Overview: Playdough is one of our favorite tools to use for fun and learning. We make this cooked playdough once a week and tailor it to our current theme.
I feel sorry for Sicily at the beginning of every new theme we tackle in Tot School. One of my favorite things to do at the beginning of a theme is make a new batch of cooked playdough that relates to what we are learning.
For the past few weeks, we have been learning about each color and shape. So every month, we make a new batch of playdough with that month’s color. I’ve also made cinnamon playdough for fall and peppermint playdough for Christmas.
But making playdough on a regular basis isn’t the reason why I feel sorry for Sicily. Let me start off by saying, I’m one of the messiest cooks you’ll ever meet, especially if flour is involved.
A few months ago, Sicily and I were making brownies. After pouring the flour into the mixer, my hand slipped and I turned the mixer on WAY too fast.
Can you guess what happened next?
Flour went everywhere…and I mean EVERYWHERE!
The worst part was that this incident happened right in the middle of Sicily’s I don’t want to get messy stage!
I had never seen that girl move so fast. She hopped down from her learning tower, jumped up on the couch, and said “No mess!” And that’s where she stayed until I finished making the brownies.
From that point on, she would run to the couch yelling “mess” every time I pulled out the mixer or the flour. Hence, why I feel sorry for her when we make playdough all the time.
This happened about 6 months ago, and she is just now starting to come into the kitchen again when the flour is out. Although, she still refuses to come in when the mixer is out…Oops!
A few weeks ago, we made orange playdough for our orange and heart theme. This was the first time she had helped me make the playdough in a while.
I wanted to pop in today to share our recipe with you. It’s a cooked playdough, but it is super simple, quick, and it lasts for a good two weeks without being in the refrigerator.
Start by adding 1 cup of flour into a saucepan. I like to give Sicily a whisk while we put all the ingredients in. She mixes each ingredient and helps me pour each one into the pan. I do not have it on the heat at this point since Sicily likes to help mix.
Then add 1 TBSP of Cream of Tartar, 1 TBSP of oil, and 1/2 cup of salt to the pan.
Here is the fun part! Now you can add anything you want to 1 cup of water to make it special. You can add extracts or spices for smelling. Food coloring works great to change the color, or you can add glitter for a touch of sparkle. If you want to go the natural route, just add the water to the sauce pan.
It’s easier to mix the extra special stuff into the playdough when you add it to the water first. After adding everything to the pan, I let Sicily mix it up one last time before putting it on the stove over medium/high heat.
At this point, Sicily either scoots down to her kitchen area to play with her kitchen utensils or goes off into the other room until the playdough is finished.
While the playdough is cooking, constantly stir and fold the mixture until a dough is formed. Once a nice soft dough is formed, dump it out onto a plate or parchment paper. I like to flatten the ball out to help it cool quicker. Let the playdough cool for about 15 minutes. Knead the dough a few times before playing with it. This dough usually lasts the whole 2 weeks of a theme for us as long as we keep it in an airtight container or Ziplock bag.
Easy Cooked Playdough
1 cup flour
1 TBSP Cream of Tartar
1 TBSP oil
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
1.Mix all ingredients, except water, in a saucepan off of the heat.
2.Add any special extras to the water like food coloring, glitter, extract, or spices.
3.Add water to the saucepan and mix together.
4.Place saucepan over medium/high heat and constantly stir until soft dough has formed.
5.Flatten the dough out on a plate for 15 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
6.Knead the dough a few times before playing with it.
7.Keep it in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Print & Play Calendar
Simple, low prep activities that can be modified for toddlers and preschoolers on a simple calendar. No more worrying about how to keep the kids entertained. Just print and go!