Children love playing with anything tactile, whether it be their food that they should be eating or even the contents of their nasal cavities, they tend to love being able to manipulate and mould a material, play dough is perfect for exactly this. Think of play dough to be like a kids version of a stress ball, then add the benefits of creation and suddenly the mess which comes with play dough suddenly seems worth it.
My top tip is to try to keep your kids at the table when they play with this stuff and change their socks after they’ve finished playing with the dough to minimise the risk of you having to scrub and scrape your carpets for the next few days.
Play dough provides huge amounts of fun for both kids and adults in our household. It is one of the classic toys which my kids love to play with for hours on end, they also love to argue over whose got the biggest ball of dough, so be sure to provide plenty! It needn’t cost you an arm and a leg though, rather than buying the small tubs that they sell in the shops, save some pennies and make your own!
Here’s my quick and easy guide to making play dough, this was my Mum’s recipe and I personally think it’s one of the best.
You will need:
- A medium pan
- A wooden spoon
- 1 cup plain flour
- ½ cup salt
- 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
- 2 tablespoons Baby Oil (this makes the dough last longer and smell nicer!)
- 1 cup water
- Food Colouring (colour of your choice)
How to make the play dough
- Keeping the pan off the heat begin adding the ingredients
- Put the flour, salt and cream of tartar into the pan
- Add the water and baby oil to the mix and stir it together.
- Now add the food colouring and stir together until the mix is no longer marbled in colour.
- Now switch the heat on and slowly stir the mix until it becomes dough like.
- Once the mix has formed the consistency of dough switch the heat off.
- Put the dough onto a cool surface and begin kneading it until its even in texture.
How to store play dough
- It is best to keep play dough in an air tight container and keep it in a cool, dry place.
- The play dough should last between 2-4 weeks.
For even more fun, let your little one play with the dough when it is still warm (ensure it is at a safe temperature). Theres something particularly special about playing with freshly made, warm play dough. It seems to be even more stretchy and touchy-feely, the kids certainly seem to like it too.
Let me know if you use the recipe, I’d love to hear whether you found it to be less stress, less mess and hopefully a success!