Homemade Gift Idea: 5 Minute Natural Playdough

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Looking for frugal and simple gift ideas for the kids on your list? How about making your own playdough?

A reader, Nadine, sent in this wonderful recipe for making homemade playdough:

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoon cream of tartar (very inexpensive at the bulk store, quite expensive at the grocery store)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • food colouring (gel works best for vibrant colours)
  • Spices for scent (eg, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spices) or natural extracts (eg. vanilla) *optional*

This does not need to be refrigerated and keeps very well in a plastic sandwich bag or covered container . I forgot to add the oil to my first batch and it still turned out just fine. If you have any ideas for packaging for gift giving, I would love to hear it.

Mix dry ingredients while kettle is boiling. Pour boiling water into a measuring cup, then add food colouring and oil to water. Add to dry ingredients. Mix well.

When it becomes difficult to stir, knead with hands (may need to wait a couple of minutes for it to cool down). Start to finish takes less than 5 minutes! Enjoy!

This is my daughter’s favourite “toy” and plays with it every evening after supper.

This does not need to be refrigerated and keeps very well in a plastic sandwich bag or covered container . I forgot to add the oil to my first batch and it still turned out just fine.

If you prefer not to use food coloring, another option is to make your own natural dyes (although I would imagine that some health stores carry food coloring alternatives- does anyone know of any?). I do this often for coloring cake icing (for birthdays, mostly) and though not quite as vibrant as food coloring, it still turns out very well and I feel good knowing that it’s 100% safe and edible.

Thanks so much, Nadine!

Image from this other Homemade Playdough recipe.

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Image by taiyoft