What kid didn’t play with playdough growing up? I remember opening up a brand new tub of playdough and squishing it, rolling it, and molding it for hours on end. Growing up, I never thought about the ingredients that are used to make store bought playdough, I just new I loved the colorful stuff. However, once I became an adult and had kids of my own I learned that the ingredients are not all that great.
Commercial playdough contains ingredients like artificial coloring, fragrance, petroleum, and even borax. Odds are there is at least one ingredient in that list that you would rather your kids not touch. Have you smelled playdough lately? It didn’t bother me as a kid but now I take a whiff and yuck! It’s just very odd smelling… probably to help cover up any of the weird ingredients used to make playdough. What is a natural parent to do?
Homemade playdough to the rescue!
Homemade playdough used to intimidate me. I’d hear parents talking about how they made playdough and I would think to myself that they must be crazy. Playdough seemed like a lot of work. Not to mention that I assumed that homemade playdough must dry out or get old too fast to make it worthwhile to make. One day, I must have had too much time on my hands because I finally gave making my own playdough a try. Instant success and I learned a few things.
Playdough is NOT hard to make. Seriously, it’s just like making any bread or pizza dough just on the stove top instead. Not hard. I don’t know what I was waiting for. I make dough all the time so why not cook some playdough?
Homemade playdough does not require crazy ingredients. Okay, so I knew this one already. I knew that homemade playdough just required a few basic ingredients, but it didn’t really click until I looked at the recipe and realized that yes, I actually do own all those ingredients already. The only slightly odd ingredient is cream of tartar, but that’s easily found in any spice aisle or you can grab cream of tartar on Amazon. As for the oil, any oil you have on hand will dough. Many recipes out there call for vegetable or canola oil but if you lean towards healthier oils in your home like I do that using your favorite oil will work, too. I like to use coconut oil, but I recommend melting the coconut oil first.
Contrary to what I thought and even what I had seen in a few cases, playdough lasts a long time. Homemade playdough does not dry out quickly or somehow expire within a few weeks. At our house, playdough usually lasts for at least 6 months and I’ve been known to keep it around for up to a year! The key seems to not over cook it. Over cooked playdough will definitely dry out faster.
Playdough is very customizable.
Commercial playdough all smells the same and when it comes to colors, you get whatever the company decides. Make your own playdough at home and you can customize it to your liking! When it comes to coloring your playdough you can choose any color your heart desires. I recommend using fruit or veggie juices in place of the water in the recipe for natural coloring. If you don’t want to go the extra mile and need something quick then I recommend using great natural food dyes.
Don’t stop at just colors though! You can make some amazing smelling playdough! My kids love chocolate playdough (just add cacao powder), spice playdough (just add some cinnamon), or lavender herb flower powder (lavender essential oil also works great). This also means you can customize your dough for the seasons or special events…think autumn colors, Christmas scents, pastel Easter shades, and so much more!
Get creative and have fun!
- Place dry ingredients into a small pan and mix.
- Add in liquid ingredients. Stir while cooking over medium heat.
- A ball will begin to form after a few minutes.
- Once the dough pulls away from the pan and it feels like dough, your playdough is finished.
- Allow to cool before playing with the playdough.