3 Play Dough Recipes to Try Over the Long Holiday Weekend

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Thanksgiving is coming up, and while we’ll all enjoy having a long weekend, there’s still a lot to do before you can take those days off and spend time with your family. And if your family includes young or preschool age kids, you’ll want to have some things for them to do so they can have fun and be creative when they’re at home with you for a few extra days.


Play dough is one of our favorite forms of imaginative play for preschool kids. Here are three recipes to make it at home over the long weekend.


Classic Play Dough

This play dough recipe is the most complex of the three, but it results in a texture most like the classic play dough you buy in the store. Although it is the most complex of the three, it’s still pretty simple to make. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of oil; vegetable, coconut, olive oil, or whatever you happen to have in your kitchen will work just fine
  • ½ cup of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
  • 1 ½ cups of boiling water
  • Gel food coloring

Start by mixing your dry ingredients together in a bowl. Then add the oil, followed by the boiling water. The water will make the dough hot, so be careful! Mix everything together until it forms a dough. Once it’s cool enough to handle, separate the dough into multiple pieces and let your kids knead in the gel food coloring. The colors will get all over their hands, and they will love it. Just put something down so the food coloring doesn’t stain your countertops.


Soft Play Dough

Much of the fun of playing with play dough is the texture and feel of it in your fingers. Preschool kids (and all kids) love sensory play, so this soft play dough is fantastic for them. Not to mention, it’s so easy to make. All you have to do is combine two parts cornstarch and one part hair conditioner in a bowl. Mix it with a spoon and then knead it on a flat surface to combine thoroughly. You can add food coloring or even glitter to add a visual element to the tactile experience. It’s important to note, however, that this dough isn’t taste-safe, so if your kiddos are still putting things in their mouths, it’s best to use the non-toxic classic recipe above or the edible recipe below.


Edible Play Dough

This edible play dough recipe is non-toxic and makes a crumbly mess halfway through the process of making it. Though, if we’re being honest, that’s half the fun. You only need three ingredients for this play dough: a tub of whipped topping, half a box of cornstarch, and two tablespoons of olive oil. Because this recipe’s only dry ingredient is cornstarch, it’s also gluten-free!

To make the edible play dough, put the whipped topping in a bowl and gently fold in the cornstarch with a spatula. As you combine them, they will become a crumbly mess. Drizzle the olive oil over your cornstarch and whipped topping lumps, and then knead it with your hands until it forms a dough. Add food coloring if you like, or just play with it as is.


Preschool in Quincy, MA | Wollaston Child Care Center

Thanksgiving is a busy weekend, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make some time for creative and sensory play with your preschool age kids. All these play dough recipes are fun to make, and there’s no wrong way to play!


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