How To Make Homemade Playdough- No-Cook, Small Batch!
“The best homemade plasticine that makes small batches! Soft and soft and perfect for snacks and cookie cutters!”
Visual learner? Watch me make this homemade plasticine recipe from start to finish
NOTE* There is a fun contest for parents and children in this video. Lots of Amazon gift cards to give away!
My mother was a preschool teacher, and she was “that teacher.” You know the one. That funny, silly teacher who went the extra mile to make sure the kids were totally immersed in a lesson. On Farm Day, he decorated his entire class with handmade farm animals, huge silos, hay bonds, and even dressed as a farmer. Parents came with cameras in hand for any holiday because they knew Miss Sylvia’s classroom was going to be the talk of the town.
Having a creative teacher, mom meant my siblings and I reaped all the benefits. Craftsmanship and DIY projects were the things our childhood was made of. Homemade bubbles, DIY sidewalk chalk, do-it-yourself balloon, and plasticine from scratch were commonplace.
Now that I’m a homeschooling mom, I feel like I’ve done all the plasticine recipes on the internet.
Homeschooling and plasticine go hand in hand, and I’ve been doing it for the past 10 years! It has always been part of my homeschooling lessons, and today I am going to share with you our favorite homemade plasticine recipe.
For the most part, homemade plasticine recipes contain the same essential ingredients: flour, salt, cream of tartar, oil, water and food coloring. It is the different measurements that can create different textures. We like this one!
What makes this homemade plasticine so special?
- It makes small batches. This is useful for many reasons. It doesn’t consume all my flour for one, everyone can create their own batches, so I don’t have to hear “It’s not fair Isaac stirred it 4 1/2 times and I only stirred it 4 times!”. You can really make a lot of different colors quickly with such small batches, and you’ll even fit into store-bought plasticine containers if you want to store them there!
- No stove required. Hallelujah! All you need is super hot water. I love using my little electric kettle for this. Heat the water in 1 minute. You can also use the microwave or a coffee maker. Or the stove.
- Use simple ingredients. Flour, cream of tartar, salt, water, oil and food coloring, and that’s it! You can find cream of tartar in the spice aisle in their grocery stores.
- The texture is perfect. This is one of the things I really like about this recipe. The feeling is soft and soft, but not too soft. It’s firm enough to hold and manipulate shapes made with cookie cutters and perfect for making game food for playing restaurants, building plasticine snowmen or creating colorful sliding snakes.
How is homemade plasticine made? It is easy to learn how to make
. For this quick version for children, in a nonstick bowl, first beat the flour, salt and cream of tartar. Next, add the oil, hot water and food coloring. Using a rubber spatula, stir everything until a mass forms. Once the dough is cool enough to touch, begin kneading and crushing the dough until all the flour is incorporated. Allow the dough to cool completely before use. That’s all!
How do you make plasticine without cooking?
I used to cook my plasticine on the stove all the time at first. I would beat all the dry ingredients in a pot and then add my water, oil, and food coloring. It would stir quickly over medium heat until a ball begins to form and then let it cool on wax paper. Then wash the pot and repeat with the following color. Yes, that’s what I did. So I said, “Baby, no one has time for this!” after my kids wanted to make plasticine every day. That’s when we went to this recipe uncooked. You can prepare this on your own and make as many colors as your heart desires without needing me there. It even works with very hot water (which is what my 6-year-old son uses).
How long will homemade plasticine last?
You know… I’m really not sure! Does anyone really know? You’d think it’s quite long, as long as it’s kept sealed. Pink plasticine is almost never used around here, and I’ve had it for over 3 months, so I know it will at least last that long. My kids are known for leaving plasticine and mixing colors, so we usually do several batches throughout the year for any color we need. It’s fast and cheap, so I don’t care too much. Plus, there’s something fun about playing with fresh plasticine!
Homemade plasticine ingredients:
Flour- This is the central part of plasticine. As with normal mass.
Water- This moistens the flour so that it becomes dough.
Salt- This acts as a preservative. No one wants moldy plasticine, and little hands are very germs. (Always have your children wash their hands before and after playing with plasticine)
Tartar cream: gives the dough its body and texture. A little makes the dough soft and elastic, adds a little more, and makes the dough soft and elastic instead of soft and crumbly.
Vegetable oil: keep the dough hydrated, so it doesn’t dry out as quickly. (Homemade plasticine will dry much faster than store-bought plasticine.)
Can I make plasticine without cream of tartar?
Ok, look, I’m supposed to say yes because technically you can. After all, it’s just mass. But cream of tartar gives it the perfect plasticine texture. It’s the bee’s knees for making silly snakes that won’t shrink after unfolding, and cookie-cutting cutouts that stay soft but firm enough to pick them up and play pretend with them. So mmm… Yes, you can technically make plasticine without cream of tartar, but don’t. Your kids will thank you.
Is it necessary to refrigerate homemade plasticine?
No, just store it in an airtight container. I store each color in a sandwich bag and then put the sandwich bags inside a sealed food container. This keeps everything nice and smooth.
Home tips for making plasticine
1. Blend the salt. This is optional, but we have “Play dough-Making Salt” in my house. I take a large box of Dollar Tree salt and throw it into the Blendtec and mix it until I get a fine powder. It dissolves so quickly. Regular fine table salt will also work, but I really like mixed salt. Personal preference.
