Ehhh, smells good? Why do we care what our play dough smells like, you ask? Well, if you have ever taken a whiff of homemade play dough before, you know why. If you haven’t, you can thank me later for sparing you.
My kids love making their own play dough. I know, I know, you can pick it up at the store, but here are a few reasons why you should just make it yourself:
- It’s cheaper to make yourself.
- Bonding time for you & your kids is always a win!
- The obvious mom points.
- You can make it any color you want.
- It’s SO soft! I really like the texture so much more than store-bought play dough.
- You can make it smell good!
If you have small children, and more than one at that, you may want to set up your ingredients ahead of time. (I guess if you are making homemade play dough, you have small children.) I like to get it all ready to go before I let the mini play dough monsters know it’s time to get started. Otherwise they are jumping up & down on chairs before I can find the flour and it’s all downhill from there.
So, be strategic and make it fun!
I also suggest some simple math. Multiply this recipe by the number of children you have. I have two who are old enough to play with play dough, so I double it. You can also do one batch at a time, letting them each pick their own color, or leave the food coloring until after it’s cooked, ration out and knead in the color. See, homemade play dough gives you options, another bonus.
We just made this yesterday again, and now that my oldest two are 5 and 7 years old, we made two separate batches at one time. They each put their own ingredients into their own small pot, picked their own color, and stirred until it got pretty thick. Then I took over to help them.
Now you have your ingredients, your game plan, your children. You only need 5 minutes!
When I originally wrote this post, I was pinched for time, so my minions had to agree on one color and we made a double-batch and added the color in while stirring.
Once it starts to firm up I have to take over the stirring, and then onto a cutting board or plate it goes to cool.
Here is where you want to make it smell good – I use peppermint or coconut extract. No, my kids have never tried to eat it. If your kids try to eat it, maybe add some cayenne pepper and tell them it’s red sprinkles. Problem solved.
Side-note: You can use any other type of extract, but I like peppermint and coconut (not together, either/or) because they are clear. Most are brown which changes the color of your play dough.
Okay, here’s another fun part. For those of you who are total lunatics, you can add glitter at this point and knead it in. I did this once at the urging of my children. I hate glitter, but I am a nice mom, so I took one for the team. Your choice there.
I always let it cool for a few minutes while I go set up a spot at the table and some play dough tools for the kids, and then split it between them, heat up my cold coffee and enjoy!
1 cup water
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Peppermint extract (optional)
Glitter (very optional)
Combine all ingredients (except extract and glitter) in pot/saucepan over low-med heat, stir continuously until it starts to thicken around your spoon. Move onto wax paper or plate to cool for a few minutes. Knead in a couple drops of peppermint extract. (Knead in glitter if you’re into that kind of crazy thing.)
NOTE: Again, I recommend multiplying this recipe by the number of children you have, so they each have a good amount of play dough to play with.
Hi, I’m Jessica! I am wife to Chris, and mom to Kaiper, Alana and Koa. I am a graphic designer, website developer and aspiring author. In this space, I share about everything from parenting, working from home, food we cook, and lots of things for kids! Learn more about me here.