We begin our days at Woodland Park with what we call “Discovery Time” (e.g., free play, choice time) and for many kids, the playdough table is their daily starting point. Others use the soft, soothing dough as a refuge when play gets to loud or too wild or when their emotions start to overwhelm them. Some “bake” endless trays of playdough cookies and muffins, which they serve to their friends. Some construct buildings, invent monsters, or roll out long snakes.
Playdough is a comforting tactile experience.
Playdough is a medium for art and architecture.
Playdough is a vehicle for imaginative play.
We’ve tried a number of different playdough recipes over the years, but none combine the silkiness with the longevity of the one my mother taught me.
Teacher Tom’s Mom's Very Special Playdough Recipe
This is the recipe for one small batch. We quadruple it for classroom use.
2-teaspoons cream of tarter
1-Tablespoon cooking oil
food coloring (optional)
scent (optional, but recommended)
Put everything in a pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. You're looking for the dough to start separating from the sides of the pan (the time this takes depends on how big your batch is). I’ve found that the smoothest results come from stopping when it still seems like it’ll be a little too sticky. Remove and let cool for a bit on wax paper. Add color and knead to distribute color. I always add a scent (e.g., mint, wintergreen, clove, strawberry, etc.) to keep it smelling fresh.