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Better than store bought Play Dough

Written by Amy Rios Crochet Artist/SAHM

Photo Credit Isabella Seda IC You Photgraphy

I am a Pinwhore.  I admit it.  If you go to my personal Pinterest there are several thousand pins.  That being said, I refer to Pinterest for just about everything.  Spencer, Xander, Bradyn or Mackenzie have a birthday coming up?  Someone needs a new crochet hat?  My friend is pregnant?  Why of course they need a photo prop!  My good friend was expecting her third and I found a propeller airplane prop that was adorable.  I wanted to make it for her, but better.  I wanted to make her something that would be more than a photo prop.  I decided to make a sky behind the plane so that it could be used as a play mat long after the photo shoot.  If you would like one for yourself I would be happy to make you one.

For Spencer’s first birthday I did a safari themed party because he was all about giraffes.  I learned about sensory play on Pinterest.  I honestly had no idea what it was when I first started reading about it, but then I became obsessed.  I wanted to do something that all the kids could do together at the party.  So I dyed some rice and put safari animals in it.  It was a smash hit.  Maybe another day I will relive his first birthday party.  I had so much fun planning it, but that is for another post.  If you want to dye rice I highly recommend it.  It does take a bit of work and it smelled horrible making it,  but it was totally worth it.  Find the recipe here.  I highly recommend Happy Hooligans – Jackie has so many fantastic ideas!

For his second birthday I felt like I had to keep up with all the different things I had done for his first birthday.  He loves Team Umizoomi, so for is his second party it was only fitting that he had a Team Umizoomi themed bash.  Except, they don’t make decorations, plates, games or ANYTHING Team Umizoomi.  So Mamma had to get to making.  The sensory play for this theme was play dough.  I found several recipes on Pinterest and I am not sure what made me settle on the one I chose (maybe because it was called The Best Ever No Cook Play dough.)  I bought a few cookie cutter sets at the dollar store in different shapes and sizes.  The kids loved it.  I had gotten a Little Tykes picnic bench from my neighbor the previous summer that I set up and the kids played all day.

It was a huge success.  The batch I made was huge.  Some of it got mixed together, so that just got chucked.  But a lot of it was rescued.  Spencer played with it virtually a year.  All I had to do was liven it up with a little glycerin from time to time.  Last January I made him a fresh batch and I made him eight colors.  Well, since it was January I kept telling him we were going to make fresh play dough.  He had left one of the containers open a little bit and four of the colors had dried out.  And since they were a year old I didn’t feel the need to save them.  He normally plays with play dough multiple times a week and he will play sometimes for a solid hour.  I have literally been telling this poor kid for 3 weeks we were going to make play dough.  Every time he asked I would say, “Sorry, it dried out, we have to make it fresh.”  He would look at me and pout and I felt horrible. But I have all these crochet orders and I just didn’t have the time.

So we made the time…

This is the recipe I use from the Imagination Tree

2 cups of flour

1/2 cup of salt

2 Tbsp cream of tarter

2 Tbsp Oil (whatever you have on hand) – I know my picture is missing oil

Up to 1 1/2 cups boiling water

Food coloring (I like the gel food coloring)

A few drops of glycerin

The only part I changed from her recipe is that I do not color the boiling water.  I did that for his first birthday and I ended up with so much play dough for each color.  I found another recipe that recommended kneading the dough and then splitting it and coloring portions of the dough.  

Sift the flour

Stir in the oil

Mamma does the boiling water… let it cool…and then you knead… and knead and knead and knead…. Trust me its worth it.  My Apple Watch told me I burned nearly 700 calories making this stuff.  It is literally the softest and nicest play dough ever.  It doesn’t have that store bought smell.  And the kids can eat it and you aren’t worried about what they are eating…. though I am always telling mine not to eat it.  (Mostly cause I don’t want to have to make it again)

Then add the coloring and knead some more…


Now enjoy playing with all that lovely dough you just made!  Tracy and Bradyn came over the next day to play. Long after the boys left us adults were sitting there playing with the play dough…hehehe…

If you liked this, please share it with your friends 🙂


2 thoughts on “Better than store bought Play Dough

    1. Spencer is 3 and Bradyn is 2. Spencer has been playing with play dough since he was 2. 18 months is a perfect age though 🙂 Get those little fingers working! I got some cutters at the dollar store and a big set of tools from Amazon.


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