Homemade safe easy play dough recipe and the many benefits of play

Play dough and some of our tools

Smash it, roll it, twist it, make animals, cut it…..the options are endless. So much imagination is ignited with play dough. We love playing with it in our household! It can be one of those activities you either love or hate. It can be messy – but of the messy play fun it is one that makes least amount of mess. Or if you really cannot stand the mess head to the funbus mobile playgroup – they often have play dough out for the kids!

Play dough can be very simple to make at home and then you then know the exact ingredients, giving you peace of mind it is safe for your babies or toddlers if they decide to eat some. Which for my toddler at the moment – everything goes in the mouth! Read on for our quick, easy and safe play dough recipe and it’s many benefits.

The many benefits of Play dough

Our tool box and play dough play
Our tool box and play dough play. Cutting, pinching and “making blueberries”

Play dough is a great activity and should be a childhood staple as it helps young children developmentally in so many areas. It’s playful versatility allows for your little ones to learn without even knowing they are learning! It is especially great for fine motor skills – they manipulate the dough and also helps to develop strength, dexterity and control with their hands.

The open ended play opportunities with this activity also help develop children’s socio-emotional skills. They can play independently or cooperatively with others. Cooperation, sharing, turn taking are all just some of the skills forming through this play.

Of course play dough definitely leads itself to creativity! But also can show maths concepts such as size and shape exploration. Language and literacy also comes into play and as they explore this sensory experience they can learn new words and expand their vocabulary.

manipulating and cutting the play dough
Cutting with a star and rolling

It is a great sensory experience. It helps strengthen hands, can help relieve stress and if you add scents to play dough this adds another whole new dimension to the sensory experience.

Ok so enough of the benefits – you get the idea. Play dough is an awesome activity that helps children develop in a variety of ways. Now to our fabulous recipe.

Play dough Recipe

To create our quick and easy play dough that is safe for your babies and kids all you need is a few every day pantry ingredients. It is also so simple that your kids can make it too! For our no cook recipe you will need:

The ingredients for our play dough mix in a bowl
Mixing the ingredients for our play dough

Ingredients

2 cups of plain flour
1 tablespoon of oil
3/4 cup of water
1/2 cup of salt
few drops of food colouring

Method

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, slowly adding the water. Leave the the food colouring till the end. Then knead together so it forms a nice dough consistency. Once you have a nice ball of dough split it into two or more balls if you want different colours. I made two decent sized balls with this amount of ingredients. Add a few drops of food colouring into the ball and then knead again so the colour spreads evenly. Then ta da! Your awesome home made play dough is ready for your kids imagination to go wild!

My other great tip for awesome play dough play – is start a tool kit box. It is everyday items from around the kitchen/craft cupboard stash and put some in a small tub and keep aside. In my box we have plastic kids knives, spoons, small various sized containers, egg rings, pipe cleaners, different shaped cookie cutters and of course your play dough tools from the shops. If you head to an op shop they often have cheap kitchen items that make great additions to your tool box.

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