The 3 Best DIY Play Dough Recipes

Play dough is a timeless favorite among kids and adults alike. Its squishy texture and endless possibilities for imaginative play make it a must-have in any creative arsenal. Instead of buying store-bought play dough, why not try making it yourself? In this DIY blog post, we’ll share three simple and fun play dough recipes that you can whip up in no time.

There’s something truly magical about play dough. Its squishy texture, vibrant colors, and limitless possibilities for imaginative play make it a favorite among children and adults alike. By making play dough at home, you not only save money but also have the opportunity to customize the colors, scents, and even the ingredients. It’s a sensory experience that stimulates creativity, fine motor skills, and cognitive development.

Classic Cooked Play Dough

Our first recipe is a classic cooked play dough that provides a smooth and pliable texture. With simple ingredients like flour, salt, cream of tartar, water, and vegetable oil, you can create a delightful dough that can be molded into any shape imaginable. By adding food coloring or liquid watercolors, you can infuse your play dough with a rainbow of colors, encouraging visual stimulation and artistic expression.

diy play dough

Classic Cooked Play Dough

Prep Time5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 C salt
  • 2 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 2 C water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Optional

  • Food coloring or liquid watercolors (optional)
  • Essential oils for scent (optional)

Instructions

  • In a large saucepan, whisk together the flour, salt, and cream of tartar.
  • Add the water and vegetable oil to the saucepan and mix until well combined.
  • Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook the mixture, stirring continuously, until it forms a thick dough-like consistency.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the dough cool for a few minutes.
  • Divide the dough into equal portions and knead each portion until smooth.
  • If desired, add a few drops of food coloring or liquid watercolors to each portion and knead until the color is evenly distributed.
  • Optional: Add a few drops of essential oils for a delightful scent.
Tried this recipe?Mention @mymommystyle or tag #mymommystyle!

No-Cook Play Dough

For those seeking a quicker and easier option, our no-cook play dough recipe is the perfect choice. By combining flour, salt, cream of tartar, vegetable oil, and boiling water, you can create a soft and moldable dough without the need for cooking. This recipe is ideal for busy parents or spontaneous play sessions, as it can be whipped up in minutes. Let your children dive into sensory exploration with this hassle-free play dough delight.

No-Cook Play Dough

Prep Time7 minutes
Course: DIY

Ingredients

  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 C salt
  • 2 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1-1.5 C boiling water

Optional

  • Food coloring or liquid watercolors (optional)
  • Essential oils for scent (optional)

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and cream of tartar.
  • Add the vegetable oil to the bowl and mix well.
  • Slowly pour in the boiling water while stirring the mixture continuously.
  • Keep stirring until the dough comes together and cools down.
  • Once the dough is cool enough to handle, knead it on a clean surface until it becomes soft and pliable.
  • If desired, divide the dough into portions and add a few drops of food coloring or liquid watercolors to each portion. Knead until the color is evenly distributed.
  • Optional: Add a few drops of essential oils for a delightful scent.
Tried this recipe?Mention @mymommystyle or tag #mymommystyle!

Edible Marshmallow Play Dough

If you have little ones who are prone to tasting everything, our edible marshmallow play dough recipe is a safe and fun alternative. Using marshmallows, coconut oil or vegetable shortening, powdered sugar, and optional food coloring, you can create a sweet-smelling and edible play dough.

Edible Marshmallow Play Dough

Ingredients

  • 1 C marshmallows
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut oil or vegetable shortening
  • 1 C powdered sugar

optional

  • Food coloring or liquid watercolors (optional)

Instructions

  • Place the marshmallows and coconut oil or vegetable shortening in a microwave-safe bowl.
  • Microwave the mixture in short intervals, stirring in between, until the marshmallows are melted and smooth.
  • Slowly add the powdered sugar to the melted marshmallow mixture and mix well.
  • Continue adding powdered sugar and kneading the dough until it reaches a play dough consistency.
  • If desired, add a few drops of food coloring or liquid watercolors and knead until the color is evenly distributed.

