2 Cups of Flour
1 Cup of Salt
2 Cups Water
4 Tablespoons Cream of Tartar
2 Tablespoons Oil
Food Coloring

Combine all the ingredients except food coloring. Cook over low heat for approximately three minutes. Stir continuously. When mixture is like a ball, remove from heat. Add food coloring. Keep in air tight container.

If your kids want different colors, you can separate the finished batch of dough into piles and use generous drops of food coloring on each pile, following the proportions on the back of the food coloring box, adding more and more to produce darker and darker versions of the colors you want. We keep a box of rubber gloves under our sink for messy crafts like this and we both wear a pair to keep our hands from staining as we mix the color into the dough.

To keep play dough accessories organized in one place, we use a clear plastic bag with a zipper, the kind of bag that quilts and/or sheet sets come in when they are purchased new. Norah has collected quite a few play dough accessories over the years and this bag still provides plenty of space for everything, including her play dough.

I prefer this home made play dough to the brand name version since it doesn't get so hard when it sits without use. The store bought play dough can be difficult for little hands to manipulate until it has been played with for several minutes. It also smells great and keeps for a really long time.


gina said…
I think we shall grab some cream of tarter tomorrow and give this a whirl. Wish I saw this BEFORE I spent almost ten dollars on two small boxes of modeling clay this AM. :)

I just hate the smell of PLAY-DOH so it seemed worth it, after seeing how easy it is to make some... not so much!
I also HATE the smell of store bought play dough. This really is so easy to do. I actually just threw everything in the pot as in sat on the stove, then turned on the heat, began to stir and kept stirring till it all bunched together like the recipe says it will. That's it! And, we mixed the color in before Norah played with it... But, as she played it spread out into the dough even more.
Megan W said…
I much prefer homemade playdoh as well, mostly because it doesn't crumble off in a thousand little bits like storebought stuff.

We used food coloring from the grocery store for a while, but I have found something I like much better b/c it doesn't stain the hands & table as much. In the cake decorating aisle at your craft store, get the small jars of Wilton Icing Colors. It's gel coloring, so a little goes a long way.

Also, you can add a few teaspoons of an extract to the playdoh for fun smells. Like banana extract in yellow playdoh, cherry or strawberry extract in your red or pink playdough, mint extract in your green playdough, etc. I try to choose the extracts with the highest alcohol content b/c the playdoh lasts longer before molding. Target & Walmart have tons of extract choices!

One other thing - you can add that cheap craft gold or silver glitter from Michael's (but don't add it until you remove the playdoh from the heat). That is my signal to my kids that the playdoh is not going to taste good (as opposed to peanut butter playdoh and the like!). (FYI - it doesn't get everywhere like loose glitter.)

Love your blog - thanks so much for sharing! I have printed a BUNCH of your ideas to do with my kids! :)
Megan W said…
Sorry - one other thing - I just saw your comment about the color not being even. Are you using a whisk when you first start cooking it (before it stiffens)? Also, if you put it in your mixer for a minute afterward, it will be much smoother. Sometimes I use the regular mixer paddle, and if it is a stiffer batch the dough hook is perfect.

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