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How To Make Your Own Play-Doh - And Create Great Christmas Gifts With It!

Updated on January 22, 2012

Fed Up With Convential Play-Doh? Try Salt Dough!

If you are anything like me, and if your children are anything like mine, then they love Play-Doh. I love it too...except that it always ends up a kind of browny colour where all the colours mix up and invariably ends up too hard to play with and gets thrown away...and it is not cheap.

So I was extremely pleased when I came across a recipe that told me how to make "Salt Dough" and the real beauty of this is not just that it is made with the cheapest ingredients that I have in my kitchen, but also that you can bake it and preserve the mini masterpieces that your children have made!


You will need:

  • 240g Flour
  • 300g Salt
  • 200ml Water

Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl and then add the water gradually, taking care not to make the mixture too wet as it will be too sloppy to hold it's shape when modelled.


It's Child's Play!

The mixture should soon take on a doughy texture after a while and if you have got the consistancy right - it will be just like Play-Doh. It is great fun for kids to play with just as it is; but you could add some food colouring or paint should you wish.

I let the children make their models (a dinosaur and a biscuit in this instance) while I set to work on making a home-made keepsake for the Grandparents this Christmas.

First, I rolled the dough out - using a child's rolling pin of course!


Then using your child in particular to act as a template, you can cut around their hand and make a perfect copy.


Then Bake 'Em!

Pop them onto a lightly floured baking tin - you may need a spatula to free them from the kitchen counter - and bake at a very low setting in the oven for around 2-3 hours. They will be very brown when done with and no remains of softness underneath.

Be careful - they are very hot for a long while!


Once completely cooled, you can then varnish them as they are (they look like little disembodied hands (in a somewhat biscuity cute way)) or allow the kids to paint and decorate with glitter and glue however they like.


Any left over dough you have can be kept in airtight container. Be warned; once exposed to the air for a while, it does begin to get dry and crumble, so can be potentially messy but it lasts long enough for the kids to enjoy. My kids love to play with it as they would Play-Doh.

And The Verdict?

I do feel that using the red on this occasion was not really the right one, and I should have given the kids just glitter and glue to decorate their hands with. However, this is what the children wanted to do and they are their hands after all.


The Dinosaur and the Biscuit came out great though - mini masterpieces from my three and two year old; preserved in time for us to remember and cherish!

© 2011 Earthy Mother


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    • Earthy Mother profile image

      Earthy Mother 6 years ago from South East England

      Ha ha! It is good fun and simple to do. It's good also for the very young ones as they're not tempted to put it in their mouths as it tastes terrible (yet is also non-toxic should they do!)

      I hope you have lots of fun and do let me know how you get on! xx

    • smileitstuesday profile image

      Lauren Smith 6 years ago from Cambridgeshire, UK

      This is a lovely idea, Earthy Mother!

      I often look after my three cousins who are all under 9, this is a good idea to keep them occupied, looks pretty simple to make as well. (And okay I confess, I want to make a salt-dough dinosaur too myself!)

      I'll let you know how they turn out!


    • Earthy Mother profile image

      Earthy Mother 6 years ago from South East England

      Oh no! I'm sorry to hear that... What happened Evelyn?

    • profile image

      evelyn 6 years ago

      i tryed it all but it was a waste of time