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How to Make "Play Do"-Homemade Playdough Recipes

Updated on April 07, 2012
Making a dinosaur out of our Jello play-dough!
Making a dinosaur out of our Jello play-dough! | Source

Learning With Play-dough

Play-dough is a great tool to use for instructional purposes. Not only does it provide a natural way for children to explore, it delves into using each of the five senses, provides an opportunity for conversation with your children, and practice with shapes, numbers, and letters.

By using cookie cutters that are different shapes, letters or numbers, your child will be able to practice identifying these objects, build words, and explore her creativity all at the same time. If you decide to make your own play-dough, it also provides an opportunity to learn vocabulary, math, and cooperation skills. If you watch the video, you will hear me use words like knead, ingredients, combine, mixture, and more. Children hear these words as you use them in real world situations and will be far more likely to use and apply them on their own. This will help to build reading success. Studies have shown that the biggest indicator to reading success is the vocabulary base that a child has as they enter and continue through school.

Math concepts are shown as you measure and pour the various ingredients, children begin to have an introduction to the basic ideas of measuring, fractions and even estimation skills. Imagine that all of this learning is hidden by fun!

The Five Senses and Play-dough

Sense
Ideas
Taste
edible playdough; mix in m&ms, peanuts, oats
Touch
beads, string, people or animal figures
See
glitter, color
Hear
sound of cookie cutters, plastic scissors, tolling pins
Smell
Jello, various extracts to intensify the scents
Add in other forms of texture, smells, and visual effects to stimulate all five senses.

Play-dough and the Five Senses

Thinking about playing with play-dough brings back such fond memories. Children of all ages delight in the opportunity to get creative with cutting, sculpting, and shaping various things out of play-dough. We all know that you can easily go to the store to buy brand name play dough. However, if you are looking to make large quantities of play-dough and don't want to spend a fortune or are looking to create an opportunity to involve all of your child’s five senses, here are a few recipes to help you out.

Basic Play-dough Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

Directions

Mix the flour, salt, and water in a bowl. Add a small amount of oil (this keeps the dough from hardening.) Knead the play dough a little then let the kids each take a turn.

You can use some of the variations in the table above to help you make the basic playdough more interesting. Why not add some brightly colored beads or some glitter? Or how about a drop or two of lemon or peppermint extract?

Photos of Making the Edible Play-dough

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Yummy fun with cutting shapes out of the edible playdough.Rolling out the door helps to build concentration and motor skills.Don't forget all of that creativity that you have just inspired!
Yummy fun with cutting shapes out of the edible playdough.
Yummy fun with cutting shapes out of the edible playdough. | Source
Rolling out the door helps to build concentration and motor skills.
Rolling out the door helps to build concentration and motor skills. | Source
Don't forget all of that creativity that you have just inspired!
Don't forget all of that creativity that you have just inspired! | Source

Edible Peanut Butter Play-dough

Ingredients

  • One 18 oz. jar of creamy peanut butter
  • 6 tablespoons of honey
  • ¾ cup non-fat dry milk

Directions

Mix ingredients together. Knead it with fingers while forming the dough into desired shapes.

(For those with peanut allergies, try using soy nut butter.)

Photos of the Making Play-dough

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Getting the ingredients together.All of the ingredients are mixed together.Cook on medium heat until the dough is the consistency of mashed potatoes.Knead the dough.Let the kids have fun kneading the dough.
Getting the ingredients together.
Getting the ingredients together. | Source
All of the ingredients are mixed together.
All of the ingredients are mixed together. | Source
Cook on medium heat until the dough is the consistency of mashed potatoes.
Cook on medium heat until the dough is the consistency of mashed potatoes. | Source
Knead the dough.
Knead the dough. | Source
Let the kids have fun kneading the dough.
Let the kids have fun kneading the dough. | Source

Jell-O Play-dough

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (3 ½ oz. package) of Jell-O


Directions

Mix all ingredients together and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the consistency of mashed potatoes. Let cool and knead with floured hands until dry. Store in airtight container after the mixture is cooled.

Note: If you decided to make play-dough sculptures using this recipe, you will be able to paint them after they have air dried.


Click thumbnail to view full-size
Use your imagination to add different dimensions to your play-dough play.Scissors are a great tool as well.  Just be sure that they are plastic and kid safe.
Use your imagination to add different dimensions to your play-dough play.
Use your imagination to add different dimensions to your play-dough play. | Source
Scissors are a great tool as well.  Just be sure that they are plastic and kid safe.
Scissors are a great tool as well. Just be sure that they are plastic and kid safe. | Source
Homemade play-dough as gifts!
Homemade play-dough as gifts! | Source

Using and Storing Your Play-dough

Playing with your new play-dough is very exciting. Break out all of the wonderful tools that you have to make the learning experience even more fun. You don't have to have anything fancy. Just a rolling pin, a plastic knife, match box cars, and some plastic action figures or animals can elicit a world of imagination in your child!

