As a Teacher (it excites me to refer to myself as that!) there are certain things for my class that are DIY which I fully embrace… that is until it came time to make play dough. Apparently there is a wrong way to make this stuff… or perhaps I was having an off day, or maybe it has something to do with being 1/4 cup short of salt? I blame the recipe and it’s lack of thickening agents… but have no fear, I found an alternate recipe that solved my dough woes!

My first attempt at a batch of play dough went something like this…

(I’m never making this again) Play-Doh!
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup salt
2 packages of Kool-Aid drink powder
2 cups boiling water
3 tbsp oil

The directions said to mix everything together and roll out to knead … I didn’t check my salt before beginning and it turned out I only had 1/4 cup, I didn’t think that would be a problem so away I went. 15 minutes later I was STILL adding flour to try to get the mixture to stop sticking to EVERYTHING (as well as having an small panic attack because it was sticking to EVERYTHING) I gave up and tossed it in the trash… then it was time to tackle my now sticky-gooey-crud covered island. I was not happy that I had a) to clean this abomination of a mess and b) just tossed bake-worthy ingredients into the trash.

Playdough is a great tool for developing fine motor skills in children, having them roll and shape the dough into different things is a great way to help them improve these skills and keep it fun which is why giving up on this DIY was out of the question… the kiddo’s NEED it!! So away I went with recipe #2 and thankfully it was a success.

Stove-Top Playdough
*recipe from Feed Me! I’m Yours by Vicki Lansky
1 cup white flour
1/4 cup salt
2 tbsp cream of tartar
1 cup water
2 tsp food colouring
1 tbsp oil

Mix flour, salt and cream of tartar in a medium pot. Add water, food colouring and oil. Cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly until mixture forms a ball in the centre of the pot. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead. Store in air tight container.

*You can find cream of tartar in the spice aisle, it’s an acidic powder predominantly used in French baking and cooking.

I’m not one for measuring when it comes to some things…like food colouring, I dumped that stuff in like it was nobody’s business and ended up with a brilliant hue of blue. Use any colour you have on hand or make different coloured batches for each season/special holiday, this recipe made a good sized batch for 2-3 kids but for my class of 8 I quadrupled it which gave everyone a ball of playdough that would be equal to one regular sized container of the store bought stuff.


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