How to create squishy, squidgy homemade Playdoh!

Hi Everyone!

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while – I get asked about various recipes I use for our creative play activities, particularly playdoh regularly and while I do try and explain…I am sure by theme you’ve got back home, and your little artist has had a nap/lunch then you’ve probably forgotten!!!

The Benefits of Playdough play

As all of us grown ups will know, there is something really therapeutic about playing with playdough – and it has lots of benefits in toddler play too. Squishing, squidging, cutting and modelling helps to strengthen fingers, hands and wrists and improves hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Playdough play really helps develop imaginative and creative skills – it can be monsters, animals, cakes, people, houses……It’s also a really great medium for the release of tension in toddlers – squeezing it, pummelling it, jabbing and poking!


I had an interesting discussion with a childcare lecturer recently about the use of playdough play to tackle toddler biting problems – apparently giving the child playdough and some serrated cookie cutters to cut into the playdough with will give them the same relief from tension and hopefully stop the problem of the toddler biting other children! Got to be worth a try…

Playdough is also fantastic for first cutting practice with scissors. Teaching a child how to cut with scissors is, I think, one of the trickiest things! You can roll dough into a long sausage and encourage your child to cut into it using safety scissors – it’s much easier to cut than card or paper and produces instantly gratifying results!

This is the homemade playdough recipe I use for my Baby & Little ARTventurers classes. Cheap, quick and easy to make and always attracts a stampede of tiny tots!

Playdoh Recipe –

2 cups plain flour

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 cup of salt

2 tablespoons oil

2 cups water

food colouring (optional)

Put all of the dry ingredients in a pan and mix well – add the wet ingredients and mix/stir to remove lumps. I tend to use a balloon whisk for this stage. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. You’ll know when it’s cooked as a small piece rolled into a ball won’t feel sticky or leave a trace on your hand.

Cool, knead well and store in an airtight container or wrapped well in cling film.

If stored in the fridge the playdough will keep for ages!

What to use during playdough play?

Obviously cookie cutters are the obvious but I like to introduce lots of different materials to the playdough table to encourage imaginative play

matchticks and lolly sticks


cupcake cases and baking tins

rolling pins

wiggly eyes and large sequins (not for very young children)


clay extruders

baking tins

birthday cake candles


play scissors

plastic tea set and cutlery

farm animals and dinsoaurs



Thing to add to playdough

It’s nice to spice things up and vary the playdough a little! With toddlers bright colours (food colouring) and glitter always go down a storm – just add the glitter as the playdough is cooking. Try different scents – peppermint, vanilla, cinammon. Porridge oats adds great texture to playdough play

Enjoy and have fun!

Maddie & ARTy bear xx



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