Homemade Play Dough (Play-Doh)
Originally called Rainbow Modeling Compound, Play-Doh has been in the hands of children since 1956 when it was introduced at an educational convention by Joe McVicker. The non-toxic toy was first sold in a Washington, DC department store called Woodward & Lothrop and later produced for sale in 7 ounce cans that were available at Macy’s of New York and Marshall Field’s of Chicago.
Today, many variations of play dough can be purchased at your local toy store, however Dr. Kapadia of Quakerbridge Pediatrics recommends making your own as a fun indoor activity! Homemade play dough is extremely easy to make and is safe for children of most ages. Encourage your children to become creative with their homemade play dough and to create their favorite animals, characters from stories they’ve read, or even scenes from their favorite places to visit.
Materials You Will Need
- 2 Cups Regular Flour
- 2 Cups Warm Water
- 1 Cup Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Cream Of Tartar (Optional – Makes Dough More Elastic)
- Food Coloring
- Medium Pot
Combine all ingredients together in a medium sized pot and stir over low heat on the stove. Ensure your children are at a safe distance. The mixture will begin to thicken and resembled mashed potatoes when heated. Once your homemade play dough pulls away from the sides of your pot and clumps together in the middle, it will be time to turn off the heat. At this time, remove your play dough from the stove and allow it to cool. If your play dough is still sticky, return it to heat and cook it longer. Your dough should now be dry and feel like actual Play-Doh!
Once completely cool, place your play dough on a clean cooking mat and knead the mixture until it becomes smooth. Divide the dough into individual balls for coloring. The size of the balls will determine the portion of your play dough.
Next, take one of your balls of play dough and create a divot in the center with your thumb or spoon. Add 2-3 drops of food coloring and fold the dough over. Dr. Kapadia recommends wearing rubber gloves or placing your homemade play dough with food coloring into a plastic sandwich bag to avoid staining your hands. Work the dough until you achieve the desired color. Add more food coloring if necessary.
Your homemade play dough is now ready! For cleanup, store the dough in plastic bags or reusable containers to keep it fresh.
Share Your Activity
Dr. Kapadia would love to see how your homemade play dough turned out! Share photos of you and your children making your very own play dough on Instagram with the hashtag #QBPediatrics and your photos will instantly appear on our Social Sharing Wall for all to see.
Pet Safety Reminder! While your homemade play dough is non-toxic, it should still be kept away from pets. The dough may smell like people food to a hungry dog, but it contains a high amount of salt which can be very unhealthy for your pup.