When you are ready to clean up your new creation, find an airtight container to store it in. This can be a plastic container with a lid or even just a zip lock plastic bag. As long as air does not penetrate to container, your play-dough will stay fresh.

Play-dough Gift Idea

If you are looking for an easy and inexpensive gift to give to some young people in your life, why not make some play-dough? Imagine their surprise as they open up the package and find that it is not just regular play-dough but smells like cherries or is mixed with beads. What a wonderful surprise for them!

Place the play-dough in a decorative container and attach some cookie cutters with a ribbon. Your thoughtful gift will be a hit!

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    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      Bravo! Bravo! Loved watching Grace and Alex in this wonderful how-to video.

      This is an awesome hub with so many ideas for fun activities with "Play Do".

      Also loved the gift idea at the end of the hub. Can't imagine any kid who wouldn't like getting this "Play Do" in a bright colored pail.

      Voted up across the board.

    • theclevercat profile image

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Fun! How long does it take to cool? Cute video and you knead like a pro!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      Beautiful! What fun! I used to make peanut-butter play doh when I was a kid for the sole purpose of eating it. :D What a fun hub for parents to share with their kiddos.

    • pippap profile image

      pippap 4 years ago from Surrey, BC

      Brought back memories of making playdough for my kids. Thanks.

    • GDRshop profile image

      GDRshop 4 years ago

      i used to do this a looooonnng time ago =)

    • Doc Sonic profile image

      Glen Nunes 4 years ago from Cape Cod, Massachusetts

      Great video! The kids are obviously genuinely having fun.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Outstanding teamwork shown in these two videos. Voted up and across. I have much more to say, but I'll save it for when I visit. :)

      When are you posting these 'cooking with kids' tutorials on YOutube???????

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      I love having you as my fan Gail! :) Thanks for the votes up and I know I would love that as a gift if I were a kid.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      Great question! I let it cool in the pan for a couple of minutes. It was still too hot for kids but ok for me to handle for another couple of minutes. Thanks, I must have been a baker in another life! :)

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      It was fun! My mom used to make peanut butter play dough for us too and we had a great time eating it. We never added anything to it that I can remember though.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      You're welcome pippap. I'm glad I was able to take you for a trip down memory lane!

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      I hope it brought back some good memories for you GDRshop!

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      Yes Doc, I really didn't bribe them to look like they were having fun, lol. All of the enthusiasm is genuine!

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Mom, I look forward to hearing more about what you have to say! ;)

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Awesome video and great recipes! Your kids are wonderful kitchen helpers.

    • Maddie Ruud profile image

      Maddie Ruud 4 years ago from Oakland, CA

      This video is frickin' fantastic! Not only does it illustrate how to make the play dough, but it also demonstrates your wonderful parenting! I hope others learn, not only from your recipes, but from the encouragement you provide your kids.

      P.S. I like to stir-it, stir-it, too!

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      We have great fun in the kitchen randomcreative! Glad you enjoyed it.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      Wow Maddie "frickin' fantastic!?" I guess that means you liked it. :) Thanks for your super kind comments. We love spending time together and I have super awesome kids. LOL, isn't that song great? They came home one day singing that after making cookies at preschool. Now it's sung with EVERY stir of the spoon!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      When I was a preschool teacher, we made playdoh in the classroom as a science experiment and it was always hit. Playdoh is such a great sensory experience for children. Love your video, your kids are so adorable and very good actors. Great hub topic, well written, enjoyable and useful. Vote way up!

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      LOL, yes they LOVE the camera! I'm glad that you found it useful and well written. Hopefully it will inspire other teachers or parents to create this for their students or kids.

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

      Those kids in your photos look like they're having a ball! I wish I'd known about these recipes when my kids were little; they'd have loved every minute of messing with the goo.

      Voted up, useful and interesting. And congratulations on winning one of the weekly awards for the competition!

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      Yes Mary my kids had a blast making it and continue to have fun playing with both kinds of the playdough! Thanks for the congrats, it was a wonderful surprise!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      I am soooo inspired by your how-to video! Not only by how easy this awesome play dough recipe appears to be, but because I have not used the video feature in a hub yet! Wonderful job! Congratulations on the win, too. Best, Steph

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      Just learned this hub is a winner (but of course I knew that the first time I looked at it).

