A Home Made Play Dough Recipe, Step-By-Step
A Play Dough Recipe You Can make at Home
I found an interesting looking play dough recipe that you can make at home. It looked fairly easy so I thought I would give it a go. What could possibly go wrong? :-)
- 1 Cup of Flour
- 1/2 Cup of Salt
- 1 Cup of Warm Water
- 2 Teaspoons of Cream of Tartar
- 1Tablespoon of Cooking Oil
- Food Colouring
Step 1: The Cooking
Put all of the ingredients into a pan, leave the colouring out for the moment if you intend to make several colours (which I did). I've just realised that I made a mistake when trying out this recipe - I missed out the oil, which would probably explain why it was a little dry.
Slowly heat the ingredients making sure you stir continuously. The mixture should be quite smooth but it will soon start to stiffen. Watch out for lumps forming:
The mixture will begin to stiffen very quickly - at least it did for me. The website I got this play dough recipe from said that it might take a while so I guess it varies. You'll need to put some effort into the stirring at this stage. When your mixture looks like the picture below, it's just about ready:
Step 2: Kneading the Dough
Take the dough out of your pan and roll it onto a suitable surface. I used a wooden bread board for this which was a big mistake as you'll understand when you see some of the later photos!
The dough should be light and springy. It's lovely stuff actually, I don't know why I never tried this before! Knead it for a few minutes like you would knead a bread dough and it should look something like this:
Step 3: Colouring the Dough
I had four colours in mind for this batch - red, green, blue and yellow so I divided up the dough into the four portions, poked a hole in each and put in a few drops of colour into the holes. Made for a pretty photo but turned out to be not that useful:
It took quite a long time to get the colour right with each portion and by the time I got around to the last ones they were starting to dry out a little. So I would recommend working with only one colour at a time. Actually, after having done this and made an utter mess as I'll show you in a moment, in future I think I'll just make half a batch and add the colouring at the cooking stage and just make several batches.
Anyway to use this method you need to add just a few drops of colouring at a time and work that into the dough. Here is what NOT to do - pour too much in so that it floods out all over your wooden bread board leaving a rather large blue stain which will probably stay there forever!!
Nice blue dough though don't you think?
Now repeat the process with each of your portions. Some more tips on the colouring if you are doing it this way:
1) Wear latex gloves! My hands got absolutely covered in dye. Now it's not harmful but it's going to take a few days to come out which looks pretty silly in the meantime!
2) Wash your hands between each colour. I still had wet dye on my hands and some of it spilled over into the other colours.
3) Cover the dough you are not using with a tea towel while you work on the others to prevent them drying out. As I said earlier, I missed out the oil which might explain why my mixture was a little drier than it should have been.
Ok here is my finished product: Not bad for a first attempt!
Other Play Dough Recipe Sources
- Edible Play Dough Recipe Ideas
The play dough recipe I have used here is not harmful to children but it's not really edible either. This page has some ideas of play dough that you can eat when you've finished with it!
- Play-Doh, the Non Home-Made Stuff
If you try this out and it's a disaster or if you just don't want the mess, Play-Doh is probably the most popular shop-bought variety and they do lots of kits that are rather hard to make at home.
- When the Play Dough Recipe Goes Bad!
Oh dear, I thought my blue bread board and multi-coloured hands were bad but it could have been MUCH worse...
- Creative Play Dough Ideas for Kids
This is a 32 page booklet containing step-by-step instructions for things that you can make out of Play Dough. Judging by my rather dismal first attempts, I think I need this book!
Step 4: Create! (The Kid Test!)
My son found it highly amusing to watch me make a mess of my kitchen and he also seemed quite happy with the finished product as you can see here: