Monday, April 25, 2011

Who Doesn't Love Playdough?

I'm not crafty. At all. I love the idea of making things, but I have very little patience and a perfectionist nature that makes crafting difficult for me. I will start a project on full blast, get bored and lazy with it while I try to rush to the end, then get frustrated with my end product which is normally too big, too small, lopsided, discolored, or smelly. Because of this, I tend to shy away from making things with my kids, even though I have to admit that these activities make me feel like a good mom, even when they go horribly awry and I end up overwhelmed with damage control and clean-up. Well, I have found the perfect project for me and my kids: Playdough. It's easy, cheap, takes about ten whole minutes to make, and I always feel like an awesome mom when I cook some up for the kids.

I have tried lots of different recipes for playdough, and my favorite is as follows:

2 cups plain flour
2 cups colored water
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup salt

Combine all the ingredients in a pan and stir over low heat. It will gradually thicken into dough, and then you just plop it out of the pan, let it cool off, and play with it.

I play with it, too!

This dough is freakishly similar to the stuff you buy at the store; it stays pliable for hours, and it will keep for weeks in the fridge, in a sealed container. I divide the dough between my two kids and give them forks, toothpicks, cookie cutters, plastic knives, pizza rollers, glitter, beads, pipe cleaners; everything and anything I can think of that they can use to shape the dough. My kids play with it for long chunks of time, and when they get bored (as all kids inevitably do) I make myself a playdough stressball to get me through the destruction that follows. So, really, everybody wins!


  1. I haven't tried my hand at making handmade playdough, but I think i just might! I am always looking for inventive ways to keep my son busy while I'm trying to finish some sewing or homework...great post :)

  2. YES! I finally have a play dough recipe!

  3. Mel here-
    Yes, do try it out and let us know how it goes! I used to be incredibly reluctant to try it because it seemed like it should be a pain in the behind, but this recipe is incredibly easy and quick. Everytime I make it, I'm simply amazed by how much it feels like the store bought playdough, and I end up playing with it just as much as the kids. It's great!