Since I have been home with YMGP, I have been trying all the fun things that stay-at-home mom’s get to do, like making DIY playdough in hopes of occupying my toddler while I cook dinner. It totally worked… for like 3 minutes.
I wanted to make brightly colored playdough, and I wanted it to last for a while so I could pull it out later if YMGP wasn’t super interested yet, which he wasn’t. Also, I wanted it to be okay for him to eat, but not taste very good. I ended up working from a recipe in The Toddler Busy Book, because it included cream of tartar, and experimenting until I got intensely colored playdough. What is cream of tartar? It is potassium hydrogen tartrate, simply, a kind of salt. It is a byproduct of wine making and is one of the ingredients in baking powder. Why put it in your playdough? Because it can act as a stabilizer. Often, it is used to keep beaten egg whites fluffy in meringues, but in this case it keeps the starch from the flour, well, doughy. Which means this playdough should last quite a while as long as it doesn’t dry out. I’ll let you know how it holds up.
As far as DIY playdough goes, this stuff is awesome, it is stretchy, smooth and moldable. It also has very little scent and doesn’t seem to leave much residue on surfaces (as long as you don’t accidentally put to much oil in it… I learned that from experience). Here is the recipe:
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 20-25 drops of food coloring
- 1/2 cup flour
- Warm water, oil, salt, food coloring and cream of tartar in a saucepan until simmering. Add flour (you might consider sifting it... I didn't), and stir until it forms a dough. Turn out onto work surface and let cool 5 minutes or so. Knead until smooth. You can knead in additional food coloring if you wish. Store in air-tight containers
- Each batch makes a ball about the size of my fist.
If YMGP doesn’t start liking it soon, it might just become a mama toy! Happy DIY playdough making!