As a toddler/preschool teacher, one of my favorite go-to activities was play dough. I made a point to always keep the ingredients for my favorite simple recipe in my classroom. Now that LL is getting a little older, I am finding myself wanting to make it at home too!

I am far from a germ-a-phobe, but reusable play dough is just not for me (at least with young kids). Toddler hands are never really clean, and we all know that everything goes in their mouths. I have always viewed play dough as a one time use material. By using inexpensive ingredients, I don’t have guilt about tossing it in the trash when we are done playing. If LL isn’t interested in it that day, it does keep for a few days in the fridge.

Rather than mix up the recipe every time we want to play, I decided to make ahead one big batch of the dry ingredients, so that I can save myself some time. This way all I have to do is scoop out the desired amount, add a little water, and play! It takes some of the prep-work out of messy play, and that is always a plus in my book!

Simple Play Dough

  • 1 part salt
  • 1 part water
  • 2 parts flour

Combine, and then knead together briefly. Dough should be soft, not sticky. If it feels sticky, add a little more flour. If it feels too hard, add a little more water.

For my big batch, I mixed together 4 cups of flour and two cups of salt. I keep it sealed up in an air tight container in the pantry. When we are ready to play, I mix together 1/4 cup of the mixture with about half a tablespoon of water. This is plenty of dough for my little guy at this point in time. If you have older kids who want more dough, or you are making enough for a group, you can adjust your amounts accordingly.

For bigger kids who know not to eat it, you could also add color. Simply add food coloring (or a tiny amount of kool-aid powder for scented dough!) into your water before adding it to the dry mixture.

Add a couple cookie cutters, a pair of child safe scissors, or a kitchen utensil or two and you have a simple but engaging sensory activity that you could do any time!