“Once Playdough colors are mixed, there’s no going back.” –Dee Ann Stewart
How to Make Playdough at Home
Playdough is a favorite toy for most children. All ages, from toddlers to teens, love to express their creativity and display their imagination with colored squishy playdough. People often buy playdough at the store in small plastic tubs. Sometimes this store-bought playdough comes with interesting molding tools.
But as much fun as playdough can be, parents and child-care providers spend a lot of money on store-bought dough, only to see it ruined by containers left open, mixed up colors, and dried-out creations.
Homemade playdough can reduce the cost while providing a more enriching experience for children. Involving children in the creation process makes the dough creation half of the fun. Parents or caregivers can turn this project into fun science or math lessons by doubling the recipe or by trying different ingredients. As cheap as the dough is to make, it can be used for all sorts of crafts without having to worry about wasted money.
Below are a few basic playdoughdough recipes, followed by some fun variations. Each recipe contains simple, natural ingredients that can be found at the local grocery store. This can be a great reassurance if you have children who are prone to eating playdough.
How to Make Basic Playdough (makes one large ball)
This playdough does not taste good, but it smells much better than the store-bought kind.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- food coloring
- Mix flour and salt together in a large bowl, then slowly add vegetable oil while staring.
- Stir until vegetable oil is evenly distributed.
- Stir eight drops of your favorite food coloring with water, and then pour water into the bowl.
- Mix thoroughly.
- When the dough begins to ball in the center of the bowl, take it out and knead with hands.
- If it remains too sticky, add a bit more flour.
- Some food coloring may transfer to hands, but once dough is thoroughly combined this should stop.
- Mixed dough can be stored in plastic bags in refrigerator.
How to Make Peanut Butter Playdough
Peanut butter playdough is a simple playdough that doubles as a tasty snack. This is fun for toddlers and preschoolers. Allow children to make fun shapes with cookie cutters or clean hands, and then eat their creations.
- 2 cups creamy peanut butter
- 2 cups powdered milk
- 4 tablespoons honey (optional)
- food coloring (optional)
- wax paper
- Combine peanut butter and powdered milk in a large bowl.
- Since peanut butter consistencies vary, you may need to use more or less powdered milk to achieve the right texture.
- If additional sweetness is desired, add honey.
- The playdough will be a light brown in color.
- It’s possible to make this into some dark colors by using generous amounts of food coloring.
- Mix well in the bowl then knead on wax paper with hands.
- This playdough can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Scented Dough: This is a fun variation to the Basic Playdough, and when wrapped nicely in wax paper can be a fun and special gift idea.
- 1 ball each red, yellow, orange, blue basic dough, and one uncolored ball basic dough.
- 1 tsp each peppermint, lemon, orange, vanilla, and coconut extract.
- Knead 1 tsp of each flavor extract into a corresponding colored ball:
- Mix peppermint with red dough, lemon with yellow, orange with orange, vanilla with blue, and coconut with the uncolored ball. Store each scent in a separate Ziploc baggie.
- These scent/color combinations are just a few suggestions, there are many more to be tried.
Making Fun Flavor Playdough: These are a few tasty variations to the Peanut Butter Playdough, creating gourmet flavors. Add each set of additional ingredients to the Peanut Butter Playdough recipe.
Ingredients for Making Chocolate Playdough:
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp powered sugar
Ingredients for PB and J Playdough:
- 2 tsp strawberry extract
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
Ingredents for Spiced Orange Playdough:
- 1 tbsp finely grated orange peel
- 1 tsp cinnamon
How to Make Apple Playdough:
Replace 1 cup of peanut butter with 1 cup apple sauce. Do not add honey.
These few recipes and variations offer only a starting place for your imagination. The different types, scents, and flavors of dough you can create are countless. Discover just how much fun you and your children can have exploring all the ways to create home made playdough. Even your failures will be a great batch of fun.