Inspiration

10 Easy Recipes for Making Homemade Play Dough

June 20, 2022

Start having squishy-mushy fun in no time at all.

Start having squishy-mushy fun in no time at all.
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There might as well be a Periodic Table of Play dough. You can take your homemade play dough in all sorts of directions, with recipes that make it a multisensory treat for children.

Homemade play dough is a surefire hit with the little ones. It’s an immersive sensory experience for curious hands, and opens up all sorts of possibilities for creative play. Plus, it’s easy for grown-ups to prepare, and you’ve likely got most of the ingredients on hand already.

To dive into a world of different textures, colours, scents, and even flavours, here are 10 easy recipes for squishy-mushy homemade play dough.

1. Colourful and edible play dough

In a nutshell:
This homemade play dough is stretchy, smooth and 100% safe to nibble and taste. The colours and flavours make this recipe a sensory adventure for little ones.

Edible:
Yes

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 ½ cups white flour
  • ½ cup of salt
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
  • 1 package of fruit-flavoured drink mix, either in powdered or concentrated form
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

How to make the homemade play dough:
Start by bringing the water to a boil before setting it aside. Next, combine the flour, salt, cream of tartar, and soft drink mix in a large bowl and whisk together. Add in the vegetable oil and stir with a spoon. Keep stirring until the dough has cooled down. Lastly, knead it on a surface that is lightly dusted with flour until it feels smooth and stretchy.

Source: All Recipes

2. Silky and stretchy play dough

In a nutshell:
Play dough that’s so soft it feels like a cloud in your hands. It’s easy to make and lasts for months, if you store it in an airtight container.

Edible:
No

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of hair conditioner (any cheap brand will work)
  • 2 cups of cornflour

How to make the homemade play dough:
Combine the two ingredients in a bowl. The conditioner gives the play dough its silky texture, so if your play dough feels too dry, just add a tablespoon of conditioner at a time until you reach the desired texture. It should only require about a minute of kneading before it’s ready.

Source: Laughing kids learn

3. Jell-O Playdough

In a nutshell:
If you’re looking for a recipe that comes close to the commercial stuff, this is it – but with a twist! This homemade play dough smells irresistible.

Edible:
Yes

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 3oz pack Jello

How to make the homemade play dough:
Add all of the ingredients to a saucepan and place on medium heat. Keep stirring and wait for the mixture to thicken. This can take a while, but just keep at it. Once you have a thick doughy mixture, remove it from the pan to cool for about half an hour. Finally, knead it on a lightly dusted surface, and then you’re ready to play!

Source: Modern parents messy kids

4. Gritty Sandbox Dough

In a nutshell:
Especially as children start to explore tactile and sensory play, this homemade play dough will win favour over all others! It’s recommended for ages three and up but you can give it to curious two-year-olds, if they’re under supervision.

Edible:
No

What you’ll need:

  • Play Sand
  • Corn Starch
  • Water
  • Food Coloring

How to make the homemade play dough:
Combine four cups of play sand with two cups of cornstarch in a mixing bowl. You can also add some food colouring or chalk for a fun pop of colour. Add water very slowly, continuously assessing the consistency of the sand. The play dough should clump together in your fist, so be careful of not adding too much water.

Source: Mamas happy hive

5. Pumpkin moon sand

In a nutshell:
This play dough is sandy, smells great, and offers a wonderful sensory experience for little hands. However, it is not edible, so you’ve got to make sure children have supervision with this one.

Edible:
No

What you’ll need:

  • Play sand
  • Corn starch
  • Water
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Food colourant (optional)
  • Play bin/container

How to make the homemade play dough:
Combine four cups of play sand with two cups of cornstarch in a mixing bowl. Add some pumpkin pie spice for a great scent, and a bit of orange food colouring if you’d like a pop of colour. Add water slowly and steadily, continuously checking the consistency. The play dough should clump together in your fist and it should be fairly mouldable despite the gritty texture, be careful not to add too much water.

Source: Growing a jewelled rose

6. No-cook coconut play dough

In a nutshell:
This homemade play dough offers one of the most diverse sensory experiences of the whole bunch. It smells great, feels exciting, has a lovely consistency, and looks great, too — the total package!

