredients in a saucepan. Stir in vegetable oil and water. Add food coloring drop by drop until the desired color is achieved. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent sticking or burning. When the play clay has the consistency of mashed potatoes and pulls away from the sides of the pan, remove it from the heat (if you pull it away too soon, it won’t set properly). Knead for one minute, and let cool thoroughly. Store in an airtight container (I like Ziplock bags).  (I’ve since realized you can mix it all together at once and just mix until it forms one big lump in the middle of your pan!)

**This recipe is also good for creating a creature and then drying. Allow at least 24 hours.

Other uses:

Little ones get bored quickly so be sure to have other objects on hand. You can buy these commercially, but I find that common household objects are just as good. My kids love cookie cutters, rolling pins, garlic presses, knives, straws, scissors, rocks, and seashells.

This is also a great way to teach/reinforce academic concepts such as name writing, letters, numbers, and shapes. You usually have to teach your children how to make “snakes” first.

What do your children like to do with playdough?


  1. Can I just say how much I LOVE this new site of yours!!! I’m so anxious for Fanny to be old enough to do these things. You have SOOO many wonderful, creative and educational ideas. Thank you so much for taking the time to share!!

  2. […] Play dough: […]

  3. […] We love to make our own play doh with this recipe, but any play doh provides hours of fun at any […]

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