Mushing around colored play clay – the ultimate preschool craft! Make a batch for your preschooler and you’ve got hours of fun ahead.
This play clay is the best recipe I’ve ever found. If you ask me, it’s even better than commercial Play Dough. Most homemade play dough recipes are messy, dry out and aren’t very satisfying to play with because they don’t have that cool Play Dough elasticity. This clay has that quality and is clean and stores well.
You can make any color, and it will last many weeks if you store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Plastic sealable tubs or zip-style heavy duty plastic bags both work well. I made a couple of batches in different colors for the preschool class at church, and it lasted several months even with all those little hands week after week.
It does require a little prep work from mom or dad because the clay is made on the stovetop, but it’s quick and easy. Make it ahead of playtime because it does need time to cool. Most kids are happy just mushing it around with their hands, but you can add rolling pins, butter knives, cookie cutters and safe utensils like a garlic press to the mix for added fun.
Here’s the recipe:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
2 Tbls cream of tartar
1 cup water
2 tsp food coloring
1 Tbls vegetable oil
Mix the flour, salt and cream of tartar in a saucepan. Add the water, food coloring and oil.
Stir over medium heat for about 3 – 5 minutes. You’re going to think something is going wrong at first – the mixture lumps up and does funny things. But it will eventually form a ball in the middle of the pan. When it does this, it’s done. Remove it from the heat and let it cool completely. Knead the dough until it is soft and pliable. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.