      Are you going to share the winnings with the little stars?

    • alissaroberts profile image

      Alissa Roberts 4 years ago from Normandy, TN

      What a fantastic hub! I never knew there were so many fun recipes for making play dough. Definitely going to have to try one with my boys. Love the video - your kids are precious! Congrats on your win!

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 4 years ago from UK

      Congrats on the weekly win!

      I am in awe of your video-making skills - and your play dough making skills. I made play dough when my kids were little, but didn’t get such amazing colours that you have, and I’ve never heard of peanut butter play dough before.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Steph! My kids and I had a great time doing the whole project. Thanks for the congrats, same to you! I am in great company in regards to the winners!

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      You did know that Gail! So funny that you asked that because when I found out I told the kids and told them that we'd have to do something special with our winnings! Thanks for stopping back by.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      They will love it, let me know how it goes. Thanks so much Alissa!

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Melvoy. It's really just something I've started working on. With each one I learn a little more. The jello makes the bright colors and smells sooo good too! Congrats on your win last week. It will be a race to the finish line!

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 4 years ago

      Had fun watching your kids do the demonstration in the video--very cool. Congrats on your win--well-deserved.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks, I appreciate the congrats and kind words anglnwu!

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 4 years ago from Illinois

      I remember making play dough for CJ when he was little. I think it's a great activity for kids and also a great thing for kids to play with. As you said, there are all sorts of learning kids can get from playing with play dough

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      We had a lot of fun making it. Thanks for your comments.

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 4 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Beautiful children to a creative mom! I enjoyed this hub! Excellent for all parents.Congrats on a useful hub!

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Purple Perl. I appreciate your kind comments. I hope that parents are able to try some of the recipes with their kids!

    • sunbun143 profile image

      sunbun143 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Am I the first to find out? Other than you, I hope....CONGRATULATIONS on your grand prize win for the know-it-all contest! I am so happy for you and am glad the winning hub was a great how-to having to do with kids...I am biased because I am always looking for fun and educational ideas to do with my son, and this is PERFECT! Congrats again and thanks for the hub! Will be sharing...

    • Lenzy profile image

      Lenzy 4 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      I was wondering about how a playdough recipe hub would be a big winner. Now I know why. You did a great job in engaging all of the senses and you and your children did a wonderful job on the vido. Super job. Lenzy

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks so much! I really appreciate the congratulations! I appreciate your kind feedback and the sharing with others!

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      LOL, yes it is a little deceiving. Thanks so much for your comments. We had a great time making the play dough and the video. They keep asking when we are making more!

    • Lenzy profile image

      Lenzy 4 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      OOps. Sorry about the spelling of video. I guess my fingers fell short of my brain speed. Lenzy

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Your kids are so cute and it is obvious that they are used to helping in the kitchen ( "I like to stir it, stir it" ) which is great. A big congratulations on the winning entry for this contest. Your kids must also be very pleased that they were the stars of the show. I'm still smiling after watching your video. Voted up, useful and tweeting.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      No problem! Trust me, it happens to the best of us! :)

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Peggy! I think they are but I am a little biased. ;) They love cooking and in fact we've been doing a series of hubs about kids cooking so they have become quite the experts! They are just as excited as I am about the win. They have been telling everyone! I'm so appreciative of your kind comments, congrats and share. Have a great weekend!

    • luckykarma profile image

      luckykarma 4 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Cardelean, Wow! you took me back with WOW and kept me there!....you deserve the prize and it is an inspiration for us all, you have beautiful children. Well done! Hapy Easter to you all!

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 4 years ago from Los Angeles

      Congratulations on your well-deserved contest win! Your presentation is excellent,and your kids do a great job. The whole video comes together with clear instructions and proves how easy it is for kids to make and enjoy playdough. I love the gift ideas too!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      Wow!!!!! I just saw that this won the grand prize and I'm so thrilled because it's such a fantastic hub!!! Way to go Cara, Grace and Alex. You make a great team.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Congrats!!!!! This Hub is great. Your kids just stole the show. They are precious. I could watch your kids all day and listen to them sing. My kids and I used to make play dough, but I think we used food coloring instead of Jello. Congrats again.

    • acaetnna profile image

      acaetnna 4 years ago from Guildford

      Awesome, I had a great recipe for play dough some years ago but I couldn't remember the recipe. I am so pleased that I found this hub of yours. Thank you.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks luckykarma! I appreciate your kind comments of encouragement and compliments on my kiddos! Happy Easter to you as well!

