Today I’m car-less, it’s raining, and I have a ton of work to do. And Anna doesn’t have any school. In anticipation of a pretty boring day for my little 3-year-old, I decided to whip up some playdough for her.
I went straight to Make and Takes and found Marie’s favorite playdough recipe. I trust her. She knows what she’s talking about. Sadly, I scoured my cupboards for cream of tartar and came up empty-handed!
I googled homemade playdough recipes to try to find one that didn’t require cream of tartar. I settled on two recipes – one salt-based and the other baking soda-based.
Well, the salt-based dough was a total bust. I don’t know if it’s a bum recipe or if I didn’t cook it long enough, but it was super sticky and soft, definitely not a useable dough. Anna decided it just needed to go in the trash, and she was right!
The baking soda recipe, however, came out great! It was much faster than the other recipe and it makes a nice maleable dough. And, someone pointed out on Twitter, it’s gluten-free. Nice bonus for those of you who need that. I have no idea how long the shelf-life is, but it’s just baking soda and cornstarch, so I think it could probably keep in the fridge wrapped in plastic and in an airtight container for a while.
Here’s the fun playdough tip I discovered while searching for recipes. Add your food coloring to the water BEFORE mixing with the other ingredients. This worked so great! Of course, if you want to make multiple colors of dough from one recipe, you would need to add the color after it’s cooked, but if you’re just making one color, dissolving the color in the water was a genius idea.
Here’s the recipe we used today. Although, I’m getting some cream of tartar so I can give Marie’s favorite recipe a go one day!
Traditional Playdough Recipe
Standard recipe; I found it on this site, but I’ve added my own commentary
- 1 cup baking soda
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
If you’re planning to just make one color of playdough, mix your food coloring into the water.
Whisk all ingredients together in a pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. Once boiling, you’ll let it cook 2-3 more minutes, until it turns into dough. It’s pretty quick and magical!
Turn dough out onto waxed or parchment paper to cool. Cover the top with plastic wrap so you don’t get a dry film on the top while it cools.