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Have some fun with your kids this holiday making Snowball Playdough! This homemade playdough recipe is easy and great for party favors or stocking stuffers. The printable tag is great for adding to packages for neighborhood or classroom gifts. If you’ve ever wondered how to make playdough for your kids, I’m going to show you how!
This post has been updated from 2013.
On a recent rainy day, my kids were going crazy having to be cooped up inside, so I thought I’d make them some playdough. I haven’t made homemade playdough for some time, not since my preschool teaching days, in fact. But the recipe is so incredibly easy that pretty much anyone can make it.
HOW TO MAKE PLAYDOUGH
Since we were having our snow party the next day, I thought it would be perfect to make some snowball playdough, and make enough for each of the kids to take home a little jar of dough and a snowflake cookie cutter!
My kids had fun playing with the leftovers – it’s really a great rainy day activity, especially if they have a part in making it. I put enough of the dough for each of them on cookie sheets to help contain the mess in my dining room. My daughter, no joke, sat at the table for two and a half hours playing with her little tray.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE PLAYDOUGH:
- All-purpose flour
- Cream of Tartar – This is an acid and is acts as a stabilizer, thickening the dough.
- Vegetable oil
- Salt – Yes, there is an obscene amount of salt in the recipe, but it is a preservative that keeps bacteria from growing.
- Add-ins: glitter, food coloring, scented oils or extracts
EASY PLAYDOUGH RECIPE:
Playdough is made in a pot on the stove, cooked at a medium heat to form the dough. It can also be cooked in an electric griddle (as I recall from my preschool teacher days!).
- Start by mixing the first five ingredients together in a large, 5 quart pot.
- Once the mixture is combined, continue to stir often with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula.
- Once the mixture is thickened and no longer seem “wet,” transfer the dough to a flat surface. If you are adding food coloring or extracts, do that before removing the playdough from the pot. I recommend using a silicone spatula to avoid color transfer with food coloring. It will be hot, so you’ll want to let it cool for several minutes after which time you can begin kneading it and adding the glitter.
Playdough is one of those versatile recipes that you can change up to suit your tastes. (Just remember that this particular recipe is NOT edible. There are several edible dough recipes out there, but this ain’t it!). To the basic white dough recipe, I added a splash of vanilla for a yummy scent, and some white, iridescent glitter, but you can add other scented extracts, like Peppermint, or Kool-Aid for color and scent, or food coloring.
WHAT CAN I USE INSTEAD OF CREAM OF TARTAR?
Cream of Tartar is an acid that works as a stabilizer. You can replace this with 3 tablespoons of lemon juice or leave it out completely.
HOW TO STORE PLAYDOUGH
Store your dough in an airtight container or zip-top bag. It will last seemingly forever with proper storage. Do have your kids wash their hands before playing with it to avoid spreading germs.
Here’s the free printable tag so you can make your own homemade playdough gift!
Here are some more fun Christmas ideas and free printables for kids:
- Christmas Countdown Calendar
- DIY Advent Calendar with Activities and Scripture
- Free Printable Advent Calendar Treat Bag Kit
- How to Plan a Christmas Movie Night (with Free Printables)
- 65 Stocking Stuffers for Kids
- Cookie Cutters with Free Recipe Printable Gift Idea
- Mrs. Claus Cookie Company Free Christmas Printable
- Free Printable Christmas Gift Tags with Watercolors
Homemade playdough recipe:
Glittery Snowball Playdough
- Wooden spoon
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup iridescent glitter
- Mix all ingredient in a 5 quart pot over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until mixture is a thick dough consistency, and no longer sticky. Scoop out on a cookie sheet to cool before playing with it.
- *Add glitter after the dough is cool: Flatten playdough into a 1/2-inch disk. Top with glitter, then knead until glitter is evenly mixed throughout the playdough.
- Feel free to experiment with different colors of glitter.
- For different colors of playdough, add food coloring during the cooking process. (It's not fun to knead the food coloring in with your hands - you'll end up with very colorful hands!).
- Experiment with scents by adding extracts to your playdough. Again, this is better to do during the cooking process so it can be evenly distributed.
- Please note that while the basic recipe (sans glitter) is not toxic, it should not be eaten.
Here’s to another great inexpensive Christmas gift idea with a free printable!