Creating your own non-toxic playdough is a rewarding and simple project that even the busiest working homeschool moms can manage. With natural ingredients and a bit of creativity, you can produce a safe, fun, and educational tool for your young children.
When my kids were small, I experimented with playdough recipes after one of my sons kept eating store-bought playdough. Let’s explore why making your own playdough is beneficial, how to infuse it with natural colors, and provide you with an easy recipe to follow.
Why Make Your Own DIY Playdough?
Making your own play dough is a fast and simple activity. It also ensures that your children are playing with safe, non-toxic materials.
Commercial play dough can contain chemicals and preservatives many parents prefer to avoid. You control the ingredients by choosing to make your own, ensuring they are safe for small children who might put the playdough in their mouths.
Making play dough is safe. You can avoid harmful chemicals and allergens found in some commercial brands.
You can customize your DIY playdough, too. Create any color or scent you like using natural food coloring and essential oils.
Get your kids involved too! Making homemade playdough also offers developmental benefits to younger children. It helps enhance fine motor skills through kneading, rolling, and shaping. And it’s very inexpensive, perfect if you’re homeschooling on a budget.
Natural Color in Homemade Playdough
Want your DIY play dough in different colors? Instead of artificial dyes, opt for natural color sources instead of commercial food dye to keep the playdough non-toxic. And I have more good news.
Coloring homemade playdough can be just as fun as playing with it. Here are a few ideas.
- Turmeric for yellow
- Beet juice for red or pink
- Spinach juice for green
- Blueberries for blue
These natural colorants add beautiful hues to your natural play dough and introduce your children to using food as a dye, sparking their curiosity about natural resources.
Get your older kids in on the fun. Make and color homemade play dough as a STEM activity for your middle and elementary homeschool students.
How to Make Homemade Playdough
This easy recipe for DIY natural playdough is perfect for busy parents. It requires only a few ingredients and can be made in just a few minutes.
- 500 g (about 4 cups) of wheat flour, pre-baked
- 367 g (about 1.5 cups) of table salt
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil or olive oil for a more natural option
- 1.5 cups of warm water
- Gel food coloring of your choice or natural dyes, as mentioned above
Here’s how to make your own playdough.
1. Pre-bake your flour at 350°F for 7-10 minutes or until it reaches 160°F. This step helps eliminate any potential bacteria.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of the pre-baked flour and 1/4 cup + 2 tbsps of table salt.
3. mix 6 tablespoons of warm water with half a tablespoon of oil in a separate bowl. Add a teaspoon of your chosen food coloring or natural dye and whisk until the color is evenly distributed.
4. Gradually add the colored water to the flour mixture, stirring until a dough forms.
5. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead it, adding a little bit of flour or water until the texture is smooth and pliable.
6. Repeat the process for each color you wish to make.
Store your homemade playdough in an airtight container or a ziplock bag to keep it fresh for a long time. If you’re looking for an eco-friendlier option, consider silicone bags which are reusable and durable.
Non Toxic Playdough FAQs
I’ve been making playdough at home with my kids for many, many years. Happy to answer our questions below.
What can I use if I can’t find natural food coloring at the store?
You can dye your playdough using natural ingredients such as spices, vegetable juices, or even tea. Experimenting with these can be a fun activity in itself.
How long does homemade playdough last?
When stored properly in an airtight container or a ziplock bag, homemade playdough can last for several months. If it dries out, you can knead in a little water to revive it. Otherwise, just make up a new batch.
Is this playdough recipe safe for children with celiac disease?
This recipe uses wheat flour, which is not suitable for children with celiac disease. However, you can substitute wheat flour with a gluten-free flour mix to make it safe for children with gluten sensitivities.
A Fast Hands-On Homeschool Activity
Creating non-toxic playdough at home is a quick and easy activity and a fun way to ensure your children are exposed to safe, natural materials. It’s an excellent opportunity for sensory play, essential for young children’s development, yet so much fun for older children as well.
Finding time for such activities might be challenging for working homeschool moms. Trust me, I know.
Yet the benefits for your children’s learning and development make it worth it. Think of the fun memories they’ll have.
Enjoy the process of making and playing with your own natural playdough, and rest assured knowing exactly what’s in your child’s playdough.
- 4 cups flour, pre-baked
- 1 1/2 cups table salt
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 1/2 cup warm water
- Gel food colorings of your choice
- large mixing bowl
- smaller mixing bowl
- measuring spoons
- measuring cup
- wooden spoon
- In a mixing bowl, mix 125 g of flour and 91 g of salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, add 6 tablespoons of warm water and 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Then add a teaspoon of desired food coloring. Whisk until gel has dissolved.
- Add the flour and salt mixture.
- Mix until combined and dough starts to form.
- Transfer dough to a floured surface. Knead. Add flour or water as needed.
- Repeat for each color desired.
Store playdough in an airtight container. If it dries out, add a little water and knead in well.