Best-Ever Playdough Recipe

Uncooked Play Dough

2 cups of plain flour
4 tablespoons of ‘cream of tartar’
2 tablespoons of cooking oil
1 cup of salt
2 cups of boiling water
natural food colouring (derived from plants etc)

Pop it all in a mixing bowl and mix.

It looks as though it is not going to mix well at first but hang in there and throw it onto the bench to knead, and it will come together really nicely.

NB: I like to make 2 half size batches, so I can use 2 different colours.
Store either in a container in the fridge, or wrapped in a plastic bag in the cupboard. Mine keeps for a couple of weeks this way.

Utensils and props to provide on the playdough table:
garlic crusher
potato masher
plates and cutlery (depending on age of child)
dyed wooden ice-block sticks
buttons (depending on age of child)
wooden rolling pins
wooden shapes/moulds
there are some helpful plastic playdough toys too e.g. the pizza cutters

Remember when working/playing alongside our young to play/work at their level.
Make balls and ‘sausages’ (shapes) instead of realistic animals etc, which they can’t replicate. Let’s have fun with what we make, remember they learn from what we do, and if they can see us enjoying being creative it will stimulate their love of creativity.

Read Pennie Brownlee’s ‘Magic Places’ to learn some guidelines of how to foster and/or reactivate children’s creativity.

Thanks to K-3 Teacher Resources for this recipe and to a dear friend Kelli Hutchison for sharing it.

To throw a spanner in the works, there is one school of thought that suggests to ban play-dough and to instead make/knead/shape bread with our young. Let’s not do the play/pretend thing, let’s get them working with real-dough. This way there’s no wastage and they live the real experience of dough being mixed and kneaded. They then get to observe the science of it rising and baking and get to devour it at the end! Who’s got a simple and reliable bread recipe? Pizza-dough and scones could be an option too.


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