Play dough is required as part of arts and crafts and as an essential media for child education. Most of the times, using commercial play dough can get unsafe for your child as they may contain oils which are not suitable for all ages.
So, it is always considered safe to have play dough prepared at home, edible and similar to the commercial one’s consistency. While there are lots of recipes to choose from, you must always choose the one that is easy and convenient for you.
Trying these recipes out can help you save the cost and danger of market products and ensure safety.
Ingredients for Play Dough:
Down below is a list of all the ingredients that you will be needing in order to make play dough;
- Essential oils; preferably vegetable or lavender oil
- Cream of tartar
- Baking soda
- Food color
- Peanut butter
Among these ingredients, nothing chemical or glue-based has been used which makes the recipe natural and homemade. Most of these products are also readily available and inexpensive, so it makes the task simple and convenient.
Commercial play dough may contain glue or oils that are not healthy and hence must be avoided.
Criteria of an Ideal Play Dough
Making playdough ain’t enough, you will also have to keep certain criteria in mind before you finish you creation;
- Soft texture
- Long lasting
All of these features must be present in play dough for it to be used correctly. The dough should be reusable from time to time. All of these criteria define play dough that is good to use for playing.
Recipe for Making Play Dough
Trying out different recipes for play dough with alternative options will make the job more comfortable and convenient. Some of these recipes are;
1. How To Make Edible Play Dough With Flour
Flour is the most convenient ingredient to make play dough. Approximately 2 cups of flour are mixed well with a few pinches of salt and 3 tablespoons of cream of tartar. Add 2 cups of water and mix it slowly with the mixture. Add vegetable or lavender oil drop by drop and stir the mixture well.
Whisk the mixture to avoid clumps and make the batter smooth. Heat the mixture for 2 minutes without stopping the stirring and turn the stove off as soon as it’s cooked. Keep it untouched for a while to cool down and start kneading it until it reaches the consistency perfect for use.
Add food color of your choice and knead all over again. You may add glitters and confetti if you want an attractive look, but it is best to avoid if you’re making utterly edible one for children younger than 5 years. Store it into the fridge for a good 2 months, and you’re good to go.
2. How To Make Peanut Butter Play Dough
Peanut butter dough may be used to make miniature ice-creams or food products as part of their craft projects. Take a cup of creamy peanut butter and 2 cups of sugar so that the mixture is semi-solid in consistency. Mix it well and add 2 tablespoons of honey and blend it all to get a smooth texture.
Knead it into a rolled ball and leave it to settle down for a few hours. Now you have your peanut butter playdough ready to be used. You can make ice creams, desserts and the children can have a bite now and then. Avoid in cases of children with peanut allergy.
3. How To Make Play Dough Without Cream Of Tartar
Cream of tartar is the ingredient that holds the mixture in place and gives it stabilization. But it can also be prepared without using cream of tartar. In this case, lemon juice acts as a natural and effective alternative for the cream of tartar.
Just repeat the entire process without cream of tartar and add 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice to the mixture of flour, salt, water, and essential oil. The dough would be the same as the regular one.
4. How To Make Play Dough Without Flour
Although flour is the most staple ingredient, there are alternatives to flour as well. Rice flour can be used instead of traditional flour, and the entire process can be kept the same. In other cases, cornstarch and baking soda mixed in a ratio of 2:1 can be used to make play dough.
Mix cornstarch, baking soda along with essential oil and heat with 2 cups of water for 2 minutes. Cool the mixture and knead it into a rolling ball and store for usage.
5. How To Make Play Dough Without Cornstarch
Even cornstarch has an alternative if you are unable to use it for some reason. You can use marshmallow as an alternative to cornstarch. Microwave the marshmallows with your desired essential oil and stir the mixture with baking soda and little water.
The mixture will eventually turn smooth and when it does, let it cool and settle down. Knead it into your desired shape and add food color to give it a pleasant appearance. You can also use confetti and glitters to make the presentation more attractive.
6. How To Make Play Dough Softer
In case of hard play dough, it must be kneaded while pouring water drop by drop or wrapped in a damp towel and left overnight to absorb the moisture. It can also be done by filling the dough inside a paper bag filled with water and closed from outside.
This will retain the humidity of the dough and keep it soft and durable for a long time.
Precautions While Making Play Dough
Don’t forget the precautions, yes precautions!
- Do not use peanut butter if the child is allergic to it.
- Try using vegetable oil or lavender oil as people are not usually allergic to these.
- Keep away from heating the mixture more than 2 minutes to avoid burns.
- Let the mixture cool down before handling or kneading it to avoid burning your fingers.
Bringing to an end, it can be concluded that play dough is an easy recipe and the ingredients that are used in the process are readily available. This makes the job of choosing homemade ones over commercial ones easy and ensures safety.
Trying out these different recipes for homemade play dough is sufficient to be used by children and is hassle free as well. These recipes are both health friendly and fun to make without any side effects on continuous use.
Who am I? A Montessori educator.
What a pleasure to recognize and interpret each child’s needs!
How exciting to help children become self-reliant and support them in their process of self-development.
I am also truly passionate about guiding adults in building their relationship with children.