4fun logo

Cooked play dough

Children and adults can’t resist playing with modeling dough, but be cautious with the youngest children who might eat the dough. Try this easy 10 minute cooking activity with your family for weeks of modeling discovery..

Cooked play dough recipe:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-2 teaspoons food color
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

In a two quart saucepan, combine the flour, salt, and cream of tartar. In a measuring cup, combine water, oil and food color. Pour liquid mixture into flour mixture and cook over medium heat stirring constantly. Keep stirring until the mixture becomes hot. As it heats through, the mixture begins to thicken. Keep stirring and it becomes dry against the bottom of the pan and as you stir, it forms a ball in the pan. Remove from heat; roll dough out onto a dry surface; knead the dough for a few minutes as it cools for smoother dough. After it cools thoroughly, store in a zip lock bag. The recipe can be doubled for a larger batch of dough.

Activity extensions:

While measuring and mixing, the children are experiencing pre-math skills. Have them measure out a quarter cup, half cup, and full cup, a teaspoon and a tablespoon.

Roll balls of different sizes and talk about small, large, and middle size balls.

Make doughs of various primary colors, then mix batches to make new colors.

Add utensils, pans, cookie cutters and scissors to play with the dough for additional small muscle building, a pre writing task.

Roll the dough into cylinders, then shape it into letters or numbers, the child’s name, simple words, etc.

Use the dough to make parts of the face–eyes, nose, lips, hair, etc., and talk about feelings. Change the facial features to discuss different feelings: happy, sad, scared, and startled..