I have always thought that making play dough for my son sounded like a good idea... in theory. But it also seemed like one of those things that might be a big pain in the ass, and I wasn't certain the final product would be as good as the store-bought stuff. But, my son started preschool last week and they use school-made play dough. It looks pretty great and all the kids love it, so I decided to give it a shot last weekend.
Turns out, it's easy and the dough at the end is actually nicer than the store stuff. I used this recipe from Instructables. It involves cooking the dough for a little bit, but was still quite simple.
You stir everything together and then cook is mostly to dry the dough. What you end up with is something that looks a lot like sugar cookie dough.
After kneading briefly, I added food coloring, making colors based on my son's shouted requests: "yellow!" and "pink!"
He loves the stuff, and is constantly begging to play with it. I've the play dough it in a big airtight container on the counter, and it seems to be holding up wonderfully. Another nice thing is that this dough can really teach color blending. A little chunk of pink plus some yellow makes a lovely orange after some vigorous toddler kneading.
Oh, and if he eats it, no big deal. Everything in the dough is technically "food." I doubt he would want it after a quick taste, though. It's very salty.