Monday 6 May 2013

Homemade Playdough recipe

This is the playdough recipe we use in our house...

It feels lovely and soft and keeps really well in an air-tight container.

What you will need to make it:

  • A pan
  • 400ml plain flour
  • 200 ml salt
  • 30ml cream of tartar
  • 60ml oil
  • 400ml water
  • Colour as required using food colouring
  • You can add some glycerine too if you want it to be more shiny.
  • You can also add glitter too if you want a sparkly one or a little food flavouring, we tried lemon once and that was amazing!

All you need to do is mix them all together in a pan...

...and on a very low heat stir constantly until the consistency looks right like this...

If you don't want to do it on the hob there is this as an alternative here for the Cbeebies modelling dough recipe.

Doing this sort of thing with your children allows them to learn:

  • Measuring
  • Halving or doubling if you want more or less in quantity
  • Counting

We will also learn about how a combination of different substances can be brought together in a way to make a new whole. 

This can be taken one step further and we can try making it again but leaving one part of the dough.  For example if you leave out the cream of tartar?  If you are wondering it won't be as stretchy.  You could talk about why we add the salt - it is to preserve it of course, does omitting the salt change how the dough works or feels?  What if we leave out the oil?  What if we leave out the flour?  What if were add more flour?

If you want to do an experiment to find out what happens when you leave out a component you might want to write down your hypothesis and results in a Science notebook.

You can ask other questions to help investigate what has gone on like:

  • What does it feel like (you could do this at every stage)
  • If you haven't told them what you are making you could ask them to guess what they have made (be sure to tell them it is inedible before you start if you do it this way)
  • How is the end result different to what it was made from?
  • Do you think that each of the parts or ingredients that we added was important?
  • Do you see, smell, or feel any evidence of the original parts that make up the playdough?
  • Do you think that we could divide the play dough back to the original ingredients? Why or why not?  It is of course an irreversible change like when you bake a cake rather than a reversible change like ice that can melt and then be frozen back into ice again.
Finally you can talk about other parts that have been put together to make a whole substance that is different.  Can they think of any?  Here are some to get you started: cake, biscuits, bread...

Other science you can learn through playdough is that it is a conductor of electricity.  To have fun with this idea and learn about electrical circuits you might like to try this project here:  Playdough Circuits


Reading the ingredients and the method out.


There is a lot that can be made from a piece of dough.  Let their imaginations go wild!  Here is a blog post about being creative with play dough.

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