Having fun with homemade Playdough

Tri colour playdough!
It was half term in our neck of the woods last week and the weather was ABYSMAL! Recent transatlantic hurricanes have made me appreciate our relatively mundane weather but even my boys were getting sick of the grey skies that seemed to blight every attempt at an escape from the house.

My eldest son also took it upon himself to start to compile his Christmas list and this was paired with the annual "panic, we're not gonna be able to afford Christmas presents" mental anguish that I'm sure most parents experience this time of the year.

So last week I was feeling especially thrifty and tried to find a few cost effective activities for me and the boys. A quick search of the internet lead me to an easy looking playdough recipe. Playdough = the only activity I could find that would be acceptable to an 8yr old AND 2yr old.

There is a little bit of 'cooking' involved with making playdough but all of the ingredients were on hand in my kitchen and the cooking is more 'heating up' so it was easy and quick to make.

I include the recipe below and I urge you to try it out. I found a few other recipes that were 'no cooking involved' but the reviews suggested they didn't give you proper squidgy playdough so I skipped past those.

I also found a few bloggers who'd used Jell-O brand jelly in their playdough recipes which gave it vibrant colours and smells to your dough. We don't have Jell-O over here but it's easy enough to get online (about £2 per box) or I'm sure you can substitute this with sugar free jelly powder as it's really only added to give it a nice smell and shade. 

I added gel paste to colour my dough at the initial mixing stage
Hard to imagine this sticky mess will become playdough soon...
Ta da! After a few minutes stirring it over the heat it becomes this!
Homemade playdough 
  • 150g plain white flour 
  • 300ml (1/2 pint) warm water with a few drops of food colour  
  • 75g (3oz) salt 
  • 1tbsp of vegetable oil 
  • 2tsp cream of tartar 
  1. Put all the ingredients into a large saucepan. 
  2. Place over a medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and forms a ball of dough. 
  3. Scrape out the dough (allow it to cool a little or else you'll burn your hands!) and knead it until all ingredients are evenly distributed and you're left with a smooth ball of dough. 
  4. Add some water if the dough is too stiff, or dust with flour if too sticky. 
  5. When cold, store your playdough in an airtight container or a food bag in a cool, dry place.

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