This is super easy to make, you'll never need to buy the store stuff again. This is a cooked version, there are uncooked versions floating around the net which are great if you want small kids to make it themselves but I think this version is superior with a far better texture and it lasts longer too.
I have also included an amazing shopping list at the bottom of the post which may help and save you time, also I have linked some of our articles that use Play Dough at the bottom too.
2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 cup salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar (optional for improved elasticity)
Food colouring for any colour you want
You can also add herbs & spices for different aromas, try adding cocoa, cinnamon or ginger. Just make sure the kids don't eat it, I don't think it would harm them but just to be safe.
Mix all of the ingredients together, and stir over low heat. The dough will begin to thicken until it resembles mashed potatoes.
When the dough pulls away from the sides and clumps in the center, as shown below, remove the pan from heat and allow the dough to cool enough to handle.
If the dough is still sticky just cook it longer until it is more of a play dough consistency.
Turn the dough out onto a clean counter or silicone mat, and knead vigorously until it becomes silky-smooth. Divide the dough into balls for coloring.Make a divot in the center of the ball, and drop some food coloring1 in. Fold the dough over, working the food color through the body of the playdough, trying to keep the raw dye away from your hands and the counter. You could use gloves, a big ziplock bag, or plastic wrap at this stage to keep your hands clean- only the concentrated dye will color your skin, so as soon as it's worked in bare hands are fine.Work the dye through, adding more as necessary to achieve your chosen color.
When you're done, store your playdough in an air-tight container.
- If it begins to dry out, you can knead a bit of water in again to soften the dough back to useability. Once it's dried past a certain point, however, you'll just have to start over; thankfully it's not terribly difficult.
- If it gets soggy, you can re-heat it to drive off the extra water the dough absorbed overnight. This is usually the result of high humidity, but is fixable!
You can also bake it in the oven to make hard dough figures and ornaments, then paint or otherwise decorate the surface.