Play dough is a ton of fun for curious toddlers but unfortunately it has a lot of chemicals in it and a very unpleasant smell.
The main ingredients of bought play dough are similar to the one you can make at home with the difference that it contains a lot more stuff like fragrances, color and preservatives that are just not needed when you make your own.
According to Wikipedia the original play dough also includes ingredients like lubricant, hardener and surfactant.
Doesn’t sound too great does it?
According to the big companies that produce play dough it is non toxic.
In general it should be fine if your kid accidentally swallows a small amount of it.
But in all reality who really wants to take the risk of your baby digesting those preservatives and other stuff?
Thankfully it is super easy to make homemade playdough with just a few ingredients that you most likely already have at home.
This play dough is not only without any chemicals but actually taste safe for baby and toddler.
It is a great alternative to store bought play dough and will cost you less money in the end.
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Play dough in general let’s your kid develop their creativity with creating whatever they can imagine.
It is also a great sensory activity.
I remember the first time I came a cross the baby safe play dough at a easter egg hunt with other moms.
One of the moms had brought lots of homemade play dough that had the same texture and worked just as great as the ones you can buy in store.
It was so much fun for the kids and gave me a piece of mind to let my then not even 1 year old also play with it because it’s not as bad if she would have swallowed some.
Before you start make sure to print and laminate these free play dough mats to go along with your new homemade play dough.
How to make taste safe play dough at home
Pretty much all you have to do is combine the ingredients and you will end up with play dough.
Sounds super simple right?
There are a ton of different recipes all over the internet for homemade play dough and some might work better than others.
Especially one of the ingredients – cream of tartar – makes the dough extra smooth.
Recipe for homemade play dough
All you need to make your own play dough are the following ingredients:
1 Cup boiling water (cold water works too)
1 Cup flour (doesn’t matter what kind of flour)
2 Tablespoon cream of tartar
½ Cup of salt (normal table salt)
3-4 Teaspoon of oil (You can use canola, Olive or any other plant based oil)
2-3 packets Kool aid or Food coloring
Steps to make homemade play dough:
- Start by adding the water to a pot and heat it to a boil. You can add the food coloring or kool aid in this step already which makes it super easy to dissolve.
- Combine all other ingredients in your bowl to mix.
- Take the water off the heat and let it cool down a little bit before adding the oil and all of your dry ingredients.
While stirring the ingredients you should already be able to see the play dough forming.
- Let the mixture cool down until it is cold enough to be kneaded.
Make sure to cover your hands in flour before kneading to make sure nothing will stick to your hands.
You should end up with enough play dough to make different colors at once.
When you are using the classic food coloring you can divide the dough by 4 and add the coloring as the last step simply kneading it in.
Make sure to wear some gloves while doing so to not stain your hands.
If you end up with dough that is not completely smooth here’s what you can do:
- Is the play dough too sticky?
Add a little bit more oil
- Is it too wet?
A little more flour will do the trick.
- Is it too hard?
Add a few more drops of water.
- Does it look a little pale?
Add more food coloring.
How can I store homemade play dough?
That way you can use the play dough over and over again without it getting hard.
It should be good for about 3 months.
But your play dough might not be as smooth in texture and crumble a little.
Also no, the boiling water just makes it a lot easier to combine all ingredients but you can always just use cold water.
Yes you can – your play dough might get a little harder to work with when it is stored and cool but should be smooth again once you have it in your warm hands.
The main purpose of Salt is the preservative when making homemade play dough and it adds to the texture.
I hope you are having a great time making this baby safe play dough and letting your children play with it.
Please make sure to always watch your toddler and baby if they play with the play dough – it might be more safe than store bought one but it can still be a choking hazard if they accidentally take a big bite out of it.
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