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Harvard Park Elementary School

2501 South 11th Street
Springfield, IL 62703

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE PLAYDOUGH (For All Ages / Grades; Regular Education, Special Education, & Special Needs)

May 6, 2020

THERE IS A WONDERFUL RECIPE FROM 'MOTHERCOULD' ON HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE PLAY DOUGH. There are also more recipes' on the web and in recipe cook books. When I was a child, I (your art teacher ~ Mrs. Borjon) remember making home made play dough with my mother and with my friends. It is a lot of fun and brings back fun memories. Also note that food coloring is optional in the recipe below - don't need it to make playdough, plus if you rather keep dough coloring from getting on hands you will not need to use it; your choice. (Though colored playdough fun for color mixing).

Play Dough is a great way to express yourself in 3-Dimensional art (the three dimensions are: height, width, and depth. It is also great in creating 3-D relief art (a three-dimensioal art piece attached / mounted to a flat base).

Clay or playdough are also great stress relievers often used in art therapy, and even used as a prescription in physical therapy to gain strength. It also just makes you feel good. Personally, my favorite part of cooking if when making yeast breads - because the bread loves to be kneaded; the more you knead the better the bread. I like making pie crusts, but pie crust  dough is the opposite, and the dough is not as good if it is overrworked.  IN MAKING HOMEMADE PLAYDOUGH, THE CLAY LOVES TO KNEADED AND WORKED ON OVER AND OVER.  :)  

Here is the recipe from MOTHERCOULD (Note: Do NOT eat the play dough): 

                                                              PLAY DOUGH


-  1 cup flour 

-  1/2 cup table salt

-  2 tbsp. cream of tartar 

-  1 tbsp. oil 

-  1  cup boiling water

-   Food coloring 


1)  In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and cream of tartar. Mix well. 

2)  Add the oil. 

3)  Mix a few drops of food coloring into the boiling water and add to the bowl. 

4)  Mix everything very well and massage with your hand until it is no long sticky. 

5).  Once it has fully cooled, wrap in plastic and put in an airtight container. Store at room temperature for about 6 months. 

>  That's it - you did it!  You can do your happy dance, as you dance your way around the kitchen cleaning up. 

Now you may get down to the fun part of playing with your playdough, letting your imagination go wild. You are art-tastic and your clay is art-rageous!  Show others your playdough creations and take a bow! 

Last, take time to ponder over your art. Hmm, let me think. Some questions you may ask yourself are: What the most fun part? What was one thing you learned? When making your art sculptures, what made you want to make them? 

Note: For Life Skills Special Education / Special Needs Students: Great for students to feel the clay by wrapping around their fingers and gently squeezing the clay (good exercise for fingers and hands). They may push and poke at the clay. Students may flatten the clay and press hand into clay. Whatever they want to do! Abstract sculpture is fun! 

The great thing about playdough, is that if sealed well, it will make for great fun on another day. Enjoy the feel of the clay, enjoy the exercise of the clay, enjoy the creativity to be found with clay. Simply enjoy.