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Homemade Play Dough Recipe

Updated: Mar 2, 2021

Play dough is a firm favourite in our house and, as well as making big batches for my monthly collections, I also have a little Bean putting in her own requests. I've experimented with a number of recipes over the years, but this quick, no cook recipe is the best (in my opinion).

Why does my child need to play with play dough?

Working with play dough (in fact, any dough) is great for strengthening muscle tone in little hands. All that squishing and squashing helps to develop the muscles, preparing them for mastering other skills such as using scissors, fastening buttons, holding a pencil etc.

Working with play dough is calming and therapeutic, especially for ‘kinaesthetic’ learners (those who learn by ‘doing’). I’m sure that many of you can relate to having improved focus and concentration when you’ve got something in your hand to play with.

Play dough inspires creativity and encourages imaginative play. The possibilities with play dough are limitless. Providing your child with a variety of mark making materials and loose parts will help them to develop these skills.

Why is homemade play dough best?

Homemade play dough is safe to touch. With just a few, simple ingredients, which you will readily find in your kitchen, you don't need to worry about nasty chemicals leaching into your child's skin.

Homemade play dough is 'safe' to mouth. I say 'safe' in inverted commas as, although the ingredients are all edible, homemade play dough has a LOT of salt in it, so I'd recommend close supervision and to discourage babies and toddlers from actually eating it.

Homemade play dough lasts longer, providing that you care for it. I recommend that you store homemade play dough in the fridge. If possible, it's best to take it out in advance of play, as refrigerated play dough feels cold and hard. Once it reaches room temperature, it returns to it's smooth and pliable consistency.

Homemade play dough can be made in BIG quantities, which I have always found enhances and enriches play opportunities. You can also make it in an array of different colours, and shades of colours, with textures, scents, glitter etc. The possibilities are endless. Children love to make it themselves too.

Here is the recipe that I use:

Play Dough Recipe

2 cups of plain flour

½ cup of salt

2 tbsp of vegetable oil

2 tbsp of cream of tartar

1 cup of boiling water

Food colouring (optional)

Glycerin (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, vegetable oil and cream of tartar. Add a few drops of food colouring (optional) to the boiling water, then add to the mixture. Mix well. The mixture should begin to bind and come away from the edges of the bowl. Turn it out of the bowl and knead, knead, knead! The more you knead, the softer and smoother the dough will become. I set a timer for a minimum of 4 minutes. A few drops of glycerine (optional) will make your play dough shiny.​

Don't want to make your own? No problem...

I have just NINE of these HEDGEHOG themed play dough invitations available for PRE-ORDER. These will dispatch the first week of October. You can find them here.

I have also released a Christmas Subscription listing for my themed play dough invitations. You can find a THREE month subscription here, or a SIX month subscription here. The first box will land on your doorstep at the beginning of December, just in time for Christmas, and the theme will be STARS!

Hope you all have a beautiful, playful day! With love, Rowan x

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