If your kids are anything like mine, they go through way too much play-dough to warrant buying the stuff in the shop. And I’m not a big fan of all the plastic packaging and artificial colouring that comes with it. Here is a fun and inexpensive play-dough recipe using ingredients you’ll probably already have in the kitchen.
To complete the DIY job, you might also like to make your own natural dye. The concept is simple – load your selected fruit/veggies/herbs into a pot of water and bring to the boil. Boil for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to low and simmer for a further 10-30 minutes depending on the intensity of colour desired. Strain and presto – naturally coloured water!
You can experiment with all kinds of colourful fruit and veg, depending on what’s in season, but here are a couple of ideas to start…
Yellow Dye – 1 cup water and 1 cup shredded carrots
Pink Dye – 2 cups water and 1 cup shredded beetroot or purple cabbage
Green Dye – 1 cup water and 1 cup basil or spinach leaves
1 cup flour
½ cup salt
2 tsp cream of tarter
1 tbs olive oil
1 cup of naturally coloured water OR 1 cup water and a few drops natural food colouring
You may also like to add a few drops of essential oil for fragrance – I use lemon essential oil, which is safe and calming for children (I live in hope!) and adds a lovely fresh, zesty note. Take care to only use oils that are safe for children (and pregnant/lactating mummies if that applies to you).
Mix flour, salt and cream of tartar in a medium-sized pot. Add olive oil and coloured water and stir until thoroughly combined. Place pot on the stove over medium-low heat. Cook the dough, stirring often, until it begins to pull away from the sides of the pot (about 2-3 minutes) – it will look just like play-dough when it’s done. Allow the dough to cool slightly then knead for 1 minute. That’s it!
Always store your play-dough in an airtight container – the tighter the seal, the longer it will last.