Kids love playdough. It’s brightly colored, it can be molded into almost anything, and can be used over and over again. It is also great for fine motor skills. You can also make your own at home. Kids will love helping to pick colors and this is a great excuse to get out a color wheel and teach them about how colors change when blended together.
Playdough is surprisingly easy to make, and according to my son is pretty tasty too.
What you need:
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup salt
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- food coloring – I used the Wilton 4 pack of colors (red, blue, green, and yellow)
Add the water and salt to a saucepan and warm over high heat. Once warm (not boiling) add the flour, cream of tartar, and vegetable oil. Stir continuously.
The process from start to finish moves fairly quickly. You will begin to notice the mixture becoming lumpy and thick, then it will begin to move away from the sides of the saucepan and will look rubbery as you continue to stir.
Turn down the heat to a simmer. I find that just because it’s rubbery on the outside, does not mean it isn’t still a little sticky on the inside. Flatten it a little into the base of the saucepan using 2 large spoons, pull it apart a little and flip it over. Do this a few times to ensure that it is cooked properly in the center.
Turn out of the saucepan onto a cutting board and set aside to cool.
Once cool, separate the playdough into equal piles for coloring. I was making the playdough for two children so I doubled the ingredients above and made 4 colors for them to share. This will give you an idea of how much I made:
Make a small well in the center of the playdough and add a few drops of food color. Go ahead and experiment with colors and shades. While wearing gloves, knead the playdough until the color is completely mixed in.
You don’t necessarily need to use food coloring to make playdough, you can also use Kool-Aid, jelly crystals, or natural colors such as beet juice, turmeric, and cocoa.
This is a perfect cold weather activity now that we are heading into fall. It also makes a great gift for kids. This playdough will last for a few weeks if used often and stored in airtight containers..
My kids had a great time playing with it today while it was over 100 degrees outside.