Home made play dough is wonderful. You get to choose the colours and the ingredients you need are most likely in your cupboard so you can make it anytime you want.
I like to play around with the 'standard' version of play dough and sometimes add glitter and food essence to make it smell nice - cinnamon essence is great around Christmas time!
Also, instead of cooking oil I often use Baby Oil (scented or regular). It feels great on your hands when playing with the finished play dough.
This recipe makes enough play dough to fill 2 x 500ml and 1 x 100ml containers
(although I tend not to be too precise with my measurements so if you followed the instructions exactly you would probably get enough for the two 500ml containers).
2 cups of plain flour
1 cup of cooking salt
4 tablespoons of Cream of Tartar
750ml of hot boiled water
2 tablespoons of oil (vegetable, olive or baby oil)
Essence (strawberry, banana, cinnamon or whatever you choose)
Air tight container for storage.
Quick Directions (detailed directions and photos are below)
- Mix the dry ingredients together (flour, salt, cream of tartar, glitter) in a bowl and set aside.
- Pour 750ml of boiling water into a heat proof/resistant measuring jug. Add food colouring and essence to the water.
- Add the oil to your pan and set over low heat on your stove for about a minute.
- Once the oil is ready then add your dry ingredients to the pan and then follow immediately with adding the water to the pan.
- Stir the play dough continually as it cooks to ensure the colour is mixed through. This should take about 30 seconds to one minute.
- Turn the cooked play dough on to a suitable surface and let cool before kneading (don't try to knead it straight away or you will burn your hands).
- Once the play dough has cooled enough, knead it with your hands until the texture becomes smooth.
Your play dough is ready!
If you are not planning on using it straight away, store it in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out and going hard.
In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients together (flour, salt, cream of tartar and glitter) and set aside.
Boil water then pour 750ml into a heat proof/resistant measuring jug. Then add food colouring and essence to the water (I used pillar box red colouring and strawberry essence for the play dough in the photos). Vary the amount of colouring depending on the shade you want to achieve.
Add the oil to your pan and set over low heat for about a minute or until you are able to swirl the oil around, coating the pan easily.
Once the oil is ready, add your dry ingredients to the pan and follow immediately with adding the water to the pan.
Stir the play dough continually as it cooks to ensure the colour is mixed through. The play dough is ready when the play dough has no visible water and the consistency can often look like lumpy mashed potato. This should take about 30 seconds to one minute.
Turn the cooked play dough on to your bench or wooden chopping board. Keep in mind the play dough is extremely hot so make sure the surface you are using is suitable for heat. (*HINT: if you are using food colouring in your play dough and putting the cooked play dough directly on to a laminex bench, the colour often seeps in to the laminex. To remove the stain after you have cleaned up, just wet the area and sprinkle bicarb soda on the stained area. Rub it around and remove it with a cloth. It will come straight out. You can also use baking paper on your bench to prevent the colour staining).
Let the play dough cool until it's warm to touch before kneading it. If you try to knead it immediately it will most likely burn your hands. Spreading the play dough out a bit using the wooden spoon and flipping it over a couple of times will help it cool down quicker.
Once the play dough has cooled enough, knead it with your hands until the texture becomes smooth.
Your play dough is ready!
If you plan on storing the finished play dough, let it cool completely before placing in an air tight container. You may have to knead the play dough a couple of times as it cools to prevent a 'crust' forming.
Due to the high salt content in the play dough, you may find your hands dry out after kneading it, especially if making a few batches. Wash your hands thoroughly when finished and use some moisturising hand cream.