Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Striving To Make the Perfect Playdoh

I realized the other day that it's been ages since I made playdoh. I checked my blog and the last playdoh time was October 2006. Yikes! Well, since baby D have yet to be introduced to playdoh, I made some again. This time, I decided to use the recipe that required the dough to be cooked.

I made 4 different colored balls. Each time I did one, I strived to make the perfect playdoh.

1. First attempt, I used this recipe provided by EJBABY when she left a comment on that last playdoh post.

World's Best Playdough Recipe
1 c. flour
1/4 c. salt
2 t. cream of tartar
1 c. water
1 T. oil
2 t. food colouring
Mix dry ingredients in medium pot. Add water, oil and food colouring. Cook and stir over medium heat. When the mixture forms a ball in the pot, turn out and knead on a lightly floured surface.

Problem: I learned that you shouldn't cook the flour mixture over the fire. It burns really fast. Thank goodness the burnt smell didn't stay on the playdoh. Yes, it turned out okay in the end. But it really was not a good thing for the bottom of my pot. And I think I used 2 tbsp of cream of tartar instead of 2 tsp.

2. Next batch, I decided to use another recipe from a book called "The Preschooler's Busy Book" by Trish Kuffner.

Colored Playdough Recipe
1 cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup salt
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
Food coloring
1 cup flour
Combine water, oil, salt, cream of tartar, and food coloring in a saucepan and heat until warm. Remove from heat and add flour. Stir, then knead until smooth.

Problem: I didn't read properly and mixed the salt and cream of tartar to the flour first. I was suppose to put those two ingredients with the liquid and keep the flour aside to be added later. Well, I pinched away what I could. I didn't mix it in with the flour yet so they were kinda still sitting at the top. In the end, playdoh turned out okay.

3. Batch #3 I decided maybe doing the cooked version of playdoh didn't suit me. I went back to the uncooked playdoh recipe.

Uncooked Playdough
1 cup cold water
1 cup salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Food coloring
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons cornstach
Mix water, salt, oil and food coloring to make a bright color. Gradually add flour and cornstarch until the mixture reaches the consistency of bread dough.

Problem: I halved the recipe. I didn't need 3 cups of flour. The texture is not as nice as the cooked version. It was very hard to knead. This was very noticeable coz' I just did 2 batches of the cooked one and that was nice and soft.

4. Last batch, I decided to give the cooked version another try. I think I got it right this time. By then, I was already exhausted and decided that the kids have sufficient playdoh. Plus, I've had enough with mess already.

Mamas Parenting Tip
  • If you want to make some homemade playdoh, try the cooked version. It is very much softer and the texture is smoother.
  • The cream of tartar is suppose to make the playdoh long lasting, even up to 6 months. But it must be kept in an airtight container of ziploc bag.
  • DON'T cook the flour over the fire. Cook the "liquid" part over the fire. Add the flour only after you've removed the "liquid" from the fire. If not, get ready for a black bottom and lots of scrubbing.
  • When you start kneading the flour, it's going to be hot! Of course-lah, you just cooked the "liquid" right? Use a spoon, spatula or something first and stir around.
  • If the playdoh is a bit sticky, sprinkle with flour. At first I had the children play on newspapers laid on the ground but they said when they pressed down, some of the playdoh would stick to the paper. In the end, I gave them my cutting boards and dusted it with some flour.
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  1. wow...you are so innovative...i only know where to buy ready made playdough :()

  2. Wow can save some money here by makinh playdough at home. I normally buy one set of different colours. Just wondering will the homemade play dough become stale due to the flour ingredient in it? Does the commercial ones put any "preservatives"?

  3. Wow,I am impress with you! My mom bought a set of playdough for my son once. Previously I do have a simple recipe for playdough, but I was too lazy to make.... bad mommy! :)

    Anyway, thanks for putting my link up in your bookstore! :)

  4. Thanks for sharing, I yet introduce this for my gal.

  5. You are really hardworking. Amazed.

  6. contentedmom:
    Have to be innovative when you want to save money :)

    Don't know how the commercial ones make theirs. I used to buy too and the kids would mix the colors up. Also sooner or later it would get hard coz' the kids don't keep it nicely. You know how it feels to see money go down the drain (or into the garbage). That's why I'd rather put in a little effort to make it myself. Flour is cheap. Hehehe. Yes, it will get stale after a while. That's why I decided to use the cooked recipe this time coz' the cream of tartar is suppose to make it last longer - up to 6 months it seems. We'll see.

    Mommy, don't get too lazy. Kids grow fast and then you would have missed out doing all these fun things for them.
    No problem on the link.

    Oh, it'll be so much fun for your gal. They especially love to make birthday cakes.

    Once in a while I get the mood to do such things. So, not hardworking all the time. Hahahah. Like sometimes I get into the baking mood. Do you get those kind of "moods" too?

  7. You are so patient to make the playdoh for the kiddos. I'm just so lazy & get off the shelf ones ;p

  8. I've made some play dough for my girls to play with too... Just wondering, how long does yours last? Even if I keep in ziplocks or tight containers & then keep in the fridge... it's kinda oily when I took out to play after about 2-3 months... How 'bout yours?


  9. Hi Chandrika,
    The last batch I did lasted 1 month. That is because they stopped playing with it after 2-3 times. I think if they played with it more often, it would last longer. I didn't keep mine in the fridge. It gets a little bit oily after a while but not that much. However, it is nice again after some kneading.


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