2. Use a
plastic or melamine bowl to mix the plasticine so that it does not stick to the bowl. In the video, I used a glass bowl so you guys could see everything, but we usually used a bowl to mix melamine. If you use one too, you’ll be in plasticine manufacturing heaven! The dough practically self-cleans the bowl as it forms, preparing it for the next color. We can actually produce many colors this way.
Make scented plasticine! I love adding a teaspoon of cinnamon and nutmeg to make scented plasticine. It smells so divine and creates a natural brown color. You can also buy soap scents that smell amazing! We love to make fruit-scented plasticine.
Make therapy plasticine! I’m a little obsessed with essential oils. Add a few drops of children’s essential oils to give your plasticine some aromatherapy. Lavender-infused plasticine is a great bedtime relaxation activity, and sweet orange oil playdough smells fantastic. I love using plasticine to gently discuss sensitive and hard-to-talk topics about topics like death or current world events with my kids like this coronavirus. It somehow makes the conversation less awkward when we’re both creating and talking. They move in and out of the conversation at their own pace. It’s a great therapy tool
How is plasticine used in the classroom?
Besides simply playing with plasticine and letting your imagination run wild, there are many ways to use plasticine to learn. Kids love play dough. Just take out a colorful plasticine container and watch them perk up! I use this to my advantage.
Throw away the tests and add plasticine! I don’t give formal exams in my homeschooling, other than the state-required end-of-degree test. Instead, I use games to interrogate my children. Everyone goes out of their way when there is a game or points involved! I know that if I turn something into a game, my kids won’t just guess. They will REALLY try to figure it out.
We do a lot of “Smash It” testing using our smash mats. Kids like to break things. It’s fun! I will interrogate them with many questions using plasticine balls. If they are wrong, I will make a small note to go back and review a particular area. For each correct answer, they get one point. If they get a certain amount of points, they win a prize. The prize is usually something small like an extra 20 minutes of Roblox playtime, a worksheet pass, or an opportunity in the classroom claw machine. Needless to say, they work very carefully on their tests.
doesn’t like to open a gift? Instead of giving my kids a worksheet, I place the questions inside a ball of plasticine, and they can choose 10 to complete. I will usually hide a “Silly Willy” card in the mix. If they choose, they will have to do something silly like run around the house twice with pantyhose on their heads or complete a one-minute game to win it.
I especially like using plasticine to learn mats. It is ideal for teaching letter and number formation, fractions, measures, graphs, you name it! Looking for free tilting mats and other cool things to do with plasticine? I love Malia’s site at Playdough to Plato!
you’re new to homeschooling
, it’s very easy to get caught up and spend a lot of money on homeschooling manipulators. Please don’t be overwhelmed like this. I mean, sure those little teddy bears, transparent counters, pressure buckets are great, but you can use plasticine! Plasticine is ideal for bringing word problems to life. Even making plasticine is a lesson in measurements, fractions, chemical reactions, mixing colors, cooking, temperature, states of matter, etc.
Buy the plasticine items I use from my Amazon store!
my plasticine sticky? Don’t worry, just add a little more flour a little at a time. Too much flour will give you soft, but crumbly, boooo plasticine. Sometimes, simply leaving the plasticine uncovered for a few minutes will do the trick and dry out that extra water that makes it sticky.
Does my plasticine feel like it’s drying out a bit? Add a few drops of oil to rehydrate the plasticine. I usually have to do this after a week of play, but often, my kids have mixed all the colors by then and dropped it on the ground a million times and we’re ready to make a new batch.
help! My plasticine has mold. First, before and after playing with any plasticine, wash your hands. The salt in plasticine does an excellent job of acting as a preservative. Still, sometimes things like food particles and dirt from dirty hands can get trapped in the dough, or moisture can somehow get into the container and create mold. If you see mold on your plasticine, throw it away, even if it’s just a small section. It’s so easy and quick to make fresh plasticine, so I wouldn’t even try to save it. I’ve only had a couple of batches that moved when I tried to decrease the salt.
My hands feel dry after playing with homemade plasticine. That’s one of the main complaints, usually from adults rather than children. I don’t think kids notice. It is of high salt. The high salt content keeps mold away, but it can also dry out on your hands. Wash your hands before and after playing and apply lotion if needed. If this is really annoying for you, you may have to use the stove method. Cooking helps to dissolve the salt more. If you want to try this method, simply add twice as much water and cook it until a dough forms. Place the dough on waxed paper and let cool.
That’s it!! I’ll be quiet, now! Can you say that I love this kind of thing ha, I could go on and on about homeschooling, so please don’t ask me any questions about it if you don’t want to hear an ear? It’s one of my passions.
Ok, go make lots of plasticine and souvenirs!
Note: The following links contain plasticine mats, plasticine recipes, plasticine sets, and crafts. Most (if not all) are FREE, but some require email registration. Pinterest has a TON of great ideas for using plasticine.
Check out My Pinterest Play
Dough Board Plasticine
to Plate (FREE but requires email registration)
Chaos and Clutter Plasticine Carpets Playtivities
Play Dough Challenges
The Idea Room Plasticine Pictionary
For Little Hands Play Dough Bins & Activities