Cooped up with a sick toddler, an exhausted Mommy and 100 degree heat.  Homemade Play-doh to the rescue!  A few hours of giggling and much needed relief.


When I was a small kid, I remember my mom helping us make homemade play-doh.  I must have also enjoyed the store bought variety because I recall the lever machine that pressed out snakes, spaghetti and shaped tubes.  Perhaps it was my early fondness for baking and cooking that guided my preference towards the do-it-yourself process of kneading and getting your own color just right.

Mini Whipped is a touch over two and we have had a number of tubs of play-doh around our house already.  Often she rustles in her project drawer, finds one of her play-doh accoutrements from animal cut outs to hamburger makers and asks in her sweet, high-pitched, cartoon voice, “Wanna play some play-dohs with me Mommy?”  An offer I can’t refuse!

I try to resist discouraging her inevitable mixing of the colors (why DO store bought red and blue make brown anyway?) and often find myself tuned out as I sculpt my own mini dinosaurs and lady bugs.  The pliable putty is practically a time machine reversing adult stresses and responsibilities.

My mom gave me a small container of alum months ago, reminding me it was a key ingredient in homemade play-doh.  Today, cooped up at home with a feverish baby and record breaking heat, we finally got a chance to make our own fun. Our inner Rodins came out as we sculpted and pinched, forgetting all of our woes if even just for an hour.


Homemade Play-doh Recipe

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 Tablespoon alum powder
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon oil
Optional fragrance – essential oil or 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Liquid or gel food coloring

Put flour, salt and alum powder together in a sauce pan. Stir to combine. Add water and oil and cook over medium heat stirring constantly. Continue to stir as lumps form, eventually it will become the consistency of thick mashed potatoes. Remove from heat. Let cool until you can handle it.

Put dough on counter and use your hands to knead and form it into a ball. Separate into balls depending on how many colors you want to make. Flatten the ball slightly, add a few drops of color and fragrance if you are using it and fold it and continue to fold it on itself mixing in the color. For darker color, continue to add drops and knead.

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11 Responses to “Homemade Play-Doh”

  1. nmaha Says:

    My toddler loves play-doh. Am so going to try out this homemade version. Looks like a lot of fun.

  2. foodies at home Says:

    This looks like so much fun! I don’t have kids but I will play with it myself :)

  3. Kim Says:

    What great memories this post brought back for me! My grandmother used to make homemade Play-Doh for me when the weather was too crummy to go outside and we played with it together for hours. She was the most fun kid I ever played with!

  4. Maddie Says:

    I’ve just returned from an airport delay/forced layover/rebooking/standby nightmare, and so this post made me crave homemade Play-Doh like you wouldn’t believe. It does sound like an amazing stress reliever! And your daughter sounds adorable. :)

  5. janelle Says:

    I remember making play-doh too. I was the kid who liked eating it because of the salt. I don’t know why but it seemed good. Someone should make play-doh flavouring…maybe thats wrong.

  6. canli mac izle Says:

    these are arent health for child

  7. Stolk Says:

    Maybe we can try this in October. Pens is super hands-y.

  8. Sarit Says:

    Sounds great, but how and where do you buy Alum powder?
    - Sarit

  9. Caroline Says:

    Sarit, Alum should be in the spice section of a regular grocery store. I think it is used for pickling sometimes.

  10. justin tv izle Says:

    I agree”My toddler loves play-doh. Am so going to try out this homemade version. Looks like a lot of fun.”

  11. Heidi Says:

    I use baby oil, not vegetable oil. It smells wonderful every time my kids play with it!!! And no need for an extract or vanilla. :)

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