Playdough Tips & Tricks

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I was looking for some new activities for Owen one weekend, and decided to make some homemade playdough for him to squish and build with. It was a LOT more fun to make than I anticipated – I went a bit overboard.

I used THIS recipe from Artsy Fartsy Mama, and it worked really well. I especially appreciated her four-step breakdown; I totally went into panic mode at one point.

A few notes I can add:

  • Use a nonstick saucepan. Seriously, this was a gamechanger. I started with a regular cheap pan I picked up years ago at Target, and while I did manage to get it clean, it was a lot messier and much more difficult to stir the dough. When I switched to one of my “good” pans, a Calphalon nonstick version, the dough didn’t stick at all and came together beautifully. It was also a snap to wipe out the pan in between batches since almost none of it was stuck to the sides.
  • I cut the recipe in half since I wanted to make several colors, and found it to be more than enough. I used a 7-pack of lidded Ziploc containers I found at Walmart that each hold 1 cup, and they work great. They were also super easy to label so the right playdough always makes its way back to the correct container (see directions below).
  • Make sure the dough has cooled thoroughly (several hours) before you snap the lid on the container – otherwise you’ll wind up with moldy playdough. Which no one wants.

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Not that you have to, but I wanted to label the dough cups so colors wouldn’t get mixed and it would also serve as a learning tool for Owen. I did two things: cut out a round colored circle for the cup’s bottom, and cut out a decorative color word label for the top of the lid.

I measured the width of the bottom and used my Silhouette to cut out circles from solid-colored cardstock. I threw some adhesive roller tape strips on ‘em, and stuck ‘em to the cup bottom. Then, I used my Silhouette to cut out more solid colored cardstock shapes for the lid, printed the color names on white cardstock, and used a smaller craft punch to cut those shapes out. Glued both together and then glued the label to the lid, both with adhesive roller tape. Mostly because I wanted something quick and that was hard to see through the lid/bottom. We’ll see if it sticks long-term, but so far so good.

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I’m thinking Santa might be bringing this little boy some playdough tools in a few months. I also plan to make him a “playdough mat” to use (like THIS).

Now, go do something fun :).

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