Homemade play dough: better and cheaper than store bought

Two posts in one day!! And this is post #556.

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My mom used to make us play dough when we were little. In fact, I remember my mom making tons of it one year (at least) before xmas and selling it at the craft sales and bazaars. Some of the doughs were even scented! I remember there being little rolling pins and cookie cutters being sold with the 4-5 color set of play doughs. My brother and I were good marketers, playing with the dough and showing off its long lasting durability.

My mom gave me that recipe years ago. I made some for our niece and nephew one year for xmas. Another time I made it for my friend’s daughter and another friend’s son. But I never had a need to make it for myself or my own child. However, that has now changed!! After seeing FutureSoccerMom‘s post today about making play dough for her two, I had to make some for Paxlet. It was the nudge and reminder that I needed.

Needless to say, Paxlet loved the play dough! He loved it so much that he pitched a fit when we told him it was time to put it away for the night.

He chose green for his color. And then wanted all the other colors too. Next time, next time...

He chose green for his color. And then wanted all the other colors too. Next time, next time…

My mom’s recipe and Futuresoccermom’s recipe are almost identical. The only difference bring one uses cream of tartar (my mom’s) and the other vinegar. However, after trying out this new to me recipe with vinegar, I can say that they are both pretty much identical.  Maybe I’ll have to do a side by side comparison someday, but for now, I am thrilled to have this new recipe. Cream of tartar is almost impossible, if not totally impossible, to find in Finland. Now I can easily share this recipe with my friends and the daycare lady!

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Lions, dolphins, moose, angels, OH MY!

Homemade play dough (that is better than anything store bought)

1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar OR 3 teaspoon white vinegar (your choice)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
food coloring (optional)

Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl. In a medium pan combine the liquids. Add to the flour mixture. Cook on medium heat stirring continually 3-5 minutes until soft and mixed. Let it cool for a minute or two. It is ready to play with.

I pull my pan off the heat while it is still a tiny bit sticky/gooey and stir a short bit more. It will become a very soft dough texture that lasts a long time if kept in an airtight container when not in use.

Another fun thing that I always enjoyed as a kid, was to not add the food coloring until it was fully cooked. Then you can make more than one color and get the fun of mixing the colors in by hand. Warm (almost hot) play dough is amazing!

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