Homemade Playdoh

Playdoh. Play-doh. Playdough. It’s the magnificent, moldable medium I bet we all grew up with.  It occupies space in nearly every preschool and kindergarten classroom (and often times higher grades as well) and fosters fine motor development, creativity, and expression.  I love playdoh.  I don’t love to pay for playdoh.  But I do did until recently.  And when I did, that stuff was locked up like Fort Knox.  What’s that?  You want to play with the red playdoh?  Better clean up the green first!  That’s right…this Type A momma wasn’t about to let her precious playdoh colors get mixed together.  Sigh.  Talk about stifling creativity.  Perhaps it was an exercise in using imagination?  No…just me trying to keep my sanity.  An even worse offense was putting the playdoh away without securing each lid completely.  Of course by the time this was discovered, it was usually beyond saving.  $$ in the trash.  Bummer.

I tried several playdoh recipes.  First I looked for one that didn’t require cooking, thinking that would save me oodles of time (Really? Yes…yes I did.) but they all turned out gritty and grainy.  Next I tried to sneak by without buying and using cream of tartar but those batches were too crumbly.  Finally, I found this recipe from Instructables.  I have to cook it and I had to buy cream of tartar but neither one of those things killed me and the end product was so smooth!  Buddy’s only complaint was that it was “stinky” so I added vanilla to fix that.  You could use scented oils as suggested in the original recipe but with Buddy still occasionally mouthing things (including playdoh…though we are mostly past that) I wanted to make sure it was completely edible. (Which is also another plus to making your own…even though manufacturers claim playdoh is non-toxic, it’s still nice to know everything that went into yours came from your pantry.)  So without further ado, check out this great playdoh recipe I found!

Homemade Playdoh (from Instructables)

2 cups flour

2 cups warm water

1 cup salt

2 Tbls vegetable oil (I used canola)

1 Tbls cream of tartar

food coloring

1-2 tsp vanilla

Throw the first 5 ingredients in a large pot over medium-low heat and stir.

Homemade PlaydohAs mixture heats through, you’ll notice it pulling together and thickening rather quickly.

Homemade PlaydohBelow you see it looks like mashed potatoes but it’s not ready yet!  Keep going just a bit longer…

Homemade Playdoh

…until it pulls away from the sides and is no longer sticky, as below.

Homemade Playdoh

At this point, let it cool and divide it into as many pieces as you have colors to make.  Today Buddy chose green and red (a little early for Christmas…) so I divided ours in half.  Roll into a ball and make a divot in the middle and drop in some food coloring.

Homemade Playdoh

It’s a good idea to use gloves for this part.  Food coloring WILL stain your skin during this step.  Once it’s mixed in, there is no longer a need to worry about it staining your skin.  I’ve never had a problem with colored playdoh staining clothes either. Knead the playdoh (adding more color if needed) until the color is fully incorporated.  Add vanilla at this point and knead well.  If your playdoh seems a little dry, go with 2 tsp, otherwise just 1 tsp is fine.

Homemade Playdoh

Repeat with the rest of your colors and store in an airtight container.  I like to use tupperware but ziploc bags work fine too.  Just check them for holes periodically to make sure there’s no extra air getting in and drying out your playdoh. (But if you do notice it has gotten a little dry, try adding water, a teaspoon at a time, to soften.)

Homemade Playdoh

This made quite a bit of playdoh!  It will surely last us a long time.  I was so glad we found a recipe we liked!

Do you have a favorite playdoh recipe?  Anyone out there have a no-cook recipe you would like to share? And the real elephant in the room…how do YOU spell playdoh? 😉

2 thoughts on “Homemade Playdoh

  1. Pingback: ManDIY: Homemade Vanilla | Gaining Mommymentum

  2. Pingback: Homemade Playdoh and Other Adventures | Letters to Oliver

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