Tried and True Homemade Cooked Playdough

Taste safe cooked playdough. This is a recipe I follow the measurements on. Being a cooked playdough it lasts an incredible amount of time as long as it is in a closed/airtight container. Ziplock bags are ok, but lidded containers are best. One down side is the color of this dough will always be a bit on the brown side as it is a cook flour and has vanilla in it. I never cared and either have any of the many children that have used this dough in my program.

This dough can be adapted for color (food coloring), scent (spices or essential oils) and even some texture if you add in botanicals – I prefer dried like: lavender, rose petals. [botanicals and essential oils removes the taste safe]. I always encourage children not to put anything into their mouths outside of our snack and lunch times.

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon alum (used for pickling – in spices area), can substitute cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla
  • Food coloring is optional

Mix dry ingredients in a saucepan large enough to allow for mixing. Add oil and water. Mix together. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it reaches consistency of mashed potatoes. Remove from heat.

This dough is still very warm at this point, but you want to add the vanilla in now. I usually did this, unless school-age were around and then they did it. Once the dough has cooled a bit the food coloring can be added. This was a great activity by itself for all children. To include everyone just divide the dough into balls, add a few drops of food coloring and let the children knead away working in the food coloring. **Food coloring on hands takes a while to wash off, but I never had complaints from parents on that. For my littles I did the first kneading of color in and then passed the dough ball to them to continue. Kneading warm dough is a wonderful sensory experience and this is a a taste safe dough so not a concern with littles using.

Store airtight containers.

** If children use different colors together to build an item, if they get kneaded together the colors blend. For that reason I usually just had one color of dough available at a time.

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