The Lazy Mom's Guide to Homemade Playdough

I texted a friend of mine today saying, "So, today Charlie has colored on the coffee table, watched three episodes of King Julien, torn the title page out of my Bible, fallen twice, and disabled my iPhone for 60 minutes. #parentoftheyear #winning." 

Guys. It's cold this week. I'm a little under the weather. I'm only just now starting my first winter as the parent of a toddler and oh dear. I'm a little petrified. Did I mention our house is a grand total of 776 square feet?

Anyway, I decided to get crafty today and typed "homemade playdough" into Pinterest. Almost every recipe either called for things I didn't have (cream of tartar, I'm looking at you), or for cooking the dough. I don't have time to cook dough. My toddler is tearing up Bibles. 

I found a recipe that worked (well enough) while Charlie pushed her play kitchen across the house (yeah). I thought I'd share, as well as a few things I learned along the way. 

Homemade Playdough Recipe from emilyfisk.com

Ingredients

1 cup hot water from tap (not boiling)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Food coloring

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup salt

Directions

1. Using four small bowls, start by dividing the water, oil, and food coloring evenly into each bowl. Each bowl should have 1/4 cup hot water, 1/2 Tbsp. oil, and food coloring in it. Stir to combine.

2. Add flour and salt to each bowl. Each bowl will need 3/4 cup flour and 1/4 salt.

3. Knead each bowl of playdough until it reaches an even consistency. 

Tips

  • This recipe starts on the dry side, so add water slowly if it seems too dry. Be careful not to add too much and make it sticky. 
  • If you want a cool marbled effect, add the food coloring toward the end (read: if you're lazy and add more food coloring at the end like I did, you end up with a "cool marbled effect"). 
  • Distract your toddler by telling her you're making something "really cool" for her while you work. That way she'll be good and mad about how long it's taking by the time you're done. 
Homemade Playdough Recipe from emilyfisk.com
Happy toddler for the next 5.337 minutes.

Happy toddler for the next 5.337 minutes.

"I don't know what you mean about not eating this, Mom. You made me something salty and put it in a bowl, and it tastes way better than lunch." 

"I don't know what you mean about not eating this, Mom. You made me something salty and put it in a bowl, and it tastes way better than lunch." 

Make sure you're getting the most out of this sensory activity with your child by creating tiny masterpieces, like our snowman that looks exactly like a bird. A snowbird, if you will. 

Homemade Playdough Recipe from emilyfisk.com

Here's to the winter, toddler parents. I promise we'll make it.