Did you know that Play-Doh was originally manufactured as a wall paper cleaner in the 1930’s? School children started using it as a modeling compound in the 50’s and its been a popular toy ever since. In 2003 the Toy Industry Association added Play-Doh to it’s “Century of Toys” list.
To Make the Perfect Play Dough (as shared from Tinkerlab)
- 2.5 cups water
- 1 1/4 c. salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp. cream of tartar
- 5 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2.5 cups flour
- Food coloring or liquid watercolors. I really like Wilton Icing Colors, which make gorgeous shades of play dough to match any occasion, mood, or toddler request.
Mix everything but the food coloring together in a large pot until somewhat smooth. It will be lumpy. Not to worry, the dough will get smoother as it cooks. Cook the dough over a low heat. Mix frequently. The water will slowly cook out of the mixture and you’ll notice it starts to take on a sticky dough appearance. Keep mixing until the edges of the dough along the side and bottom of the pan appear dry. Pinch a piece of dough. If it’s not gooey, the dough is ready.
Place the dough on a counter top or large cutting board that can withstand a little food coloring. Knead the warm dough until it’s smooth and then divide it into the number of colors that you’d like to make. I divided mine into four balls, flattened each of them, added a little bit of food coloring, and then kneaded it in. I added more food coloring to get the desired shades of yellow, pink, teal, and lavender.
Store the dough in a large Ziplock bag or sealed container. Unused, it’ll keep for months.
Now that you’ve got your perfect play dough made, check out these fabulous ideas of what to do with the squishy, fun stuff …
- Make Christmas Tree ornaments — bake dough in the oven at 200 degrees for 5 minutes.
- Spell your name! Roll out “snakes” and make letters.
- Create your own timeless keepsake, make a hand print! Bake dough at 200 degrees for 5 minutes.
- Make jewelry — roll dough into different shapes and poke with a tooth pick before baking (so you can “sew” shapes together after baking, to make a necklace or bracelet) or use a cookie cutter to make a bigger shape and make a pendent necklace.
- Sculpt animals and make a little zoo.
- Make bowls and pots with either the “pinch pot” method or “coil method”.
What are your other Play Dough ideas?
Have fun with your perfect dough!