This classic children's play material is so easy to make at home that you will never want to buy it again! It's best to start simply with your hands and imagination (without purchased tools and cookie cutters) to encourage maximum sensory experience: poke, pull, push, stroke, pick up and crush and combine pieces, roll and start forming 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 of cream of tartar (optional for better elasticity)

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

Cooked play dough - Shelf life up to 6 months if wrapped and stored in the refrigerator

3 cups flour
1 cup salt
6 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Optional: Food coloring, etc.

Mix flour, salt and baking soda in a large saucepan. Combine water and oil in a bowl. Add to pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Add a few drops of food coloring until the right color 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 modeling clay will keep for at least three months if you store it in an airtight container or a plastic zipper bag. The clay is so pliable and fun to play with when it's still warm.

Uncomplicated play dough

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

In a large bowl, mix water, salt, oil and a few drops of food coloring. Mix flour and cornstarch 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 is the right consistency). Knead the dough for a few minutes with flour on your hands.

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