Notes

Note: This recipe is intended for sensory play and exploration. While it is technically edible, it is not meant for consumption in large quantities.
Tried this recipe?Mention @mymommystyle or tag #mymommystyle!

Sensory play offers numerous benefits. It stimulates their senses, promotes fine motor skills, encourages imaginative play, and supports cognitive growth. Through squishing, rolling, and shaping play dough, kids enhance their hand-eye coordination, strengthen finger muscles, and improve their tactile awareness. It’s an excellent way to foster creativity and promote sensory exploration.

Creative Play Ideas with Homemade Play Dough

It’s time to unleash your children’s creativity! Encourage them to sculpt animals, create imaginary landscapes, or build structures with their play dough. With cookie cutters, rolling pins, and other tools, they can experiment with textures, patterns, and shapes. Engaging in open-ended play activities sparks their imaginations and allows for self-expression and storytelling.

Sensory Play for Every Season

diy play dough

Play dough is great for summer, but you can enjoy it all year round. In the warm months, take it outside and play with it alongside nature items like leaves, flowers, or seashells. In colder seasons, bring the play at home and use easy tools around the house with this list of fun tools.

What are the benefits of Play Dough?

Play dough offers a wide range of benefits for children’s development and learning. Some of the key benefits include:

  1. Sensory Stimulation: Playing with play dough engages multiple senses, including touch, sight, and smell. The tactile experience of squishing, squeezing, and shaping the dough provides valuable sensory input, promoting sensory integration and development.
  2. Fine Motor Skills Development: Manipulating play dough helps strengthen and refine fine motor skills, such as hand and finger dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and finger strength. Rolling, pinching, and cutting the dough with tools or hands enhance these crucial skills.
  3. Creativity and Imagination: Play dough is an open-ended toy that encourages children to use their imaginations and express their creativity. They can mold the dough into various shapes, objects, or characters, fostering imaginative play and storytelling.

Mental Benefits of Play Dough and Free Play

  1. Cognitive Development: When kids play with play dough, they have to think and figure out how to make different shapes and structures. They use their brains to solve problems and come up with ideas. It’s like a fun puzzle for their minds!
  2. It also promotes spatial awareness, shape recognition, and understanding of basic concepts like size, volume, and proportion.
  3. Emotional Outlet: Play dough provides a sensory and emotional outlet for children. Kneading and manipulating the dough can help release tension and stress, serving as a calming and soothing activity.
  4. Language and Social Skills: Play dough play often involves interaction with peers or adults, fostering social skills development. Ultimately, Children can engage in conversation, share ideas, negotiate roles, and collaborate while playing with play dough, promoting language development and social interaction.
  5. Concentration and Focus: Playing with play dough helps kids practice paying attention, especially when they want to make specific shapes or objects. It’s like a game that helps them concentrate.It helps develop attention span and promotes sustained focus on a task.

Creating More Learning with Play Dough

  1. Relaxation and Mindfulness: The tactile nature of play dough can have a calming effect on children, promoting relaxation and mindfulness. It can be a therapeutic activity that allows children to engage their senses and find a sense of calm.
  2. Pre-writing Skills: Rolling and playing with play dough can help prepare children for writing. It strengthens the muscles needed for pencil control and develops hand strength, which are important foundations for pre-writing skills.
  3. Multi-Dimensional Learning: Play dough play brings various areas of development, including physical, cognitive, sensory, and social-emotional domains.

All in all, play dough is a wonderful for children’s growth and learning. Its open nature, sensory engagement, and developmental benefits make it a valuable addition to any child’s playtime.

With these three easy and fun play dough recipes, you can create a world of fun and creativity right in your own home. No matter which kind you choose – cooked, no-cook, or even marshmallow play dough – your kids will have a fun and imaginative time that stimulates their senses. Get ready for hours of play dough delight and wonderful memories with your little ones.

DIY playdough
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    Hello! I am Camille, a wife, mother of four, Disney obsessed, certified teacher, and reality optimist. Motherhood comes with its ups and downs, and I hope while you're here you'll find something that makes your #momlife easier!

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