I first made play dough for Dot when she was about 18 month old. It was a plain white dough. When I first put it in front of her. She thought it was something she could eat and readily reached out her tiny hands to pick a small bit and then tried to put it into her mouth. Of couse, I quickly stopped her. We played for a while and then went on to other stuff.
Lazy me has not made any dough since but we bought the commercial tiny pots of Play-Doh for her to play.
Recently, a good friend of mine sent a group of mommies a play dough recipe. I decided to try making them again, this time with added colour. It is very easy to make and in less than 30 minutes Dot and I started playing with our homemade play dough.
When I first told her that we were going to make play dough using flour. She was a bit puzzled. I had Dot by my side watching the whole process of making the dough. I think it helps her to understand that not everything needs to be bought, we can make our own plaything too.
“This idea of making something is very fundamental to human beings, and children really get that. We are not just consumers. We are makers of things.” – quoted from Wall Street Journal, Tinkerers Unite! How Parents Enable Kids’ Creativity
How to make homemade play dough
Preparation time : 5 – 10 minutes
Cooking time: 2-5 minutes
Waiting time : 5-10 minutes
Total time : 10 – 30 minutes
1 cup Plain Flour
1/2 cup Salt
1 tps Cream of Tartar
1 cup Water
1 tbs Oil
1 tps Food coloring
1 tps Food essence (optional)
Step by step instruction:
1. Mix all the dry ingredients into a pot, preferably non-stick pot.
2. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix all ingredients until it is a smooth mixture with no or little lumps.
3. Put the pot under small fire and stir constantly for about 2-5 minutes until the mixture thickens into a dough. Make sure not to overcook and burn the dough.
4. Wait for the dough to cool for 5-10 minutes and knead it for 2-3 minutes and it is ready for play.
5. Unused play dough can be kept in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to three months.
How we play together
Recently I bought whole grain alphabet pasta for her and gave her some to play. We used the alphabets to form names and words. I would ask Dot to search for certain alphabets to form words. It is fun while she learns ABC.
Later she took a flower figurine and made an imprint on the flattened dough which she said was roti prata.
We made our own bowling game. I made these bowling pins and Dot rolled a dough into a ball and tried to knocked down these pins.
Dot and I rolled these dough into little balls and made this cute little caterpillar. We also used the goggly eyes, pipe cleaner, twigs and leaves. Dot also made a red apple for the caterpillar to munch.
After we made our first caterpillar, we (J, Dot and I) made more insects like dragonfly, bee, ladybug and even bears. Dot was so thrilled and excited that we played for more than one hour.
Simple-to-make dough that only needs imagination and hands to make them look great!
I will definitely make more varied coloured play dough for creative play. It is cheap and easy to make at home, and it is toxic-free!