Home-made playdough

When I bought a bumper pack of child-friendly cutters in different animal and geometric shapes, this reminded me that I really must get around to something that has been on my to-do list for a while: make some playdough! Andrew has recently got into this, as it’s been out at a play group we go to and at his children’s church group on a Sunday. I’d heard that making your own is pretty easy and works out far cheaper than the branded stuff you can buy.

From a quick google search I found that there were various recipes out there, all slightly different, some involving heating up the ingredients and others not, and some involving cream of tartar and others not. I’d heard that the cream of tartar gives it a more stretchy, doughy texture, so I was keen to add that. The recipe I eventually decided on was from the Mumsnet website, because it included cream of tartar and the quantities of flour and water seemed about average in size compared to the other top hits on google. Despite this reasoning, the quantities ended up making far more than I thought! Not that this is a problem, because I’m sure that over time bits will get thrown away or chewed or stuck to the bottom of chairs etc. But I can definitely see why this works out much cheaper than the diddy little pots you can buy in shops for some extortionate price.

All the ingredients mixed in a pan, heating up over a medium heat level
Kneading the dough on a board (with greaseproof paper) just out of the pan. Watch out, it's still hot for a while, but soon cools down once out.
Stored in an ice cream tub (2 litres - this amount of ingredients turned out to produce much more dough than I thought it would!)

It was very easy to make, though I did gain a slight injury in that my arm muscles were tested to the limit and ached for a while afterwards, because as the dough gets stiffer in the pan, it gets extremely hard to stir. At that point you take it out of the pan and knead until it forms a stiff dough. I’m happy with the consistency and also the colour, which did need half a bottle of red food colouring to get it that deep. I read somewhere in my googling (though can’t find the link now!) that gel colouring gets deeper colours than liquid food colouring, so I might try that another time. To make the dough smell nice, I added some almond essence, so it’s a bit like playing with (non-edible) marzipan! I’ve seen sites that suggest adding things like glitter too, which I might try in future.

Here are some pictures showing how much fun Andrew has playing with his playdough 🙂

Look Mummy, it's a HEART! Heart, heart, heart!
Hmmmm, now what shall I make with this....?
Roll it into a ball, roll, roll....
Oooooh look I made a ball of playdough! Isn't it lovely Mummy?!

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