Last week I saw online a recipe for some homemade play dough. When we moved to this little rented duplex, we packed everything, almost all the toys. We have a big supply of Play Doh toys and things, but that was boxed up and is waiting in Utah for someone to play with it. In the boys boredom of late, I decided to make the play dough. The recipe I saw called for a TON of salt. I know there is really salty play dough out there and it’s not my favorite, but decided to give this one a try. The boys played with it, but it was rather crumbly and started drying out rather quickly. The table was also very gritty. A lot of little pieces were being spilled on the carpeted dining room floor (If you own a rental, just a thought, don’t carpet the dining room floor!)
I just happened to be talking to my mom on the phone and telling her about this play dough I made that I wasn’t liking and she reminded me of her recipe for play dough that she’s used for years. I searched through my old recipe box and found that I’d hand written the recipe probably 20-some years ago. I knew this was good play dough. For a time, Mom was making it and selling it in packages with different colors at their farmers’ market. Kids were going crazy for it there.
So I whipped out a batch of the recipe for the play dough and made four different colors. THIS is fantastic play dough. I may never buy Play Doh brand again. This dough is so soft and perfect and does not dry out. If you have kids, you must try this dough! It’s also super easy to make.
The boys (all four of them, yep, even Scottie), have been playing with it like crazy and I don’t even have cookie cutter or fun toys for it. They’ve been using plastic knives and forks and a couple other random things.
The Best Play Dough, original source unknown, adapted by Katrina, Baking and Boys!
Bring to a boil:
2 cups water
1/2 cup salt
(Food coloring) You can color the water and have all one color of dough, but I mixed the dough first, then divided it and used Wilton food coloring gels and kneaded it in each piece. This was a little messy, but made nice vibrant colors. I would choose lighter colors like yellow and orange. The purple one played with on the table left a red hue (that came off with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.)
Remove from heat and add:
2 tablespoons powdered alum (find it in the spice section near the cream of tartar)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
The dough is hot, but after a few minutes of mixing it in the electric mixer, it’s manageable to knead by hand. We put plastic cutting mats on the table to have the dough played with on, too. Store it in plastic zipper bags or air tight containers.