This classic children's play material is so easy to make at home that you'll never want to buy it again! It's best to start simply with your hands and imagination (without bought tools and cookie cutters) to encourage maximum sensory experience: poking, pulling, pushing, stroking, picking up and crushing and combining pieces, rolling and starting to shape simple things like peas or balls, small pots and containers, a dog or a person...

Basic ratios of ingredients:
2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 cup salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cream of tartar (optional for better elasticity)

Possible (but not necessary) ingredients: - Food colouring (liquid, powder or unsweetened Kool-Aid or similar drink mix).
- fragrant oils

Cooked Playdough - Keeps for up to 6 months if wrapped and stored in the fridge

3 cups flour
1 cup salt
6 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
3 cups water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Optional: Food colouring, etc.

Mix the flour, salt and baking soda in a large saucepan. Mix the water and oil in a bowl. Add to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Add a few drops of food colouring until the right colour is achieved. Cook for about five minutes. Remove the dough from the pot, transfer to a cutting board or work surface and knead for a few minutes. If it is too sticky, add flour.

This modelling clay will keep for at least three months if you store it in an airtight container or a plastic bag with a zip. The dough is so smooth and fun to play with when it is still warm.

Uncomplicated play dough

1 cup cold water
1 cup salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons cornflour
Optional: food colouring, etc.

In a large bowl, mix the water, salt, oil and a few drops of food colouring. Mix the flour and cornflour and add 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly (you may need a little more or a little less than 2 cups of flour, so keep stirring until the dough has the right consistency). Knead the dough for a few minutes with flour on your hands.

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