Sunday, July 20, 2014

Making DIY Play Dough for Kids

I have been meaning to introduce play dough to my 22 m/o girl for quite a while but my husband always thought that Naomi is too young for this activity plus the box of our play dough set in Naomi's drawer says that this toy is suitable for kids age 3 and above.

When I saw some Moms posting their DIY play dough that they created for their kids younger than Naomi in their Instagram accounts, I was intrigued to do the same. Hence, this weekend I thought of introducing DIY play dough, which is non-toxic and more economical, to Naomi to see if she really can have fun with this sensory play material. On top of that, I wanted to make sure that my daughter would not consume anything hazardous (from her play dough) as she still has the tendency to put random things she finds into her mouth.

My first DIY play dough for Naomi.

I based my play-dough recipe from this source but along the way, I made some adjustments with the amount of the flour when kneading the play dough until I reached the non-sticky play dough consistency that I desired. Moreover, my methods in creating the play dough were slightly different from the original recipe because I wanted to save the ingredients and check the final results first. Instead of adding one food colouring to the boiling water and then pouring it into the whole dry ingredients which would yield to one colour play dough; I made the white play dough first, split that into several parts and kneaded/mixed each part with few different food colouring. This way I could create play dough with different colours by using one recipe.

Naomi and her play dough: Why so serious?

Easy DIY Play Dough

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • Some extra flour for kneading
  • 2 tbs Vegetable oil
  • Some salt (I omitted this)
  • 2 tbs Cream of tar-tar
  • Up to 1.5 cups of boiling water (adding in increments until the mixture feels just right)
  • Food colouring, as desired

Tutorials:
  1. Mix flour, oil and cream of tar-tar in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the boiling water to the dry ingredients. Stir continuously until it becomes a sticky combined dough.
  3. Allow the mixture to cool down. Split the white dough into several parts depending on the number of food colouring available or coloured play doughs you want to create.
  4. Put a part of the white dough and few drops of food colouring in a dry working surface that is dusted with some flour. Knead the dough vigorously for few minutes until the stickiness has gone. You might need to add a touch more flour to the play dough to reach the right consistency you want. Using different colours of food colouring you have, do the same to the rest of the play dough.

As today was my very first time in creating DIY play dough for Naomi, I halved the ingredients of the above recipe. When "serving" this play dough to Naomi, I provided her with my plastic cookie cutters as well so she, or rather we, could create better shapes with the play dough. I also let Naomi explore this colourful play dough with her plastic cooking utensil toys to pepper extra fun.

Naomi was telling me some stories about her play dough in baby language.

Naomi was so serious when she moulded the play dough with her Dad earlier this afternoon. She babbled a lot too when playing with her plastic cooking utensil toys and play dough shapes that her Dad created. With this, I guess I can conclude that she must have had a good time playing with her play dough.

Daddy and Mommy's play dough creations for Naomi.

Playing with play dough is indeed so much fun. At the same time, it develops kids' hand skills and helps kids express their creativity. I personally think that play dough is a great toy for parents to introduce to their children as an effort to move their kids away from digital devices or TV.

P/S. Some tips: (1) I would strongly encourage adults to supervise their toddlers when playing with play dough as it may present choking hazard to kids who consistently put things into their mouths. (2) It's also best to cover your table or floor with some old news papers when playing play dough so you won't have to deal with play dough stuck on your table top or all over the floor later on. (3) For hygiene purpose, remember to wash your and your kids' hands after playing with play dough.

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