I have a very clever mommy. She is such a talented artist, dress maker, crafter, stain glasser (I’m sure there is a word for that), coppersmith, beader… the list goes on. And I don’t mean she dabbles in each, she is AMAZING at them all. I’m very thankful that I picked up her interest in crafting and sewing although she has more talent in her little toe than I have in my whole body!

For some reason I’m having some trouble blending my interest in crafts into my life as a mum to my 19 month old. It never occured to me until this weekend that I could make playdough for my little girl (duh!) until I stumbled across this amazing blog The Imagination Tree. They feature, amongst a million brilliant play ideas, a recipe for no-cook playdough. I’ve googled playdough recipes and only found versions that require standing over a pot and stirring for ages. Although slightly skeptical, I decided to give it a go. Since everything still ends up in my daughter’s mouth, I decided to just use food colouring and not add a flavour which would only encourage her to eat it. The Imagination tree has all sorts of playdough recipes using glitter, flavour (chocolate, yum!) and a salt dough recipe to bake your child’s artwork into permanent keepsakes (Christmas ornaments!).

This is the basic no-cook recipe:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 1.5 cups boiling water
  • a few drops of glycering (for extra smoothness, stretch & shine)
  • food colouring

Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and stir vigorously until all the lumps are gone and it begins to come together into a ball. Once it has cooled enough t handle, knead until it stops being sticky. I went with green food colouring which was the least appetising colour I have in my baking cupboard (in another effort to avoid playtime turning into tea time!).

Start to finish it took about 5 minutes plus another 10 to be cool enough for little hands to play. I couldn’t believe how fast and easy it was, plus I don’t think it would be possible to muck it up!

Ruby was a little unsure at first because it was still warm and she has a little obsession at the moment with things being hot. If she comes across a food she doesn’t like, its hot (great excuse!). But once she saw how much fun I was having using the cookie cutters she got for christmas in a baking set to cut the dough into shapes, she dove right in. We had a good 25 minutes play and the playdough was put into a ziplock bag to keep for another time. We’ve since used it 3 times and its still as good as new.

Here are some pictures of little R having her first go at my green playdough:

See, I told you all roads lead to the mouth! I think this would make a really nice gift, easy and not expensive. If I find some cute little containers at a dollar store I will make up a batch with different colours for a friend (hopefully they don’t make their own either!)

If you haven’t already, give it a go and check in on The Imagination Tree for lots of imaginative play ideas.

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