How to make playdough with your child

by | Aug 26, 2021 | Developmental Play, Featured, Parenting, preschool, toddler

Making playdough with toddlers.

We had a tray on the shelf with all the playdough ingredients and made a fresh batch about every 2 weeks.

When I was a teacher, our class loved making playdough. We pull out the tray of ingredients and the kids would take turns dumping flour, salt, oil, water and cream of tartar in the bowl. After a bunch of big, messy stirs, giving everybody a turn, it would be ready to send to the kitchen to be cooked on the stove by the cook.

Once it was cooked, the warm, pliable dough was so fun to play with and the kids loved it.  🥰

You can make your own playdough at home with your little one too! In this video, I demonstrate the recipe that I’ve made at least 50 times over the years between teaching and with my own kids. It’s a keeper. 👍🏼

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Playing with playdough supports fine motor development, cognitive development and social emotional development.

Here’s more ideas…

  • Use a variety of ways to tint the playdough. I used food coloring in this demonstration, but you can also use powdered Jello or powdered tempera paint. Of course, the tempera paint will make your playdough non-edible, so this would be for older kids who wouldn’t be apt to eat it.
  • Add texture if you’d like. You could add glitter, crystalized sugar or even sprinkles after the playdough is cooked and cooled off a bit.
  • Add fragrance to your playdough. You can use lots of different extracts to make it smell nice – vanilla, peppermint, almond, lemon, orange. All these can be found in the baking aisle of your grocery store.
  • Playdough is calming. I happen to love sitting at the table with a kid or two and play with playdough. Just rolling out snakes and pretending to slither around is a pretty universal playdough play schema!
  • Add some toys to the play. Click here for a list of 10 ways to add fun (and learning) to your playdough play.


Click on the image below for 2 playdough recipes – the one I showed you plus a gluten free version.

Meet Ann

I'm a child development specialist, parent coach and teacher trainer. I've cared for countless babies in child development programs, plus 3 kids, 3 grand babies and 5 foster babies! I LOVE babies and would come hold yours if I could. ❤️

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