Making play dough extra-sensory

We looooove play dough in our house. The kids love it, it keeps them busy, and so I love it too. But making the same old same old can get a bit boring, so I decided to give it a sensory twist on sight, touch and smell. Not wanting the kids to eat a whole batch of dough, I opted for no taste version, and if you can think of a way to incorporate sound into dough, you’re a better person than I :-)

The base recipe

We always use the recipe from the McKenzie’s Cream of Tarter can. A playgroup mum recommended it to me years ago after I made several dodgy sticky batches of gross no-cook dough. This recipe gives a fabulous soft, light texture and is not sticky. It keeps in a sealed container in the cupboard for a long time if you look after it (by putting it back in the container, that’s all). The recipe is:
• 2 cups of plain flour
• 1 cup cooking salt
• 2 cups water
• 2 tablespoons cooking oil
• 4 tablespoons of Cream of Tarter
• (quite a) Few drops food colouringMethod:
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan (the munchkins can do this part), stir until it has a smooth watery consistency, a bit like a thin pancake batter. Cook on stove top on a medium heat (grownups do this part), stirring constantly until it congeals. Towards the end it is very hard to stir (just like dough 😉 but keep stirring until the shiny wet parts are gone, about 5 mins.


Sparkle Dough: Add glitter once cooked and cooled down, knead dough and keep adding more glitter until it is sparkly enough to suit your likingBumpy Dough: Add arborio rice once cooked and cooled. Knead through the dough until it is the right amount of bumpy for you.Minty dough: Add a few drops of peppermint essence before cooking, since adding wet things after cooking can make it a bit sticky.To make white dough: We used icing whitener I got from a cake supplies store. I went all out for this post and made a special trip to get this product, but you could possibly try a bit of white water based paint, since this is what it resembled.To make coloured dough: I used good quality food colour drops from the cake supplies store for the blue and violet doughs, but don’t usually bother with that. Normally I just use ordinary cheap stuff from the supermarket, and add about double the amount. I must say the colour is a bit more intense, especially with the violet batch.

Extra Note: We made 2x the recipe quantity in this post. The girls did one each. The first batch I cooked white, then added the white colouring and mint colouring. It made it seem a little bit sticky at first but seemed to go back to normal after a while. Perhaps it even helped to retain the moistness because these batches don’t dry as quickly as the ones where the colour was added before cooking.

What other variations have you made?


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