Playdough is inexpensive, especially when you make your own. It can be shaped and dried into “keeper” items, or it can be kept for several days and reused.
Super Simple Salt Dough
2 cups flour, one cup salt, water to moisten. Mix the dry ingredients together. Add water a tablespoon at a time, or a splash at a time if you feel bold until the dough is wet enough to be worked. Go easy on the water – it is difficult to add more dry ingredients to this mix, although not impossible. Just keep the ratio of salt and flour even. This easy recipe can be stored for several days for reuse, or it can be oven or air dried for a more permanent sort of object – such as creations to be given as gifts. For reuse, add a drop or two of cooking oil to help keep it from drying out. It can be used plain, or food coloring can be added to portions of it.
½ cup salt, 1 cup flour, one tablespoon cream of tartar, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and one cup water. Combine the dry ingredients in a saucepan. Mix in the oil and water. Place on medium heat, and stir – as if you were making a sauce or gravy. As the mixture heats, it will begin to coagulate and will soon resemble mashed potatoes in texture. At this point, remove it from the heat. Divide, and add food coloring, if desired. Store in a Ziploc bag. Will keep several months, especially if refrigerated.
Edible Playdough #1
(Otherwise known as peanut butter balls): 2 cups peanut butter (the cheap stuff will work fine), ½ cup powdered sugar, tablespoon honey or syrup, enough powdered milk to make it stiff and not too sticky. Roll into balls, pat into shapes or roll out and use with cookie cutters. Use as treats or decorations.
Edible Playdough #2
(Because some people are allergic to peanuts): 12 fresh marshmallows, ½ cup vegetable oil, 2 cups powdered sugar, flavor to taste. Heat the marshmallows and vegetable oil in the microwave for ten seconds. Remove from microwave, add the flavoring, mix in powdered sugar a little at a time, until it makes a stiff dough. Substitute cocoa powder for some of the powdered sugar for a chocolate treat.
½ cup salt, ½ cup coffee grounds, 1 cup flour, one tablespoon cream of tartar, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and one cup water. Combine the water, cream of tartar and vegetable oil in a saucepan and heat to boiling. Stir in the salt, flour and coffee grounds. Stir with a wooden spoon. As it becomes stiff and cool enough to handle, knead it until it is elastic. Older children love this for sculpting busts.
Dryer Lint playdough
2 cups flour, one cup salt, one cup dryer lint, several drops of wintergreen essential oil, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, water to moisten. The fiber in the dryer lint makes this playdough ideal for air drying. Don’t skip the wintergreen – no matter the source of the lint, it always smells like dirty socks without it.
Although the basics for playdough fun are included here, this list is certainly not exhaustive. There are many other playdough recipes and combinations.