There’s a problem with Play Doh and that problem is that it never lasts long at our house. The bright pink mixes with the soft yellow and the blue and orange mesh into a mess, and before I’ve even realized what’s happening, we are stuck with seven cans of murky brown Play Doh.
And as if the murky brownness isn’t enough, my kids have a tendency to drop significant percentages of it on the floor. By the time they’re finished playing and ready to put their Play Doh away, half of it is dried out and has to be swept up.
For that reason, I don’t often buy it. It’s good fun, yes, but I don’t typically spend money on things that I know won’t last long. Sure, store-bought play dough comes with cool play sets and amazing colors, but I just can’t bring myself to buy it when I know that I can make it so cheaply at home.
There are several recipes for homemade playdough. Many of them contain ingredients that I don’t typically have on hand, so I opt for the simplest possible recipe. What I use could probably even be considered a salt dough recipe, but with a little extra flour it becomes soft enough to play with for hours.
Homemade PlayDough Recipe
- 1 cup of flour (whatever kind you have on hand)
- ¼ cup of salt
- ½ cup of water
- 3 to 5 drops of natural food coloring (I use this brand)
- Mix together the flour and the salt.
- Mix together ½ cup of warm water with a few drops of food coloring.
- Slowly pour the water into the flour mixture, stirring as you pour. Stir until combined, then knead with your hands until the flour is completely absorbed. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour until it doesn’t stick at all.
If your kids are anything like mine, they’ll enjoy playing with the homemade playdough, but they’ll want a few toys to play with, too. I might not be able to come up with an intricate, all-plastic ice cream parlor or anything, but I can hand them some good old-fashioned kitchen utensils that make them just as happy. These are a few of the things I give my kids to use with their playdough:
- Rolling pins
- Cookie cutters
- Mason jar rings
- Biscuit cutters
Eventually, the homemade playdough will stop holding your kids’ interest. This means you’ll have to find something else to entertain them, and a place to store your play dough. I can’t really help with the first part of that, but I can recommend that you keep your play dough in an airtight container. Use glassware with a lid, recycled plastic containers, or even old Play Doh containers. As long as your play dough can sit tight without being left out, it should last for several months or more.
The next time you’re stuck inside for a rainy day, get your children to help you make some homemade playdough! They’ll enjoy making it, but not as much as they’ll enjoy playing with it.