If you got your hands on some precious flour, you might want to use them to make dough – playable dough! Dough – be it playdough, cloud dough or salt dough, they are easy to make and guarantees lots of sensory fun. In addition, if you make your own playdough, it is non-toxic but it still should not be ingested. Safe play that encourages creativity and engages well is always welcome.
Make Your Own Playdough, Cloud Dough and Salt Dough
Deciding on what you want to make based on what’s available in your pantry is a great way to use up excess ingredients.
Cloud dough and salt dough only needs two to three ingredients, while no-cook play dough needs five to six ingredients. All of what is required is easily available at the supermarkets!
No-cook Play Dough Recipe
This is our go-to recipe by The Imagination Tree.
- 2 cups Plain/All Purpose Flour
- 2 tablespoons oil
- Half cup salt
- 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
- 1 to 1.5 cups of boiling water, added in increment
- Food colouring
- Few drops of Glycerin (optional for stretch and shine)
- 1 drop of essential oil (optional for lovely scents)
To make your own play dough, mix all the ingredient but water, food colouring and glycerin in a large mixing bowl.
Add food colouring to boiling water (you can separate the portions so you get different coloured play dough), and add into the dry ingredients. Stir until everything gets combined, it will feel slightly sticky. Add glycerin and essential oils if available. Let it cool and knead it well until dough is no longer sticky.
Cloud Dough Recipe (A)
- 4 cups plain/All purpose flour
- Half cup oil
Mix flour and oil well, you may add a few drops of food colouring.
Cloud Dough Recipe (B)
- Half cup lotion
- 1 cup corn starch
Add food colouring to lotion until combined, add cornstarch. Knead well.
Salt Dough Recipe
- 2 cups Plain/All Purpose Flour
- 1 cup salt
- ¾ cup water
Mix salt and flour. Gradually stir in water until it feels like dough. Knead it well. You can choose to bake your creations in an oven for 180dc. Bake till it is hard.
Texture and Types of Play with Different Dough
Play dough, cloud dough and salt dough all have different textures. This means they are suitable for different types of play.
Play dough has a stiffer texture, more pliable and can stay in a fixed shape for a long time. Cloud dough and salt dough, on the contrary, are soft and grainy and more like wet sand.
All of them work well with moulds. The longest lasting would be salt dough – if it was baked. Otherwise, they can be kept in airtight containers for a while. We like to refrigerate our dough, and they have lasted for months. But once you see mould, please chuck them!
If your child loves building tall structures or making free form mini sculptures like animals or people or monsters, playdough is great as it is stiffer.
Playdough also allows for rolling, pinching, squeezing, stacking. These require more energy and many preschool teachers recommend playing with playdough to help strengthen the pincer grip, which is necessary for writing later on. Include other items like buttons, pipe cleaners, googly eyes for more fun with playdough.
Cloud dough and salt dough have softer and more refined textures.
Pressing them together would form clumps and shapes. It’s similar to sand, so if you miss heading out to the beach, you can easily replicate the experience at home with cloud or salt dough.
The bonus for salt dough is clearly the possibility of baking it. You can make fake fossils or cakes or figurines and bake them to keep them for a long time.
Quick and Easy DIY Sensory Play at Home
It is extremely quick and easy to make your own play dough at home. Best of all, your child can even help knead it together or choose the type of scent or food colouring. Manipulating and feeling dough is therapeutic.
The possibilities are endless, as they can be used to set a scene, used to make imaginery characters or paired with different toys, or even to learn alphabets and different strokes for Chinese.
Time to make some dough! Share your creations with us and tag us @littledayout!