Living simply in the wild

Hear Dough Evil, See Dough Evil, Play-Dough Evil: A Recipe for less Evil Play Dough

The only thing worse then Play Dough is its evil step sister Moon Sand. If you’ve never had the pleasure dealing with Moon Sand, it’s great. It’s like Play Dough in the sand form, except it never dries. Ever. Keep that one in you back pocket to give as gifts to those kids whose parents you can’t stand. It’ll be the gift the keeps on giving. For-evv-ver.

I am the mom that hates Play Dough. I have to look into the eyes of my disappointed children when i tell them “No we’re not buying that $15 Play Dough kit that has 2 ounces of Play Dough and a giant plastic Hippo that you’ll never be able to scrape the Play Dough out of no matter how hard you try”. I know, i’m mean.

Even if we did splurge one day and buy the variety pack of just the Play Dough without the Hippo then you have to deal with the color issue. You know what i’m talking about. You open all the vibrant colors of Play Dough trying to make sure they stay separated and unmixed. Then the kids come along. Grabbing a bit of red, a bit of blue, some yellow, a dash of green and before you know it you have a rainbow of colors all mixing together to form one of the ugliest colors you’ve ever seen. No one wants to play with Play Dough when it’s all one crappy color, literally.

So yes, i don’t like Play Dough. In fact, i consider it evil. But who am i to stunt my children’s creativity and artistic abilities by denying them the privilege of playing with Play Dough. Who am i to take away their happy childhood? Who am i to keep this precious childhood memory from them?

If my kids insist on nurturing their creativity then the least i can do is be a little creative myself and make the Play Dough for them. As an added bonus i can make mine smell a whole heck-uv-a-lot better, and cost a whole heck-uv-alot less.

This Play Dough recipe is fantastic.


Home Made Play Dough Recipe

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cream of tartar
  • Gel-based food coloring
  • Essential oil (2-4 Drops of your choice, we used peppermint for one batch and lavender for another)

In large sized saucepan, mix together the water, vegetable oil, essential oil. Stir in the flour, salt and cream of tartar. Mix Well.  Mix in food coloring at this point. As much or as little as you want.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the dough forms into a ball and is no longer sticky. About 4-5 minutes.  It will eventually form a ball and will pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat.

Transfer to a plate to cool. Once it is cool enough to handle, knead the dough until smooth.

Store the play dough at room temperature/or fridge in airtight containers.

*This makes a large amount. About the size of a large softball.


The down side of this recipe is not being able to make more then one color. We did one full batch blue then on the next batch i mixed all the ingredients except for the food coloring. Before i started cooking i separated the goo into two batches and cooked them separately, adding a different color to each batch. The size of the batch is perfect and we now have a total of 3 colors.

My previously deprived children are now enjoying life with Play Dough. Except it’s play dough I made, that smells better, and that I can whip up a fresh batch in minutes when the colors are no longer desirable to look at.





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