I don’t know if you’ve had the opportunity to work with Play-Doh lately, but my niece Mitra loooooves the stuff so I get to play with it all the time. It comes in all kinds of crazy colors these days- you can actually buy a pack that claims to have 50 different colors! Oh, and it smells disgusting.
I never knew about REAL Play-Doh as a kid, because my resourceful mom made my sisters and me play with homemade play-dough. It’s cheaper, it’s safe, it’s edible, and it’s great for people like me who don’t have too many toys in their house. It only takes a few minutes to make, and can even be composted afterwards (if you’re into that sort of thing.)
You don’t need the fancy toys and accessories either- you can find all kinds of great substitutes around the house. A garlic press was our personal favorite as kids. Plastic cookie cutters and rubber stamps are really fun as well. With littler kids, anything that makes a texture is fun and educational- a pot scrubber, a mesh strainer, etc.
Recipe to make homemade play-dough:
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1/4 cup salt
- In a saucepan, combine flour, water, cream of tartar, oil, and salt.
- Stir over medium heat until smooth.
- Remove from pan and knead until blended.
- Store in a plastic bag or airtight container when cooled.
If you want to be fancy, add colors or glitter. You can knead in food coloring pastes or liquids. It won’t be as vibrant as the store-bought stuff, and your hands will pick up the color when you mix it in. If you don’t want to risk blue hands, just let the kid mix it in! 🙂
[Photos by Anna Azimi]
Find more crafts to do together at our makin’ it series!