One very inexpensive way to get your kids off the television and to quit playing phone games is to use play dough. This super flexible toy not only gives kids hours of great playtime and creativity, it’s really easy to make in your own kitchen. Plus, all the ingredients needed for this DIY are already in your cupboards.
Enlist your kids’ help in making this simple play dough. This recipe doesn’t need you to cook anything, except maybe snacks for your little helpers (Remind them not to eat their toy though!).
1 cup of flour
¼ cup of salt
½ cup of warm water
Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl
Add a few drops of food coloring to the warm water.
Pour the mixture into the flour and salt, and stir until it thickens. Knead the newly formed dough just until the flour completely absorbs the water.
Dump the dough into a table laced with flour to stop it from sticking. You can also apply flour directly into the dough if it’s too sticky or if you want to change its consistency.
Continue kneading until it no longer sticks to any surface.
Do this for each batch of color. You could also try making the primary colors first (red, blue and yellow), and combine them to get other colors.
Wondering what else you can do with play dough? For more fun ideas, follow these very clever ways to use it.
Since, play dough is technically made from food, you don’t have to buy your kids elaborate toys for it. Instead, let them use your silverware, cookie cutters, and rolling pins – those things that are already in the kitchen.
Add sparkles in the dough or neon food coloring for cool effects!
Use dry pasta to give the dough some dimension.
Build an entire city, with buildings, trees, cars and everything.
Play matching prints by pairing small toy animals with their impressions on play dough.
Use play dough mats to trace drawings and to introduce your kids to shapes, animals and letters.
Make a potted garden using the dough as soil.
Layer individual play doughs with different colors inside a mason jar to get a rainbow effect. These can be amazing gifts.
Stick little pieces of the dough into art paper to create mosaic art.
Shape sculptures of famous characters like Minions, Olaf and even little green men.
Print leaves and lace on the dough and paint them.
Create colorful ABCs by rolling the dough and forming it into letters.
Make a galaxy playdough with different shades of blue and some silver glitter.
Construct bridges with dough and bamboo skewers.
And, finally, to maintain moisture in the play dough, place it in a ziplock bag and put it inside an airtight container. The dough doesn’t normally last for more than a few weeks, but with this, your kids can still play with it even after months of being shelved.