How to make play dough

What child doesn’t enjoy modeling? This smooth-textured, easy-to-shape dough is far superior to the expensive brand-name variety. It’s simple enough to let the kids help with the “cooking.”


* Large mixing bowl
* Fork
* Measuring cup
* Measuring spoons
* 2 quart saucepan
* Locking plastic bag or air-tight container


* Flour
* Salad oil
* Alum
* Water
* Salt
* Food coloring as desired

Yield: 3 cups

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, 2 tablespoons of salad oil, and 2 tablespoons of alum; stir with a fork to moisten the dry ingredients evenly. Set aside. Measure 2 cups of water into a 2-quart saucepan; add 1/2 cup salt and food coloring as desired. Heat to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the salt dissolves.

Add the hot water solution to the flour mixture in the bowl and stir to blend thoroughly. Let cool slightly; then knead the dough until it’s soft and pliable. Store dough between uses in a locking plastic bag or an air-tight container.

If your child feels like switching media – or even doing mixed-media – see the next page for instructions on making your own poster paints.

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How to make play dough