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How to Make Play Dough Yourself at home

How to Make Play Dough

How to Make Play Dough Yourself at home

You need:

  • 2 cups plain flour (all purpose)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil  (or baby oil and coconut oil work too)
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar (found in the baking aisle)
  • 1 to 1.5 cups boiling water
  • gel food colouring (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of glycerine (optional)


  • Mix the flour, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl
  • Add food colouring and salt to the boiling water then pour into the bowl
  • Stir till combined
  • Add the glycerine (optional)
  • Allow it to cool down then take it out of the bowl and knead it until it’s no longer sticky
  • If it remains sticky, add a touch more flour until it’s just right

You can display your play dough in a tray (affiliate link) with loose parts to encourage children to create and decorate!

Benefits of Play dough Play:

1. Fine Motor Skill Development: great for strengthening muscle tone in little hands – squishing, squashing, rolling, flattening play dough all develop children’s muscles and encourage pre-writing and other skills such as cutting with a scissors, using a tweezers, holding a pencil etc.

2. Calming and therapeutic: simply sitting and squashing and rolling a piece of play dough in your hand is a very calming and soothing activity.  For years I have been giving children play dough “stress” balls in class as a way of easing tension, releasing extra energy, improving focus and concentration. Can be a great outlet for children to express their emotions

3. Creativity and imagination:  the possibilities for play dough play are limitless – my kids love to create all sorts of things with play dough – some days they create monsters and aliens, on other occasions they have made cupcakes, pizzas, gardens, houses, Christmas decorations.  I love to provide them with a wide variety of materials to use with the play dough, inspiring creativity and encouraging use of their imaginations.

4. Develops hand-eye co-ordination: by using a variety of materials and objects in play dough play can enhance hand-eye co-ordination.

5.  Social skills:  any activity where children are hands-on involved creates a fantastic opportunity for developing social skills. Playing with play dough in small groups and or with adults presents lots of possibilities for talk and discussion, playing collaboratively, problem solving and planning with others.  Encourage your children to describe what they are doing while they play.

6. Literacy and Numeracy development: we have used play dough for a variety of literacy and numeracy activities – it’s a great fun way of involving children in literacy and numeracy activities, some of which you can see in our Pre-writing Activities.

7.  Promotes Play:  allows children to be children, to slow down and play, using a range of their senses and skills.

Benefits Courtesy ourlittlehouseinthecountry

How to Make Play Dough Yourself at home

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