We love play dough! It’s cheap, it couldn’t be easier to make, and every child, no matter what age, loves playing with play dough. Plus, playing with play dough is really good for kids.
Some of the benefits of playing with play dough
- It’s great for fine-motor development, which is what kids need for skills like writing, cutting and drawing.
- It encourages children to be creative and use their imaginations — think about all the things they can make, from dinosaur dioramas to play food.
- If you make different colours of dough, there’s no better way for children to learn about the colour wheel than by mixing the colours together.
- Play dough can help kids learn about the world around them — pressing interesting shapes and patterns into the dough is fun and educational.
- Playing with play dough can even be a stress reliever for children and adults — especially if you mix some soothing essential oils like lavender into your dough!
- Try some focused play to turn your play dough into a maths and literacy tool. Depending on their age you can use play dough to encourage kids to compare sizes, sort sizes and shapes, make shapes, form letters and numbers, count, spell and so much more.
If you haven’t tried making your own play dough, you really need to give it a try. Follow this step-by-step play dough recipe and get ready for hours of creative fun.
What you will need to make this easy play dough recipe
- 140g plain flour
- 70g salt
- 2 tbsp cream of tartar
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Large saucepan
- Food colouring
- 225ml water
- Wooden spoon
- Fruit essence or essential oils (optional)
Read more: 10 of our best kids arts and craft ideas
How to make play dough — with pictures!
Step 1: Put the flour, salt, cream of tartar and vegetable oil into the saucepan. Add some food colouring to the water and pour into the pan.
Step 2: Stir the mixture over a medium heat, until it becomes a sticky, combined dough. Allow to cool completely.
Step 3: Remove the dough from the saucepan and knead into a smooth ball of play- dough. Now, you’re all set to get crafting!
Top tips to remember when making this play dough recipe
- Store your play dough in an airtight container to stop it from drying out.
- If your play dough does start to dry out, revive it with a little water and knead it in well.
- If you’re making a lot of colours, make a big batch of play dough without any colouring, then divide it into balls. Knead a few drops of colour into each ball, rather than having to use a clean pot for each new colour.
- Get the kids to help measure, pour, stir and knead. They’ll love it!