Making playdough is a quick and fun activity that you can do at home with very few ingredients! You likely have everything in your pantry/cupboards to create this Homemade Playdough with your family.
Goals that can be addressed with this activity:
- Following multi-step directions
- Tactile defensiveness
- Sensory integration
- Fine motor skills
Here’s how to make some easy homemade playdough!
- 1 cup Flour
- 1/2 cup Salt
- 1/2 cup Water
- 2-4 drops of water-based food coloring or washable paint (optional)
- Add the 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of salt to a medium bowl and mix.
- Add the 1/2 cup of water to the flour and salt mixture.
- If you want different colored homemade playdoughs to use, divide your mixture now, before adding in the colors.
- Add in the food coloring or washable paint, if you want.
- Mix thoroughly.
Tip: Prevent food color from staining your hands by mixing the dough and food color drops in a sealable plastic bag. This is also beneficial if a child is sensory avoidant and will not tolerate having things stuck on their hands.
Note: Be careful where you play with your dough, pets and small children may try to eat it and this is not for eating! Keep an eye on little ones when making and playing with dough!
- Bake the dough at 200°F until hard. The amount of time depends on size and thickness. Thin pieces might take 45-60 minutes, thicker pieces might take 2-3 hours.
- Check on your pieces in the oven every 1/2 hour or so until they are hard.
- To make your dough harden faster, bake at 350°F, but keep an eye on it because it might turn brown.
- To completely seal and protect your dough art, apply a clear or paint varnish.
If you are working on fine motor control and sensory processing, we recommend using the beads or other small items to create a “Find It” style game where they have to feel through the dough and move it around to get to the items/beads. Don’t use items that you can’t have dough on, of course!
If you are working on articulation in speech, help your child shape the dough into different letters and work on the proper pronunciation of the sound.
If you are working on expressive language in speech, shape little people (pictured above) or animals and act out a scenario with your child. Play like this is great for bonding, developing parent-child attachments, and learning about conversational flow.