Playing with play dough is fun and good for your children! A one-year old baby can do it, and starting from two years, children should necessarily play with play dough for their sensory development. If the ordinary play dough is too hard to play with for your child, homemade play dough will fit perfectly for this purpose. It is softer and more elastic. It’s hardly possible to make elaborate art objects with it, but it’s good enough to squeeze, roll canes and balls and make simple figurines. You can buy soft play dough in a shop, but it is easy enough to do it yourself.
To make homemade play dough we need corn starch, dishwashing liquid, liquid soap or shower gel (you can take any baby liquid detergent), vegetable oil.
Mix starch and dishwashing liquid in a bowl in 3:2 ratio. The proportions may vary, as your dishwashing liquid may be more or less thicker. Add one teaspoon of vegetable oil to the mixture (one teaspoon of vegetable oil to six teaspoons of starch). Oil will make the dough more elastic and protect from fast drying. Don’t be afraid: oil won’t make your dough greasy. The dough is inedible and tasteless; however, children must play with it under close supervision of adults.
When the mixture turns into crumbles, start kneading with hands. Then do the same as cooking edible dough. Once the dough is smooth and not sticky, it’s ready.
If the dough crumbles and cracks, add few drops of oil.
Now you can add color to the dough. Divide your dough into equal parts and split on them few drops of food coloring or gouache painting. Then knead it until it’s well dyed. Play dough is ready!
Our dough turned out to be very easy to make canes and balls from. It also fitted perfectly for a kit of "Ice- cream factory", playing with it you have to squeeze ice cream in cups using press.
If your child wants to keep figurines, just leave them in the air for 1-2 days. You can also bake them in the oven.
A few tips in conclusion:
1. Choose a scentless washing liquid or liquid with a pleasant discreet scent, which your baby likes.
2. Adding small grains (buckwheat, rice, millet) in the dough can make it even more useful sensory toy. If soap is scentless, add fragrant to the dough with a little cinnamon, vanilla sugar or a drop of essential oil (e.g. orange or fir).
3. Keep homemade dough in tightly closed bags or jars. We used empty jars from store-bought dough.