Kids Activity: Homemade Playdough

By : | 5 Comments | On : June 11, 2014 | Category : Blog, Fussy Eaters, Kids Cooking

Homemade Playdough

See more sensory play ideas in our book Boosting your basics.

While playdough isn’t exactly edible (although most young toddlers will try), it is a great activity for you to make in the kitchen with your kids. Playdough is a great activity for when the kids need something quiet to do while you finish cooking dinner. Children love to freely squeeze, stretch, roll, poke and twist playdough. It will inspire them creatively and allow them to mimic your kitchen activities.

While you’re in the kitchen making dinner, you have a wonderful opportunity to talk about food and nutrition and inspire your children to take an interest by making some ‘food’ themselves. Here are a few food-based ideas to try with playdough.

Food play ideas

  • COOKIES: Use a rolling pin and cookie cutter to roll, shape and bake some cookies
  • SKEWERS: Create vegetable skewers using a paddle pop stick and some playdough ingredients
  • PIZZA: Roll a round pizza base and ‘top’ with colourful ingredients
  • NATURAL DYE: Make natural food dye and use this to colour your playdough
  • SAUSAGES: Roll the playdough under your palm to create sausages
  • FRUIT & VEGGIES: Create miniature fruit and vegetables and ask people to guess what they are

The following recipe requires strict adult supervision as boiling water is required.

2 cups plain flour
1 cup fine grain salt
4 tbsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 1/2 – 2 cups boiling water
food colouring

1. Mix together the flour, salt, cream of tartar and cooking oil in a large bowl.
2. Place a couple of drops of food colouring into the boiling water.
3. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the water in with the other ingredients and mix well. Add more water as required.
4. Place the dough on the bench with a light flour dusting and knead.
5. Wrap in cling film and store in airtight container.

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  1. posted by julia on July 4, 2014

    Makes the best playdough! Does it need to be stored in the fridge?

  2. posted by peta on March 7, 2015

    How long does it keep for?

    • posted by Jess on March 16, 2015

      Hi Peta, assuming it is properly stored in an air-tight container and in the fridge (wrapping in glad wrap as well doesn’t hurt either), should last months. You generally know it is time to throw it out when it gets really dry or crusty, or if stored out of the fridge may get a bit mouldy or fury. Enjoy – it’s such a fun, relaxing activity to do with the kids. Jx

  3. posted by Candy on March 7, 2015

    Can I use gluten free plain flour instead? My daughter is allergic to wheat.

    • posted by Jess on March 16, 2015

      Hi Carolyn,
      Yes gluten free plain flour should work fine – if your find the mixture too wet simply stir in a saucepan over low heat until it thickens. We made a gluten free version over the weekend (see below for recipe) which worked well.

      1 cup corn flour
      1 cup rice flour
      1 cup fine grain salt
      4 tbs cream of tartar
      2 tbs cooking oil
      2 cups boiling water
      food colouring

      The method is the same but once combined we popped it into a saucepan and stirred over a low heat until a dough formed. Enjoy, Jx


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