There's nothing quite like play dough. More tactile and engaging than any toy, it can be anything you want it to be. Babies and toddlers can use it to test their own dexterity and build upon cause and effect learning. Older children build and sculpt whatever they can think of.
The bad side of play dough is that it comes with SO MUCH plastic. Plastic containers, plastic instruments, plastic moulds and all kinds of add ons. It wouldn't be so bad if these weren't invariably rubbish - it's inevitably the kind of plastic item that snaps and cracks in a matter of weeks or months. The play dough in the pots goes hard and has to be thrown away,leaving endless plastic pots... and what exactly was in that neon pink lump anyway?
The good news is that making your own play dough is ridiculously easy. Do it once and you'll wonder how on Earth the industry does so well. It costs just pennies to make, and you're bound to have suitable containers and tools for it already.
Here is my super simple recipe:
- 8 tbsps of plain flour
- 2 tbsps of table salt
- 2 tbsps of vegetable oil
- 2 tbsps cream of tartar (this helps it last longer but can be left out or replaced with more salt)
- 60ml of warm water
- Food colouring
You can add a few drops of glycerine if you're feeling really fancy.
- Mix dry ingredients
- Separately, mix wet ingredients
- Mix 1 and 2
- Play :)
Of course, with children, it's great to make a big production of the whole thing- sift all the dry ingredients, stir with different implements etc - kids just love it!
Make different colours, or one big orange blob (we didn't have any other colours left!). You can store in tupperware or old play dough pots. This recipe is "Taste safe" - it won't do any harm to have a lick (honestly, it does not taste good!), but ingesting a high amount of salt can be dangerous, particularly in little ones, so do keep an eye and make sure nobody's eating it!
Definitely need to try this 😍