There are things that my younger childless self would just never believe real people did. For example, spend a Friday night cleaning car seats before promptly passing out at 10 PM, or scraping tiny little play dough crumbs out of the crevices of a coffee table with a tooth pick. Motherhood is really glamorous isn’t it? Try this easy spring play dough recipe to help lessen your workload!
I love the idea of Play-Doh. It’s a great form of creative play that allows kids to create in their very own unique way. Give five kids a ball of play dough and I can guarantee you not one of them makes the same thing.
Loving the idea of Play-Doh, and loving your kids using play dough are two VERY different things however. I have two bones to pick with the fine people of Hasbro.
Even when Play-Doh is appropriately cared for, is starts to disintegrate over time and you find tiny hard colorful specks all over your house. I’m typically a “meh, it can be vacuumed up” kind of person- but this stuff gets into every little nook and cranny you didn’t know existed in your house. This is especially problematic when you have a crawling infant who puts EVERYTHING in their mouth.
I have a weird love hate relationship with this smell. Open up a container of play dough and you will instantly be transported back to your childhood, while also wanting to vomit at the same time. The smell also makes me think that there is just terrible chemicals mixed in there, which makes me cringe as my child rubs her play mustache all over her face…
I’m not going to deprive my kids of play dough fun, so when I can, I prefer to make my own. This play dough recipe makes a softer, less crumbly version that also utilizes ingredients you can find in almost any kitchen!
Spring Play Dough Recipe
This is the same basic starter recipe as our fall pumpkin pie play dough, with a final twist on the end to make it spring themed!
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 Tablespoon cream of tartar
- Food coloring
- Essential oils (Optional)
- 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 five minutes.
Remove the dough (careful it is hot!) and knead until smooth.
Once your dough is smoothed out, divide into three equal sized pieces. Add your food coloring and essential oils directly to each piece. Kneed until the color has blended through. Beware: when kneading the color through your hands will get messy! Once it is fully blended, the color will no longer bleed from the dough.
For your oils: Essential oils not only smell terrific but have some pretty amazing benefits. I choose to use lemon in my yellow dough (promotes focus and clarity), lavender in my purple dough (for calming and promoting restful sleep), and orange in my orange dough (for uplifting and energizing). These oils are very concentrated, so I only needed 2-3 drops of each oil.
For your color: This food coloring chart from the food network is amazing and will help you perfect the exact color you would like your dough to be. Keep in mind their quantities are for large batches of icing! My dough has less than 10 drops of coloring each, so scale down!
This play dough recipe has lasted several months for us when stored in an air tight container! It also does not crumble! If you find that your dough gets tough on the outside after a few uses just kneed for a few minutes and it will be as good as new!
Play dough on its own its just wonderful, but grab some tools for it and your kids will lose their minds!
The girls got the Play-Doh Fun Tub for Christmas, which is filled with tools and molds. Layla LOVES it (if you can’t tell from the picture, she not even out of her pajamas before needing to play with it).
Kare & Kind offers another great option with some great cutting tools.
Let us know in the comments if you have your own play dough recipe to share!