- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup salt
- 4 tablespoons cream of tartar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1.5 to 2 cups boiling water (added incrementally)
- Natural colouring agents (e.g. turmeric for yellow, spinach for green, beet juice for pink)
- Essential oils for fragrance (optional)
- Natural textures (e.g. finely ground sand, dried herbs or flower petals)
- Combine dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cream of tartar. These ingredients form the base of your playdough.
- Add vegetable oil: Pour the vegetable oil into the dry mixture. This helps to add moisture and make the playdough soft and pliable.
- Boil water: Heat water until it’s almost boiling. Carefully measure out 1.5 cups of hot water to start. You may need to add more later to achieve the desired consistency.
- Gradually add water: Pour the hot water into the dry ingredients a little at a time, stirring continuously. Keep adding water until the mixture comes together into a soft, non-sticky dough. Adjust the amount of water as needed.
- Divide and colour: Divide the playdough into equal portions, depending on how many colours you want. Add your natural colouring agents to each portion. For example, you can use turmeric for yellow, spinach for green or beet juice for pink. Knead the playdough until the colour is evenly distributed.
- Texture and fragrance (optional): Enhance the sensory experience by incorporating natural textures such as finely ground sand, dried herbs or flower petals into the playdough. You can also add a few drops of essential oils for a delightful fragrance.
- Play and explore: Set up a Reggio Emilia-inspired playdough station with natural materials like small pebbles, leaves and twigs. Encourage children to explore and create with the playdough, fostering a connection between the natural world and their artistic expressions.
- Store in air-tight containers: When not in use, store the playdough in air-tight containers to keep it fresh. This homemade playdough should last for several weeks if properly stored.
Making your own natural playdough provides a wonderful sensory experience for children and the use of natural ingredients nurture children’s respect for the environment and sense of creativity.