Play Dough? Doh…
Play-Doh is a modeling compound used by children for art and craft projects at home and in school. Composed of flour, water, salt, boric acid, and silicone oil, the product was first manufactured in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA as a wallpaper cleaner in the 1930s. When a classroom of children began using the wallpaper cleaner as a modeling compound, the product was reworked and marketed to Cincinnati schools in the mid-1950s. Play-Doh was demonstrated at an educational convention in 1956 and prominent department stores opened retail accounts. Advertisements promoting Play-Doh on influential children’s television shows in 1957 furthered the product’s sales. Since its launch on the toy market in the mid-1950s, Play-Doh has generated a considerable amount of ancillary merchandise such as The Fun Factory. In 2003, the Toy Industry Association named Play-Doh to its “Century of Toys List”.
The non-toxic, non-staining, reusable modeling compound that came to be known as Play-Doh was originally a pliable, putty-like wallpaper cleaner concocted by Noah McVicker for Kutol Products, a family-owned Cincinnati-based soap company. Following World War II, McVicker’s nephew, Joseph McVicker, joined Kutol and discovered the wallpaper cleaner was being used by nursery school children to make Christmas ornaments.
Not a food? Think again! It’s all in how you make it. Everyone seems to have a favorite playdough recipe, and many old favorites have been included here. Some require cooking and some don’t; some are meant to be eaten and some are not. Choose the recipe that best suits your needs and the ingredients you have on hand. Store playdough in a covered container or Ziploc bag. If it sweats a little, just add more flour. For sensory variety, use playdough warm or cool as well as at room temperature.
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 cup salt
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- Tempera paint or food coloring
- 3 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- In bowl, mix water, salt, oil, and enough tempera paint or food coloring to make a bright color.
- Gradually add flour and cornstarch until the mixture reaches the consistency of bread dough.
- Store covered.
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
- Food coloring
- 1 cup flour
- Combine water, oil, salt, cream of tartar, and food coloring in a saucepan and heat until warm.
- Remove from heat and add flour.
- Stir, then knead until smooth. The cream of tartar makes this dough last 6 months or longer, so resist the temptation to omit this ingredient if you don’t have it on hand.
- Store this dough in an airtight container or a Ziploc freezer bag.
- 1 cup salt
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup flour plus additional flour
- Mix salt, water, and flour in saucepan and cook over medium heat.
- Remove from heat when mixture is thick and rubbery.
- As the mixture cools, knead in enough flour to make the dough workable.
- 1 part flour
- 1 part water
- 2 parts oatmeal
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl; mix well and knead until smooth.
- This playdough is not intended to be eaten, but it will not hurt a child who decides to taste it.
- Store covered in refrigerator.
- Your child can make this playdough without help; however, it doesn’t last as long as cooked playdough.
Peanut Butter Playdough
- 2 cups peanut butter
- 6 tablespoons honey
- Nonfat dry milk or milk plus flour
- Cocoa or carob for chocolate flavor (optional)
- Edible treats for decoration
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix, adding enough dry milk or milk plus flour to reach the consistency of bread dough.
- Add cocoa or carob, if desired.
- Shape, decorate with edible treats, and eat!
- 1/2 cup salt
- 2 cups water
- Food coloring, tempera powder, or Kool-Aid powder for color
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups sifted flour
- 2 tablespoons alum
- Combine salt and water in saucepan and boil until salt dissolves.
- Remove from heat and tint with food coloring, tempera powder, or Kool-Aid.
- Add oil, flour, and alum.
- Knead until smooth.
- This dough will last 2 months or longer.