Homemade Play Dough Recipe
Our son just recently turned two, and this year we were having a hard time finding good stocking stuffers that were both small enough to fit in a stocking but not choking hazards. My husband came up with the idea of giving him Play-Doh. We soon realized, however, that Play-Doh does not list its ingredients anywhere publicly and that it is also made in China where production standards are much more lenient. Since our son is still at a young age where he is likely to attempt to put something like play dough into his mouth, we didn't want to risk it with something that has such uncertain origins and ingredients. No harm done, however, because we simply researched ways to make homemade play dough from scratch.
It turns out that a good quality play dough that keeps for a long time is quite easy to make from simple food-grade ingredients. With this homemade play dough, we know exactly what ingredients are in what our child will be playing with and exactly how the dough was made. I love this recipe, because it is easy to make, the perfect consistency for play, and it keeps for a long time as long as it is stored securely. Have fun!
(Remember, of course, that young children should still be supervised while playing with something like play dough, of course, no matter how certain you are that it is non-toxic.)
Homemade Play Dough Recipe
makes four 2 1/2 inch diameter balls of play dough
- 1 cup of warm water
- 1/4 cup salt
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1 cup flour
- 15-20 drops of food coloring per ball (4 balls per batch)
1. In a small, non-stick sauce-pan, mix the warm water, salt, cream of tartar, and canola oil. Slowly blend in the flour, getting rid of clumps.
2. When blended, turn the stove eye to medium heat (medium-low on a gas range). Stir constantly. As it heats, it will begin to clump and turn into dough.
3. When smooth and thickened, remove from heat promptly. Pull the dough out of the pan and let cool a little. Start kneeding as soon as possible until well-blended and appropriate consistency. Divide into four even balls.
4. Add food-coloring five drops at a time to each ball until color is evenly mixed in and desired hue. (Wash hands between colors). Let cool.
5. Place the colorful dough balls in plastic bags or airtight containers when cooled. Have fun!
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