Homemade Playdough

A cheap and easy arts and crafts project

WAY back in 1988, I had my first baby.  Sometime in 1989 I bought a book that has been a frequent kitchen companion, “Feed Me! I’m Yours” by Vicki Lanski. It’s got lots of great meal and snack ideas for babies and toddlers, but the most-used section in my house over the years has been the homemade play dough section. The reason I like it so much is that because it’s made out of basic baking ingredients, and unlike the stuff you buy at the store – it washes out of their clothes even after it’s dry.

cooking playdough

Playdough cooling and waiting to be kneaded

When I was in school, the most-used dough recipe was the no-cook, salty dough.  There’s a certain nostalgia for me in using that, but I never cared for the texture of it, and have found the stove-top recipe much more to my liking.  It requires a little more work, and arm strength, to mix it up (especially when you have to make 5 batches in a row), but the result is well worth it.  I have no idea if this book is still available.  It was first printed in 1974 and the 29th printing was in May 1986.  If you can’t find it, I’m sure there are plenty of recipes available online.  The one I like from this book uses flour, salt, cream of tartar, water, oil and food coloring, if you want.  But, there’s the old salt dough recipe, peanut butter playdough, and just today a friend of mine on facebook mentioned that she found a pumpkin spice playdough recipe.  So do a search and pick one and have a good time!  My kids have been going at this for 4 hours now!  It’ll last for a day or two, then it’ll sit for a few months.  By the time they want to play with it again, I’ll have to make new stuff, because it’ll be dried out, but it doesn’t take too long and is quite cheap to make.  Also, to add some aromatherapy to the experience, I added a couple of drops of essential oil to the dough.  Today we have lemongrass, lemon, lime, orange, and lavender.

So below are some of their creations.  Make up a batch for your kids and have some fun!