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Kid Art: Pantry Play Dough

February 1, 2011

The last couple of weeks have been bitterly cold here in the northeast.  While I don’t wish to spend this beautiful (yet frigid) Winter season merely pining for Spring, O and I both have begun to feel the strain of too much time indoors.  How to remedy this?  More creating with our hands!

This particular play dough recipe is made entirely out of items you likely have just hanging around in the pantry.  It does warrant a little more adult supervision than some others I’ve encountered as it requires some time at the stove top.  O helped me measure and pour the ingredients and then off into the kitchen I went.  It takes less than ten minutes total to whip up and makes about a pound of dough.  To get the seafoamish color you see here, I believe it’s two drops of blue and one drop of green.

Pantry Play Dough

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1.5 tablespoon vegetable oil*
  • food coloring (optional)
  1. Mix ingredients together in a stove-top pan (first the dry ingredients, then adding the water and oil, and food coloring if desired), and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens.
  2. Cook for 4-6 minutes until it starts looking like a continuous globular mass.  You will know it’s done when the texture begins to change.
  3. Then dump it on a plate.  Let cool for about 3 minutes and then knead the dough into a ball.
  4. Store in an airtight container.

We keep O’s play dough in an airtight container with a tray on his art shelf.  This way he can access it and put it away himself.  (Inspiration from Meg & Finn here!)

Recipe courtesy of A Small Tribe.

*I’m finding that I don’t very much enjoy the smell of vegetable oil…  So, I’m thinking maybe next time I’ll add a couple drops of lavender essential oil to the mix.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Heidi permalink
    February 1, 2011 12:00 pm

    We are SO making this today! Thanks for the suggestion… I need something to do for fun :) Do you think I could substitute coconut oil in place of the vegetable oil? The vegetable oil doesn’t sound like my favorite either. I know they’re sort of different consistencies, but at warmer temps, they’re both liquid… ??

    • February 2, 2011 2:12 pm

      Hi Heidi!
      I want to say that the coconut oil would be fine… I *think* the veg oil is to keep the dough malleable and I *believe* coconut oil would probably work in the same way. I guess if it doesn’t work out, you can always try again! Hope that helps! :)


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