I've tried a few dough recipes, but they always seem a little too gritty. This one is smooth and soft - fairly close to the store-bought version - and stays amazingly soft and pliable even after being left out for hours (or overnight in our case).
Here's what you need:
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
scent - (you can use an extract like lemon or vanilla)
Combine all your ingredients in a large saucepan. Stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat. Stir constantly. It will be very soupy for several minutes and then suddenly it will start sticking together and can be stirred into a ball. It will look very lumpy too - don't worry. Remove from the heat and keep stirring briefly. Turn the whole lump out on a floured surface and knead as it cools. Just for a few minutes - you'll see when it's the perfect consistency.
It will store nicely in Ziploc bags or of course, old play-doh containers (we've only got about 30 or so laying around). If you're not going to use it for a while, storing it in the fridge or freezer will make it last for a long time.
Here's an easy project for the little one's to make with their new dough.
You will need:
2 small beads or button (for eyes)
1. Roll a handful of play dough into a ball.
2. Pinch one end to form a nose.
3. Press your beads into the clay to make eyes.
4. Cover with toothpick "needles".
Here is my 3-year-old's version, (completely unassisted). I love that this is so easy, and yet adding the toothpicks takes a bit of time, so you'll have some peaceful moments as your kids are thoughtfully placing each one.
Here's another my 5-year-old. Don't you love the big eyes and goofy smile?