Creative Kids: Play Time with Play Dough

Play dough title

We recently tried play dough for the first time.  There are five million different recipes out there so it was hard to choose.  I finally decided to try out two recipes that didn’t involve any tricky ingredients – if it wasn’t in our cupboard, it wasn’t happening:)

I also stayed away from jello coloured and scented play dough as my little one eats everything.  In fact, she still tried to eat this but took one taste, made a disgusted face, and didn’t try it again.  It probably helped that she tried the more salty one!

Play dough PicMonkey Collage 1

It seems a major divide is the use (or not) of cream of tartar.  I put “simple play dough recipe” into google and randomly chose one with and one without. had one without cream of tartar that looked super straight forward.

The recipe with cream of tartar was off of The Imagination Tree website.  C helped mix the ingredients and had a blast “cooking”.  I’d have to do more research but based on these two recipes I prefer the one with cream of tartar.  It involved only half the salt (you can really feel salt residue on your skin from the first one) and it was softer and more pliable.
Also the one without became a bit slimy within a week – I wasn’t sure if it was going bad so to be safe I just chucked it.  Lesson learned: use cream of tartar.

Play dough 3

Once it was made I gave the kids popsicle sticks, a rolling pin, and cookie cutters (and a little bit of flour in case it got sticky).  I demonstrated how to put a pinch of flour on the table and how to flatten the dough, roll the dough, use cookie cutters, and make play dough worms.  Using the cookie cutters was tricky but they had fun with them regardless.  They also really enjoyed making structures by inserting popsicle sticks.

Play dough PicMonkey Collage 2

Final verdict: the kids loved homemade play dough!  It was quick and easy to make and (the one with cream of tartar) is still going strong.  We’ll see how long this play dough stands up but I think the plan will be to try a different recipe each time we make it.  Who knows, next time I might even go all out and try some fancy ingredients…like glycerine or sparkles!

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