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How to Make Homemade Play Dough


Play dough is such a blast for kids.  Older kids have fun working with the dough to make crafts, and kids as young as 2 will enjoy pinching and molding the dough with close supervision.

There are tons of recipes for homemade play dough; most contain flour, water, oil, and salt.  Here are a few of our favorites:

    • Classic Play Dough.

This recipe must be cooked, but can still be ready in fifteen minutes.  Recipes that involve cooking tend to make play dough that is more elastic and closer in texture to the store-bought kind.

    • No-Cook Play Dough.

Here’s a recipe for no-cook play dough that is fun to make with kids.  Since there’s no heat involved, older children can make the dough themselves—which is half the fun!

    • Edible Play Dough.

Here’s a recipe for peanut butter play dough that’s edible (so long as there are no allergies).

    • Scented Play Dough.

Some parents love the scent of storebought play dough; others can’t stand it.  If you fall into the second camp, here’s a recipe for you.  Use a drop of essential oil to give each batch of dough a different subtle fragrance.  It’s a great way to help kids use their senses!

    • Glow-in-the-Dark Play dough. What fun, especially around Halloween! 

This recipe uses glow-in-the-dark paint for a spooky effect.

What to do with the dough—Little Ones.  Children will use the dough differently, depending on their age.  Very little tots will want to manipulate the dough; just learning how it works will be fun.  They’ll enjoy instruction from you in how to pull off little pieces of dough, roll the dough into little balls, and press or pinch the dough flat.  Work with them on shape and color recognition.

What to do with the dough—Older Ones.  As children grow older, they’ll become more interested in their own projects and they’ll need less guidance.  They’ll still enjoy instruction now and then—you can teach them to make elaborately decorated butterflies, for instance, or a model of the earth’s core.  But they’ll also surprise you with what they come up with on their own.

Music Education and Play Dough.  At Coda Bear, we love to incorporate music education into lots of fun crafts and activities.  One suggestion is to explore creating different musical notes with play dough, such as a half note, quarter note and a pair of eighth notes.

Supervision.  Even homemade play dough is dangerous if ingested; most recipes contain large amounts of salt.  Until your child reaches an age when you can be certain that he or she will follow instructions not to eat the dough, you should not let your child use play dough without adult supervision.  It’s just too tempting to try a taste—and the salty dough does taste a little like food.



User:  eyeliam

Title: _1014815


License:  CC BY 2.0