Play-Doh Trickery

My daughter likes to play with play-doh. And by that I mean she LOVES play-doh. I on the other hand do not particularly enjoy it (which is of course ironic since I majored in sculpture in college). But I like to see my children happy so when she asks to take it out I usually agree and become the official play-doh pancake maker/spaghetti cutter.

I’ve seen recipes for homemade play-doh before and I’ve always thought to myself “Why bother? The folks at Hasbro do a fine job.” Well I’ll tell you why; good ‘ol fashioned girl-time time dammit. I’m always trying to entice my daughter to spend a little quality time baking with me, but the minute the measuring is done she’s off to smother the dog, annoy her brother or get herself into some “Santa’s not going to bring you any presents” kind of trouble. However, since she’s the type of little lady who’s never met a craft she doesn’t love, I imagined that making play-doh might actually hold her interest for more than 5 minutes. We could whip up a batch and then we (she) could play with it till her heart’s content. Kinda like cooking, kinda like crafting, kinda like tricking her into enjoying my company. Ha ha, score one point for Mom!

This play-doh recipe was crazy simple to make, required ingredients that most everyone already has on hand and went from slop in a saucepan to dolphins, pancakes and outrageous orange spaghetti in no time flat. If you’re looking for a way to occupy a few hours one afternoon I highly recommend making play-doh. Then kick back with a little online shopping or that book you’ve been wanting to read while the kids enjoy their creation.

Homemade Play-doh
You can make this play-doh in just about any color you can imagine. We decided to go with green, orange and blue.

new play-doh

1 cup water
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
food coloring*
1 cup flour

  1. Combine water, oil, salt, cream of tartar and food coloring in a saucepan and heat 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until it’s warm.
  2. Remove from heat and add the flour, stir until a soft dough forms. Transfer dough to a cutting board and knead until fully blended and smooth. (The dough will be quite hot so it should be kneaded carefully and by an adult.)
  3. Form the finished dough into a ball and let cool for 5 minutes before exploring your creative side. Store in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.

To make orange = 10 drops red food coloring 14 drops yellow
To make blue = 20 drops blue food coloring + 3 drops red
To make green = 15 drops green food coloring + 5 drops blue

*adapted from family education


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