Fun with Homemade Play-Doh!

Liz Fogle

The weather took a dramatic shift in Kentucky this week. We were left digging out our winter clothes and searching for activities to do indoors (oh spring weather…come back soon). The dramatic weather shift has also left this mommy feeling under the weather. The last thing I wanted to do was stick Bug (my daughter) in front of the television all day. So I decided to do a project that has been on my “To Do List” for a while. Our supply of store-bought play-doh is slowly drying out, so I decided to make a homemade version (just for fun). I knew Bug would love making it and it would give mommy sometime to rest. Plus, homemade play-doh reminds me of my childhood!

If you “google” search homemade play-doh, you are going to get a ton of recipes. You will get regular play-doh recipes and edible play-doh recipes (I am so grossed out by the edible ones!). The recipe I chose is one that came from my pastor’s wife (Nana Sharon). This recipe has been tested by countless grandkids and kids at church. Just for fun, I did make a few changes to the recipe: I exchanged the vegetable oil for baby oil (makes your hands feel amazing and the play-doh smells great) and I experimented with how to color it. I made one batch with food coloring and the other with kool-aid (both versions turned out great).

Here are the supplies you will need:
- Measuring Cups/Measuring Spoons
- Cooking Pot
- 1 Cup of Water
- 1 Cup of Flour
- 1/4 Cup of Salt
- 2 tsp. of Cream of Tarter
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil (I used baby oil)
- Food Coloring (I used food coloring and kool-aid. Kool-aid works great as food coloring)

This recipe is so easy and I guarantee you have all the supplies in your cabinet! You will want to gather all of your ingredients before you start.

You take all of the above ingredients (water, flour, salt, cream of tarter, oil, and coloring) and combine them in a cooking pot. Bug makes a crazy mess when I let her measure out ingredients. So I measured them out and let her dumb them in the pot. If your child is older, this recipe is a great way to incorporate a little math and fraction review (a mom can dream…right).

You then take your mixture and place it on the stove on medium heat. I will admit I was a little skeptical at this point because it looked like red mushy slim instead of play-doh.

After about 3-4 minutes the play-doh began to firm up. You need to cook it until the mixture starts pulling away from the sides of the pot. If you dump it too soon you will have red mushy slim. If you cook it too long you will have burnt play-doh (believe me it doesn’t smell good!!!). After it begins to pull away from the sides, you need to dump it on wax paper to cool. If you try to handle the play-doh too soon, your hand will look like this.

After it cools though, you have great play-doh. I loved that it was so smooth, soft, and pliable. I find store-bought play-doh kind of crumbly,
but this recipe is not. As you can see, Bug loved her new creation!!

We are storing our play-doh in plastics bags, but plastic baby food containers are also a great way to store it too (anyone have any I can borrow). We made this batch of play-doh for our house, but I also think it would be a great inexpensive party favor. Add a cute container and a sticker and you have a great favor for your kiddos friends! Check out this picture I found.

Let me know if you have any great projects to pass along to me. You may see it featured in my blog. Can’t wait to hear from you!

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  • by Joanne Location: Bowling Green, KY on May 9, 2012 at 10:55 AM
    I made this for our 5 children over 30 years ago and we always loved how pliable and soft it was as opposed to Play-doh. Plus, you can make all your favorite colors. Glad the tradition carries on!
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