Monday, October 15, 2012

Easy No-cook Homemade Play Dough

We made homemade playdough today to welcome back... (fanfare of trumpets) our first rain of the season!  I say that with excitement because the alternative is breaking down in tears...haha.  Living in Colorado for the majority of your life does not adequately prepare you for gray skies and persistent rain.

House full of little ones + Drizzles for 75% of the year = Serious need for engaging activities.

Why make homemade play dough?
  • The dough comes from everyday ingredients, not a magical plastic tub in a magical box from who knows where.  
  • There's no need for a "non-toxic" label on this.  Everything in it is edible (although I probably wouldn't actually encourage eating the food coloring or white flour on a regular basis anymore...), with no mystery ingredients.
  • Scooping, measuring, and stirring ingredients is much more fun to do with kids when dinner quality is not at stake.  Would I hand my 4-year-old a carton of salt and say, "Here, measure this into tonight's casserole?"  Probably not.  
  • The kids get to see their hard work turn into something real, that they can really use.
  • The kids get to mix colors together to create their own shade of play dough.

We chose a no-cook play dough recipe so the kids could stir everything, and not have to wait for anything to cool.  It is not quite as silky smooth as cooked play dough, but they didn't mind one bit.

No-Cook Homemade Play Dough

1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
1/3 cup water
food coloring (optional)

Mix ingredients together, kneading until a smooth dough is formed.  Add food color as desired.  Play!

We chose to separate the white dough into batches so we could make several different colors with the food coloring.  The kids (4 and 2) were able to do pretty much everything themselves, with just a little measuring and food-color-dispensing help.  


  1. Looks like fun! How easily did the food coloring come off the little hands? I'm wondering if the play dough you cook doesn't transfer so much food coloring to hands?

    Sorry the rain is making its return, although I wouldn't mind some of it! :)

    1. The food coloring was pretty messy, and it took a while to come off, even with repeat washing. I think the problem was that I let them add their own, and make their own colors, so it was super concentrated right on their skin. Now that they are just playing with it like normal, it doesn't color their hands at all. I'd love to send some rain your way! :)

  2. bookmarking for next year when my son is old enough not to put everything in his mouth! I think i might try turmeric, beet powder, etc to color it.


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