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you so much cat on a soapbox, I appreciate your time in stopping to congratulate me! The kids and I had a great time working on it together!

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you Gail!!! I was so pleasantly shocked! We do have a lot of fun together! :) I appreciate you stopping by again to congratulate me. :)

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      LOL Mary! They often do! My son is quite the comedian and often keeps us in stitches! Food coloring will work but the jello makes it fun because of the scent. Thanks so much for the congrats.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      Fantastic acaetnna! I hope that you get a chance to try them out. So glad that you stopped by to read and comment.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 4 years ago from Northern, California

      What a perfect choice as the KIA contest Grand Prize Winner! So many outstanding contributions, it must have been a difficult vote! But, when all is said and done, the cream ALWAYS rises to the top; and here you are Cara, right where you belong! Wonderful job! I am so proud of you and impressed at the same time. VERY well deserved. Just goes to show you what a great attitude, hard work, and real talent can bring-- others could stand to learn a thing a or two, my friend!

      Super well deserved Congrats!!

      HubHugs~

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks K9! I really appreciate your encouraging words. Afterall, like many others who entered the contest, I (along with my kids) worked very hard to put this together. Have a great Monday!

      Hub Hugs back!

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 4 years ago from Bangalore,India

      cardelean, it gives me great pleasure to congratulate you once again,on your Grand prize win. Truly well deserved,the video is just too good!

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you so much Purple Perl for stopping back by to congratulate me again. It really means a lot to me. Have a fantastic day!

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 4 years ago from New York

      I'm guessing your children got their 'stirring theme' from Madagascar.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      Actually Melissa they got it from preschool. But I'm pretty sure that the teachers got it from Madagascar! Thanks for stopping by to comment.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Wow what an amazing hub! It puts my play dough hub to shame!! ^_^ I love the recipe using the peanut butter I'll have to try it very soon.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Mama Kim8, I appreciate your kind comments! The peanut butter recipe is great for a playtime activity that leads into a snack. And I'm sure your playdough hub is great! :)

    • belleart profile image

      belleart 4 years ago from Ireland

      My grandmother used to make play dough for me and my sister..this brings back soo many memories! :)

      She'd use food colourings and let us at some of her baking stencils! Best times down at my grandparents home!!!

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      I'm so glad that this hub gave you a little trip down memory lane belleart. Thanks so much for your visit.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on your hub of the day! Your kids do such a wonderful job of demonstrating making the play dough-the video is great. Adding the jello to the play dough mixture is a terrific idea for giving it color as well as scent. It's nice to know the kids will be playing with something where you know for sure that the ingredients are non-toxic. Great hub, voted up and shared.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Congrats on your Hub of the Day award for this delightful hub. Your children are just precious and watching them make their playdoughs was fun stuff. Your tips for the playdough are helpful, especially about using it as a gift. Neat hub, for sure!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 4 years ago from United States

      Excellent hub and tutorial! My kids would love the edible dough recipe. I'll have to try that one soon.

      Congrats on the Hub of the Day!

    • ChaplinSpeaks profile image

      Sarah Johnson 4 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

      It's about time this award-winning article got Hub of the Day! Congratulations!

    • CZCZCZ profile image

      CZCZCZ 4 years ago from Oregon

      Excellent Play Do recipe, I will have to forward this to my brother as my little nephew goes through Play Doh by the bucket fulls.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      Thought I'd come back by and tell you CONGRATS on HOTD! It's cuz it's awesome!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      this is so much fun. Homemade play dough is the best. Congratulations on hub of the day.:) Sending angels your way :) ps

    • Naomi's Banner profile image

      Naomi's Banner 4 years ago from United States

      This is awesome! Enjoyed the way the children worked together to accomplish their task. So sweet! These recipes all seem very easy and it was obvious that the children enjoyed what they were doing. Thanks so much for this video. I can't wait to try this with my grandkids.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Congratulations, awesome hub and video. Great work. Voted up.

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 4 years ago from London

      That smell of playdough is directly associated with childhood memories :) This is fantastic, an uncooked recipe is great because younger kids can still participate in the whole process!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      My darling daughter, after all our (my) chats about the HOTD you sneak up and get one! LOL This is so perfect. You really must have been biting your tongue during our latest conversations. Congratulations! I'm so glad that something positive has fallen your way these last few days! Keep moving forward...

    • KenDeanAgudo profile image

      Kenneth C Agudo 3 years ago from Tiwi, Philippines

      wonderful ;-)

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