Edible:
Yes

What you’ll need:

  • 1 ½ cups Plain Flour
  • 1 ½ cups Corn Flour (Corn Starch)
  • 3 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 1/3 Cup Boiling Water
  • 1 cup Salt
  • 2 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • ¼ Cup Shredded Coconut
  • 50ml Coconut Essence (found in the baking aisle at the supermarket)
  • No colouring is required as the cornflour provides a bright white colour.

How to make the homemade play dough:
Start by combining the flour, cornflour, salt, and cream of tartar together in a bowl. Once you’ve got that blended, mix the coconut essence and oil into the dry ingredients before adding one cup of boiling water to the mixture. Stir it thoroughly. Once it’s formed a lump, remove the dough and start kneading it —add extra flour if it’s too sticky. Knead it until it reaches the consistency that you prefer, and then you’re ready to play!

Source: Learning 4 kids net

7. Blackberry play dough

In a nutshell:
This homemade play dough brings a bright color, and deliciously fruity flavour to the table. The colour, the smell, taste and the texture work perfectly in harmony with one another for a berry-licious experience.

Edible:
Yes

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 125g crushed blackberries
  • ¼ cup blackberry jam
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar

How to make the homemade play dough:
Blend the blackberries, the blackberry jam and the water together until the mixture is smooth. Add this mixture to a pot, stirring in the remaining ingredients on a medium heat. It will thicken into a lump of dough and at this point, you can remove it from the pan. Knead it to get it nice and smooth and store it in a sealable plastic container to use it again and again.

Source: Learning4kids net

8. Oatmeal textures play dough recipe

In a nutshell:
This three-ingredient no-cook recipe for homemade oatmeal play dough is maybe the easiest one to make — plus, it’s got a great texture, edible, and is great to play with.

Edible:
Yes

What you’ll need:

  • 2 parts uncooked oats
  • 1 part water
  • 1 part flour

How to make the homemade play dough:
Start by combining the ingredients and stirring well — as long as you keep the ratios, you can make as big or small a batch as you want. Mix it all up to form a decent dough that forms a good consistency. Then, just keep kneading it until you get the consistency you want. It should smell like oatmeal and hold together beautifully.

Source: Mess for less

9. Textured aromatherapy play dough

In a nutshell:
This easy homemade play dough recipe’s big claim to fame is that it keeps for 6 months. Plus, it smells great! Based on the essential oils you use, it can also have a soothing effect.

Edible:
Yes

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups plain flour (all purpose)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (coconut oil work too)
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 1 to 1.5 cups boiling water
  • 2 drops of your favourite essential oil
  • gel food colouring (optional)

How to make the homemade play dough:
Add the food colouring directly to the boiling while you combine the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil together in a mixing boil. Stir the flour mixture into the boiling water until the mixture becomes sticky. Add the glycerine and then remove the dough from the pot and allow it to cool. Knead it thoroughly to achieve the perfect consistency, adding flour if the dough starts to feel sticky.

Source: The imagination tree

10. Funfetti play dough

In a nutshell:
Funfetti play dough is a fun twist on a combination of confetti and play dough.

Edible:
No

What you’ll need:

  • Coloured rice
  • Store-bought playdough

How to make the homemade play dough:
Dye your rice by placing uncooked rice in a bowl and slowly, drop by drop, adding food colourant. Mix the food colouring into the rice before, adding more if you want to deepen the hue. Next add dyed rice to your play dough by kneading it in. The result is a colourful, textured dough that’s perfect to explore for curious children!

Source: Childhood101


The big ideas

Official Danish Government Reopening Advice

Guidance from the Danish Health Ministry, translated in full to English.

Picture of a Guidance document
UK Nursery Covid-19 Response Group Recommendations

The full recommendations from a working group of over 70 nursery chains in the UK.

Please note: here at Famly we love sharing creative activities for you to try with the children at your setting, but you know them best. Take the time to consider adaptions you might need to make so these activities are accessible and developmentally appropriate for the children you work with. Just as you ordinarily would, conduct risk assessments for your children and your setting before undertaking new activities, and ensure you and your staff are following your own health and safety guidelines.

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