No Cook Homemade Playdough Activity
If you’ve got an afternoon to fill, here’s how to make no cook homemade playdough. Whether you’re on a temp job, or you forgot your usual nanny bag of tricks, or you just really need something quick and easy to keep the kids busy – homemade playdough is always a crowd pleaser.
Playdough is an activity that can start in the baby years and grows with your child up to any age. It has so many possibilities, and benefits – it’s an open ended activity that relies on your child’s creativity and interests to make of it what they want.
You can of course guide the activity if you like – by adding certain utensils or toys and playdough learning mats and so on. But there’s also nothing wrong with simply dumping the playdough onto the table as an invitation to play and create, letting them use their own creativity.
Now we know playdough is not always the cleanest thing, and certainly not the tidiest. We guarantee you playdough will go everywhere, especially if you’re doing it with the little ones. So keep it well away from carpet and furniture that isn’t readily cleanable. It’s also quite likely that the kids will mix the colours – because hey, they’re the next Picasso OK.
The best thing about Playdough is that it’s super easy to make, and it’s so versatile; you can add almost any colour, scent, texture to it suit any need, purpose and child. We recommend making your own DIY playdough because it’s easy, simple, and cost effective. Which means you can throw it out afterwards once the colours have been blended to poo brown and it’s got little bits of sticks and dirt mixed through it.
Make No Cook Homemade Playdough With The Kids
Makes: 1 large batch (divide the batch into smaller portions to make different colours)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Make Time: 5 minutes
Life Time: 2 weeks
Features: child friendly, early learning development, child-led play
What You’ll Need:
2 cups of plain flour
1 cup of salt
2 tablespoons of oil
4 teaspoons of cream of tartar (this preserves the playdough)
2 cups of boiling water
Colouring + Scents
Try to use natural colouring where possible. You can also brew tea into the 2 cups of boiling water and colour (and scent that way). We also like to sprinkle loose leaf scented tea into our playdough for added texture. You can also add a few drops of peppermint essence, lavender oils or other essential oils for a calming effect.
Step 1: Combine all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl
Step 2: Add the boiling water and colouring and mix thoroughly. Remember to be careful when handling hot water.
You should get at least 2–3 weeks lifetime out of your playdough – providing you’ve added the cream of tartar. Although we doubt it’ll last that long. We normally get a good week out of our playdough before it’s due to be thrown out.
All of these ingredients should be readily found in your nanny family’s kitchen. So this no cook homemade playdough activity can be easy and impromptu (especially if you’re temping or doing a casual day).
You don’t need quality ingredients either, home brand will do the job. If you don’t have cream of tartar on hand, your playdough will still come together. It will just be very sticky and you’ll have to knead it like bread dough for about 30 minutes before you can use it.
Tip 1: We recommend you confine this activity to an outdoors area, or child friendly area. If you don’t have a purpose craft table that can get dirty, cover your table or work space entirely with plastic wrap and tape down. Once you’re done, you can easily wrap up the plastic and put straight into the bin.
Tip 2: if you’re using kitchen utensils with your playdough, you can pop them into the dishwasher afterwards on the top shelf to clean. However, we recommend popping into your local dollar store or even a charity store and picking up some cheap utensils (rolling pins, cups, cookie cutters, etc) and store in a box labelled “Playdough” for easy access.
More Playdough Ideas: Naturally Coloured & Scented Playdough | A Crafty Living
“Playing with playdough encourages creativity, fine motor development, dexterity, and an understanding of manipulating materials. It can also aid imaginative play, early learning activities and is loads of fun of course!”
It’s also a good idea to offer children different sizes of playdough. Very small pieces allow small fingers to manipulate it, and larger sizes that they can break up and mould in their hands. For the little ones, you can make toddler and baby friendly edible playdough from baby cereal. Recipe coming soon!
If you have mixed ages of children, put some playdough in a ziploc bag to give to the little one to play with safely. Just be sure to supervise and remain aware that your little ones will no doubt want whatever the big kids have – naturally!
Have fun, and remember that impromptu activities like this no cook homemade playdough don’t need to be a giant production. Just be willing to improvise when needed. And as always – as long as the children are having fun and learning – you can call it a success!
>>> Have you made no cook homemade playdough with your kids before?