Playdough is a favorite topic of preschool and kindergarten teachers. Playdough is a versatile teaching tool and a lot of fun. But often, you open up that purchased play dough, ready for a great learning experience, and find it crumbly and not fit for use. You can make better play dough for your classroom.
Benefits of Making Your Own Playdough
Let’s think about why and how to make your own playdough.
Here are four benefits for making your own playdough:
1. It’s really easy to do! You do not need a lot of cooking skills for playdough to turn out just right every time.
2. Homemade playdough lasts much longer than purchased dough. Since you can use it for a longer time, homemade dough is more cost-effective and budget-friendly. If play dough is crumbly, children are unhappy and can get off-task much more quickly. Homemade play dough (when done right!) won’t get crumbly.
3. Playdough is excellent for building fine motor skills. These motor skills are important for many life skills – including writing. Building fine motor skills will help fight against hand fatigue when children begin writing regularly.
4. Homemade dough is more pliable and softer than purchased dough. It feels better to the hand. Children may stay engaged longer when playing with homemade play dough.
You can find many recipes for homemade play dough, both cooked and uncooked. Below is my favorite play dough recipe.
- 2 cups white flour
- 1/4 cup cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup salt
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups water
- food coloring (or other coloring agent – see below)
You can use a variety of items to color your dough:
- food coloring – look for neon or other fun colors at seasonal times
- gel food coloring for deeper colors – check the craft section of discount store or craft stores
- Kool-Aid (grape is my favorite)
- liquid watercolor
- flavored gelatin
You could also add scented extracts (peppermint, lavender) to give the dough a scent.
How to Make Your Own Playdough
Mix the dry ingredients in a medium pot.
Add the water, oil, and food coloring.
Mix the ingredients together.
Cook on medium heat, stirring continually.
When a ball forms in the middle of the pot, remove from heat. Cool.
Knead the dough as needed.
Store in an airtight container. Refrigerate when not in use to extend shelf life.
Play Dough Tools Mentioned
Follow my Play Dough board on Pinterest for more great recipes!