Monday, February 21, 2011

Play Dough! And lots of it!

Today I spent the morning making and playing with play dough.  Abby didn't have pre-school today and was distraught so I thought we could make play dough and cheer her up a bit.  It worked!  :D

I tried 5 different recipes for play dough and I will give you my take on each one as well as the recipes if you would like to try them.  

Alum Playdough

2 tablespoons of alum
2 cups of flour
1 cup of salt
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons of oil
a few drops of any food coloring you wish
Pour the dry ingredients into a pan and stir. Then, stir your food coloring and oil and water together. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients carefully while you mix them together. Afterwards, you will need to knead the mixture. This recipe is best stored in plastic containters in the fridge.

My Take:
I thought this play dough came together nicely in the beginning.  I let the kids play with it while I was working on the others and they enjoyed it as well.  However, as I went back to it to take pictures and get more of a feel for the dough I felt how incredibly grainy it was. 

Traditional Playdough Recipe
2 cups of baking soda
1 and a half cups of water
1 cup of corn starch
Mix with a fork until the mixture is smooth and boil until thick. Takes about 4 minutes.

My Take:
This playdough is DRY.  I let it set out while it was cooling and when I went back to it I had to peel a crusty layer off of it before I could knead it.  And it was still HOT underneath the crusty layer.  I do not care for this recipe.
No Cook Playdough Recipe
1 cup of flour
1 cup of boiling water
2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
a half cup of salt
1 tablespoon of oil
Simply mix all the ingredients together! Be careful as it can be quite hot.

My Take:
I really like this playdough.  It was easy to mix together, didn't require a stove, and cooled quite quickly.  It is nice and soft, but not too soft.  It is still firm enough to let the kids play with and not have an ooey gooey mess.  

Cream of Tartar Playdough

2 cups of plain flour
2 cups of coloured water
1 Tbsp. of cooking oil
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 cup of salt
Place all of the ingredients in a medium size or large pan. Cook slowly on medium-high and stir it until the playdough thickens. Keeps best in the fridge in plastic containers. This is simular to the traditional playdough recipe.

My Take: I do NOT like this one AT ALL!  The consistency is all off.  I couldn't integrate all the ingredients before it set up so my batch has odd white lumps in it.  It is a very firm set up as well.  I find it hard to play with.  
Salt Playdough Recipe
1 cup of salt
1 cup of water
2 cups of flour
1 tablespoon of cooking oil
Mix the salt, flour, oil, & water together.

My Take:
I could not get this one to set up right.  It is sticky, sticky, sticky!  I added a 1/4 cup of flour to try and help it.  It worked to an extent but I wouldn't want my 3 year old playing with it.  I can only imagine what she would get it on.  EWWWW! 

To sum up:   My favorite recipe is the No Cook Playdough Recipe.  It came together the easiest and had the best consistency.  It was firm but not too frim, soft but not too soft.  I think it is the perfect mix.

I hope that you guys can find a recipe that works for you and that you may have found this post helpful.  In the meantime, the kids and I will have lots of playdough to play with.  :)



  1. Awesome review!! Cam's teacher makes a great dough and I've been wanting to try her recipe, but I think I will try yours instead. And Brenna looks SO much like you in that pic!

  2. I found a link to your post through Lindsey's blog.
    We have a perfect play dough recipe that we found on The Attached Mama. We've been using it since she posted it with success every time. Everytime we use it, it's as if we are opening a tube of Play-Doh brand dough - supple and smooth.

    Here's the recipe, just in case you're interested in trying a 6th:
    1 c. flour
    1/2 cup salt
    1 T. cooking oil
    1 T. cream of tartar
    1 c. water
    Food coloring of your choice
    Add-ins of your choice (i.e. spices, extracts, glitter, essential oils, etc.)

    Stir ingredients together well. Just measure them into the saucepan you will be using to cook the dough, but mix them well before heating up the pan. Over medium heat cook the dough, stirring constantly until it forms a ball. (NOTE: When it starts to pull away from the sides somewhat and clump together and most of the "wet-looking" parts look dry, it's ready to remove from the pan.) Turn dough onto a board (or the countertop) and knead until very smooth.

  3. Thanks so much for commenting! I am always up for new recipes to try.