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Picture of Easy, Affordable, Play Dough!
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Play dough is a fun, clay - like substance that kids love! It is very easy to make, and provides hours of fun! It can be expensive to buy at stores, but it's very easy and costs nothing to make it at home! The only materials you will need are:
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
food dye (any color, be creative!)
newspaper to cover the surface you're working on

It only takes about 10 minutes to make

Some credit goes to my younger sister for the help. (most of the pictures are of her.)

 
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Step 1: Set Up

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Find a good work space (I used the floor) and cover it with newspaper. also, find a medium sized bowl for mixing.

Step 2: Add the Ingredients

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Measure out 1 cup of four, and pour it into the bowl.
then, measure out 1/2 cup of salt, and add that to the bowl, too.
lastly, fill the measuring cup with 1/2 cup of water and pour it into the mixing bowl.

Step 3: Mix it!

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take a spoon - any spoon will do; and use it to mix up the ingredients. Mix it until it's mushy and it's neither watery nor flour - y.

Step 4: Color it!

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Add a few drops of food dye to the mush. then pick it up and start kneading it. this is easy, just play around with it. if desired, add more food dye to improve color.

Step 5: Viola!

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You're finished! if it's a little sticky, knead a tiny bit of flour into it. use your imagination! you can make whatever you'd like!
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ShawnaB122 days ago

I've made this several times and it always comes out great! We're currently playing with it again right now. The kids love it.

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ShawnaB122 days ago
C AnthonyP2 months ago

This recipe is a great base. I added a little oil and cream of tartar. You do have to use your judgment. If it is wet just add flour. If it is dry, just add some water or oil. By base, I mean that it is a great foundation for creativity. We added Kool-Aid for the scent and some food coloring to boost the color. As others have posted, you could add oils like peppermint or cinnamon, or jazz it up with some glitter. Just be creative with your kids. My daughter has been playing with this for a half an hour as I write this and it has not started to dry out yet. Even if it does after a while, it was still a heck of a lot cheaper than the store bought stuff. We are going to store it in a zip bag and keep it in the fridge. I will post how this works out. Thanks for the recipe!

It works great love it works better with a teaspoon of any oil
this does not work it came out to sticky i had to throw it out but thx anyway for posting

it came out sticky for me as well I just added more flour. but the 2nd batch I did less water and substituted oil came out perfect

you just had to put flour into it

this is fabulous!! i made it :-D i have had so many disasters with recipes, but thanks to you :-) i made it :-) i just added a little olive oil and a sprinkle of corn flour :-) thank you :-)

ayjayvee6 months ago
I just made this with two 4-year-old boys. We each made our own batch, so they could each do *and* watch. The recipe works well. Each batch came out a little different in texture at first, but as noted, it's easy to add a bit of flour to make it thicker or less sticky, or water if gets too thick to mix. The boys are delighted with the huge batches (compared to commercial sets) and custom colors.
Sparklemamma7 months ago
Added a little oil and used some of my water colors mixed when I added liquids. Plus koolaid to make it smell fruity!
Gymnasticsg7 months ago

Thanks so much for this great recipe!

luluha88 months ago
awesome thanks
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I made this recipe and it worked great! I didn't add any coloring, keeping the color white and added glitter and a little peppermint extract. Next time I'll dissolve the salt in warm water first but I'm overall happy with how it came out! The recipe made a ton. I think I'll make some different scented ones, cinnamon, almond; the possibilities are endless!

chandra.roy210 months ago

It's a gd recipe for making dough. When I made it , it turned out too sticky so had to keep adding more flour to get the right consistency. Also, we had no color at home, so I dissolved some turmeric powder in water & added that to make a yellow colored dough. :)

Charlobrine10 months ago

The only colour I had was black, so I ended up making half black and half white.

It's really fun :) If I held it gooped everywhere.

Keep it in wax paper or similar - It won't stick. And don't use gel dyes. Anyone who touches it will have [coloured] hands for the rest of the week xD

baileeann3 years ago
i love my sister and brother love it 2
hey there i must agree with you because my childeren love to help me make it because you dont have to cook it they can help me.
i dont agree mine did not work came out too sticky my kids threw it out

You're meant to add more flour for less sticky.

monsterbully10 months ago

A good tip is to use gel food colors instead of liquid if you want a brighter, bolder color. And the previous poster who talked about "highlighter juice" meant she broke open highlighter pens with liquid ink and mixed that in because highlighter colors (all of them) are blacklight reactive. I made this and I found I had to keep adding more flour because it kept getting sticky but after a while it seemed okay. It didn't matter much because the kids had fun nbecause they got to make it all by themselves, mixing the gooey mess (at first) and had fun molding with the play-doh like mixture when it was finished.

jamess510 months ago

a bread maker is the best , cleanest way, to mix your play dough! use it on dough setting

caitlinm10 months ago

if you make this and put it in a piping bag you can use it as dohvinci

erik.m.brage11 months ago

Back in the good-old seventies we added a tablespoon of alum powder (aluminium potassium
sulfate or similar) however since this is poisonous (moderately so if properly mixed into the dough) I recently saw a new receipe using citric acid instead. Perhaps that will keep the dough from drying out?

*bump*

I'm always on the lookout for easy & affordable toddler activity ideas and this fits the bill:) We included it in a roundup of such activity ideas over at Hint Mama. Here's the link and enjoy:) http://hintmama.com/2014/08/28/todays-hint-7-affordable-easy-diy-activities-for-toddlers/

polerix4 years ago
i added glitter, highlighter juice, and mint essence. makes blacklight reactive, glittery, and smells great!
Highlighter juice. Do you mean whiteout? I should think there are other things that could also make it blacklight reactive. They might even result in different colors.
Can you give some examples, please? I love playdough but playdough that reacts to black light would be totally awesome! :)

But you probably want to keep it non toxic. I am curious what he meant also. Does sound awesome.

Highlighter Juice that Polerix talked about is probably the ink from an orange, yellow or green highlighter pen, but you would probably have to ask him directly. What occurred to me is that Visine and Quinine (Tonic Water) both flouresce under UV light.
brucescampgirl11 months ago

Without the oil, cream of tartar and cooking it was too sticky. I prefer the cooked version. I also add jello to the flour mix to have it smell good. Thank you though your pics and instructions are very clear. Love your snail.

kat.milner.1011 months ago

added glitter

tem211 months ago

i did this today. my daughters is a dark green and mine a dark purple.......love it thanks for the instructions

i made it but have no images.

by the way i give this instructable no credit because i made it before i saw it

check out my instructable, how to take apart a computer by karatedragon6

by the way add more salt and a little baby powder to make it dry out less
aadams361 year ago

Can you mix the cream or tartar in with this to provide elasticity or does that only work with the cooked version?

TinyEYE1 year ago

Play dough is frequently used as a tool for development of motor coordination in Occupational Therapy. We linked to this recipe to allow parents to get their children involved right from Step 1 (making the play dough), on a list of 7 Ways Parents Can Help Young Children Develop Motor Skills, found here: http://blog.tinyeye.com/2014/05/12/7-ways-parents-can-help-young-children-develop-motor-skills

tyger5711 year ago
I'm gonna try this when I get home
Me and my friend made this while baby sitting and it was fun! The only prob is that it drys out VERY fast! We had to keep adding water like every 7 mins or so! Yet overall, it was very fun and great for kids!
people1012 years ago
o_0
people1012 years ago
relly cool it is also called salt dough
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