Play dough is a fan favorite of little ones. From teaching, to parenting, I’ve learned that no matter what age child you’re playing with, it will only be a matter of time before your soft squishy play dough becomes rock hard balls which you will find strewn about your house. Its not so much cleaning this up that annoys me – that’s what vacuums are for- its more the constant need to replace the play dough. To avoid those days where the kiddos want play dough, but we have none, I learned how to make it – and it really couldn’t be easier!
The recipe is pretty simple, and utilizes ingredients you most likely have in your pantry. Below is my basic play dough recipe. This makes a plain white, unscented play dough, but you can add any food coloring or spices to this to spice it up!c
Basic Play Dough Recipe
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 Tablespoon cream of tartar
- Sensory Play
Mix ingredients together in a saucepan and cook over medium heat. Stir until ingredients are fully mixed and dough is pulling away from the sides of the pan. This typically takes me no more than 5 minutes. If you think “this looks totally wrong”, you’re doing it right. The dough will start to clump up before it forms. Remove the dough (careful it is hot!) and knead until smooth. This will make a pretty boring old plain white play dough…but don’t worry, here is how you fancy it up:
For this batch of play dough we decided to jump on the fall everything bandwagon, and make it pumpkin pie scented. The girls loved the delicious smell of this play dough, and had a blast playing with it. The only downfall of it was that it smelled so good that I caught them both with it very close to their mouths a few times (bonus of homemade play dough- no yucky or weird ingredients).
To make your fall scented play dough follow the basic play dough recipe, and add your spices and food coloring right in the pot!
Pumpkin Pie Play Dough (add to basic recipe)
- About 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice (if you don’t have this just a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves)
- 1-2 drops of vanilla extract
- 1-2 drops of Maple extract
I decided not to add food coloring to this one since it had a rich brown color from the vanilla and maple extracts. If you were to make another scent (such as apple pie using cinnamon and nutmeg you could use 10-15 drops of red food coloring to the mixture)
We used Halloween themed cookie cutters to play! (Layla was hilariously amazed by this)
I apologize in advance for all the extra calories you are going to consume when the delicious smell of this pumpkin pie play dough makes you run out to get pie for desert.